Staging a Home for Real Estate Photography

In today’s real estate market, the visual elements of a marketing campaign are more important than ever.  Knowing this, how do you sell a home in today’s market?

White Orchid, a staging company, has some good things to say about this:

According to owner John Matthews:

“Here’s the simple formula: When you stage a home for sale the photography looks awesome. And when the photography looks awesome, people view that home online. When they view a beautifully staged home online, they visit, they fall in love, and they make offers”

I think this is really important.  If you’ve requested a professional photographer to take photos of a home you’re listing that’s great!  High quality photography makes a big difference and can help tremendously with the sale!

However, staging that listing is also important, since a professionally photographed home that is poorly presented will not have the same impact as a home that is perfectly presented both inside and out.

John really emphasizes this point by saying:

“Other than pricing it right, home staging and photography are the most important factors in selling real estate today.”

It’s not hard to understand why this is so important.

Let me give you an example:

Imagine that there are two homes on the same street.  One is owned by the Jones family and the other is owned by the Miller family.  The homes are very similar in their layout and square footage, and each one has 3 bedrooms and 2 and 1/2 baths.

The Jones family home is fairly neat, but with two young children there is a bit of clutter lying around the home, and the furnishings are a bit outdated.  The realtor they hired always takes his own photos, and the photos are somewhat dark inside, the colors aren’t very accurate, and they look like they were taken quickly.

The Miller family also has two children, but their realtor encouraged them to hire a staging company to assist in preparing their home.  They used some of the Miller’s furniture as well as additional pieces brought in by the stager.  The master bedroom, and  living and dining room look almost brand new, with accent pieces, beautiful cushions and pillows, and beautiful chairs.  The agent followed up by hiring one of the best photographers in the area, and the home looks amazing.

Now the Jones home and the Miller home are on the market at the same time, with the same listing price.

Which one do you think will have more interest from buyers looking for a home in that price range – the Jones home, which appears to be average with poor photos, or the Miller home, which is perfectly staged and has fantastic photography?

Of course the Jones home will do much better, with a faster sale, which adds to the point in the above video that home staging and professional photography influence both the time on the market as well as the final sale price of a home, regardless of the market.

So what do you need to do?

Home Staging Tips when Selling a Home:

Hiring a professional stager is ideal when preparing a home to sell, but if that isn’t possible there are a lot of things you can do yourself.

Professional home stager Tori Both offers a few simple staging tips:

Here are 7 inexpensive suggestions Tori makes:

Tip #1:  “Toss items you no longer need and get creative with storage solutions.”

Tip #2: “Pack away items you will not need immediately over the next few months…to enhance space.”

Tip #3: “Give you entire house a wash from top down so it sparkles is a must.”

Tip #4:  “If you have small repair projects around the home it’s a wise idea to complete them before going on the market.”

Tip #5:  “Painting is also an affordable way to change the entire look of a room and make the home look fresh and clean.”

Tip #6:  “Play with rearranging furnishings that may maximize square footage and improve traffic patterns.”

Tip #7:  “Spruce up your curb appeal at the door.”

Top 10 Real Estate Staging Tips:

The tips included in the video above are:

#1:  Make a good first impression.

#2:  Declutter, declutter, declutter.

#3:  Depersonalize the home.

#4:  Make sure there aren’t any unpleasant odors.

#5:  Declare a war on grime.

#6:  Take care of all the odd jobs around the home.

#7:  Paint key rooms, and the front door in neutral colors.

#8:  Remove excess furniture to make rooms appear bigger.

#9:  Wash the windows and replace low watt bulbs with brighter bulbs.

#10:  Add some fresh plants or flowers to bring the outside in.

In summary he says:

“The way we live in a home doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way to present it to the world if we want to sell it.”

I think it’s important to remember that, because our home may not be perfectly staged while we’re living there, but when it’s time to sell then we need to stop seeing it as a home and as an item that we need to sell.. Taking the time to make sure it presents well can have a big impact on the final sale price.

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