Palm Beach Real Estate Photographer | Lenny Rosen

Staging the Listing Tips for Photos

Make sure your home is ready for its listing photos with these tips:

Real Estate Photography Prep Tips:

  • TOUCH UP PAINT AND STAIN GOES A LONG WAY.   Touch up wall marks, woodwork scratches, fill in nail holes, etc. 
  • CLEAN UP CARPET STAINS WITH SOME RUG SPOT REMOVER.  Polish hardwood floors and tile floors.
  • MAKE SURE THE BEDS ARE MADE UP NEATLY WITH NO WRINKLES.  A portable steamer is very helpful to get rid of wrinkles in bedding, upholstery and drapery.
  • REMOVE PERSONAL FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS FROM WALLS AND TABLE TOPS.​  Fill in nail holes and touch up with paint.
  • REMOVE AS MANY OF THE WALL HANGINGS AND WALL ART AS POSSIBLE.  The art may not please buyers and may also become a distraction rather than an enhancement.  Fill in nail holes and touch up with paint.
  • REMOVE THE PETS FROM THE HOME DURING THE PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION.  Hide pet beds, toys, feeding bowls, crates/cages and so forth. 
  • HIDE WIRES, CORDS AND WASTE BASKETS.  T V cords, cables and waste baskets are unsightly in photos. Bring them back and Plug them back in after the photo shoot.
  • REPLACE ALL BURNED OUT LIGHT BULBS.   It is the first negative thing that the potential buyer notices.
  • OPEN UP ALL DRAPES AND BLINDS.  Let the window light come in by opening up the drapes and blinds.  It makes the room look larger and the buyer likes to see the outside.
  • TURN OFF ALL OF THE FANS.  Moving fans look blurry in photographs (especially HDR photographs).
  • MAKE SURE THE EXTERIOR OF THE PORPERTY LOOKS GREAT FOR PHOTOS.   Power wash sidewalks, driveways, stains on the roof and exterior of the home.  Mow the lawn, trim the bushes, pick up debris, remove trash cans, children's toys & pet accessories, remove clutter, etc.


Accessorize smartly

One of the easiest ways to update a room is to accessorize it well. A small stack of design books on the coffee table or some new pillows can really refine and update a space. “Appropriately display art on walls or above a fireplace, and make sure it is in the photograph to add color to your background, which adds wow factor to pictures viewed online,” advises Bell. Just remember, groupings look best in odd numbers and at varying sizes, so ditch those four identical candlesticks on your mantle.

But make sure not to over-accessorize

Just like Coco Chanel advised to always take off one accessory before you leave the house, so too should you pare down your house’s knickknacks. Accessorizing is important, but it needs to be tastefully — and minimally — done. “Overstuffed shelves with various books and décor can create a visual nightmare,” adds Bell. “Organize them by coordinating the books or magazines by colored sleeve or by height.”

Of course, you might have loads of “edited out” items from your house once you’re done decluttering. This is normal: When professional home stagers get to work, they often edit out half of homeowners’ furnishings — and the home looks much bigger because of it. Store your stuff in a storage unit, your new home, or a friend’s basement.

While you’re at it, ditch the props

Yes, magazine spreads frequently have gorgeous bowls of fruit on display, but it’s probably best to leave the artful arranging and styling to the design experts. You can certainly hire a stager or interior designer, but for the rest of us, Bell recommends skipping the oversized bowl of lemons and that cheesy bottle of wine and wine glasses, which can become more of a distraction than an enhancement.

Pay attention to the bathroom

Along with kitchens, attractive and clean bathrooms are an important selling feature in a home and will be scrutinized when viewed online. Even if your bathroom is a little outdated, you can spiff it up for a minimal cost: Clear everything off your sink top except for soap, roll up some towels and put them on an available shelf for display, buy a fresh, bright shower curtain, and (perhaps most important) make sure the toilet seat lid is closed. That last item makes a huge difference in photos.

Don’t forget the small stuff

Don’t just shrug at those boxes you thought were hidden under your bed but are definitely visible in photos of your master bedroom. Move them and reshoot. “Remember, it’s those first impressions that are most important when buyers are viewing hundreds of photos of homes online,” explains Bell.

Clean everything

We’re not just talking about the counters and floors here. Everything in your home should get a scrub, from muddy siding or dingy carpeting to wood furniture and curtains. Again, make sure to view your home with a critical eye: You may be visually immune to your scuffed-up garage door, but buyers won’t be. Don’t let them get distracted by a grimy door, walls, or windows — they might start to wonder what other home-upkeep tasks have been neglected.

Reprinted and edited from: TRULIA'S BLOG \ Real Estate 101


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