Mar 19 2018

How to Prepare for Our Photo Shoot

With the majority of buyers shopping for homes online before visiting them, high-definition photos and sometimes video tours are a must, yet they are something that most brokers don’t embrace. Here’s how our team AND you can make your home shine on camera.

Understand the Camera’s Perspective.
The camera’s eye is different from the human eye. It magnifies clutter and poor furniture arrangement so that even a home that feels comfortable in person can look jumbled online. We will work with you in advance to create a Photoshoot Action List and prep your home to look its absolute best with what we have at our fingertips.

Make it Spotless
Cameras also tend to magnify grime. Don’t forget floor coverings and walls; a spot on a rug might be overlooked during a regular home showing, but it could become a focal point online. One way to think of it is that we want the home to look like a museum –clean and orderly, no clutter, remove or minimize personal pictures on walls and furniture, empty countertops, etc., as I mention below.

Know What to Leave
You want to avoid clutter, but try to have three items of varying heights on each surface. On an end table, you can place a tall lamp (high), a small plant (medium), and a book (low).

Snap Practice Pictures with Your Own Camera
Although this isn’t a necessity at all, this will give you a very rough idea of what the home will look like on camera before the photographer shows up. Examine the photos and make changes to improve each room’s appearance, such as opening blinds to let in natural light, removing magnets from the refrigerator, or taking down distracting art. The caveat to this is that the photographer and I will frame the photos and we have capabilities with layering photos and editing that far outreach what an average home owner or broker can achieve.

Pare Down
Removing one or two pieces of furniture from each room, even if just for the shoot, can make your space appear larger on screen. As we do create our Photoshoot Action List together, this will be discussed and written down.

Spotlight the flow of your space by creating a focal point on the furthest wall from the doorway and arranging the other pieces of furniture to make a triangle shape. The focal point may be a bed in a bedroom or a china cabinet in a dining room.

Include a healthy plant in every room; the camera loves greenery. Energize bland decor by placing a bright vase on a mantle or draping an afghan over a couch. If we have professional stagers come in, they will discuss and execute much of this if not all.

Oh the dreaded garage clean up. One of the least beloved things, yet one of the most important. I can’t count the times I’ve walked into an immaculate house with buyers that was just listed and as we reach the garage and open that door, we are smacked in the face with chaos. As the garage is often times the last thing a buyer sees as they route through the home, it is important to leave both a conscious and subliminal message that the house has been kept orderly and not just recently dressed up for sale with all the miscellaneous items being cast away to the abyss of the garage. Let people imagine their stuff in there. So, if you have a lot of extra stuff, as most of us do, it’s time to consider renting off-site temporary storage while you prepare, market and sell your home. For the photo shoot, we do include garages, as it is an important feature for many buyers who require them.

Keep the Home in Shape
Buyers who liked what they saw online expect to encounter the same home in person. Remember, we are showcasing your home to sell at the highest marketable price. The last thing we want to do is bait and switch a potential buyer into having high hopes in your home, only to arrive and be shell-shocked by a messy, and cluttered home.

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Brad Howell