How to prepare for real estate photos

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Natasha

A professional photographer, graphic designer and marketer with expertise in the property market of Queensland, Australia.

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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home for Real Estate Photos

Selling your home is a significant milestone, and creating a positive first impression is crucial. In today’s digital world, that initial impression often happens online through real estate photos. High-quality, captivating photos can make your property stand out from the competition and attract serious buyers. But how do you ensure your home shines in these all-important images?

This guide dives deep into everything you need to know to prepare your home for real estate photography success. We’ll cover essential steps, pro tips, and room-specific strategies to showcase your home’s true potential and capture buyer hearts (and wallets!).

Declutter and Depersonalize your space.

Imagine walking into a beautifully furnished art gallery – clean lines, curated pieces, and ample space to envision your own artistic treasures. That’s the feeling you want to evoke in potential buyers. The key? Decluttering and depersonalize.

  • Embrace the Edit: Remove excess furniture that overcrowds the space. Aim for a comfortable flow that allows potential buyers to imagine their own furniture arrangements.
  • Pack Away Personal Touches: Family photos, souvenirs, and other personal items can distract from the home’s features. Pack them away for the photoshoot.
  • Less is More: Clear countertops, shelves, and surfaces. Put away knick-knacks and unnecessary decorative items. Remember, a clean and uncluttered space feels larger and more inviting.

The importance of natural light for a successful real estate image.

Lighting is a photographer’s best friend, and natural light is the gold standard for real estate photography. Here’s how to harness its power:

  • Open Up the Sunshine: On the day of the photoshoot, throw open curtains, blinds, and shutters to allow maximum natural light to flood the rooms. This creates a bright, airy feel that translates beautifully in photos.
  • Embrace the Golden Hour: If possible, schedule your photoshoot for the “golden hour” – the hour or so after sunrise or before sunset. This soft, diffused light creates a warm and inviting ambiance in photos.
  • Strategize for Evenings: For darker rooms or evening photoshoots, strategically place lamps and turn on overhead lights. Aim for warm, balanced lighting that avoids harsh shadows.

Highlighting Your Home’s Best Features.

Now that your home is bathed in natural light and decluttered, it’s time to stage and arrange the space to highlight its best features.

  • Focal Points: Arrange furniture to create focal points in each room. This could be a fireplace, a stunning piece of artwork, or a beautifully set dining table.
  • Flow and Functionality: Ensure furniture placement allows for easy movement through the space. Potential buyers should be able to envision themselves navigating the room comfortably.
  • Accessorize Wisely: Introduce pops of color and visual interest with carefully placed throw pillows, blankets, and decorative accents.

Room-Specific Strategies for better photographs.

Living Room: Create a welcoming conversation area by arranging furniture around a coffee table. Add a cozy throw blanket and some throw pillows for an inviting touch.

Kitchen: This is a major selling point! Clear countertops, stage essential appliances, and add a pop of color with a bowl of fresh fruit.

Bathrooms: Sparkling clean is the motto. Neatly fold towels, remove toiletries, and add a touch of elegance with a decorative soap dish or flower vase.

Bedrooms: Make the bed with fresh linens and inviting throw pillows. Consider removing extra furniture to showcase spaciousness.

Dining Room: Set the table with attractive place settings to create a sense of occasion and highlight the functionality of the space.

Exterior: Don’t neglect your home’s exterior! Ensure the lawn is mowed, edges are trimmed, and flowers are blooming (if it’s the season). Add a doormat and a potted plant near the entrance for a touch of charm.

  • Conceal the Cords: Unsightly wires and cables can detract from the clean look you’ve worked hard to achieve. Try tucking them behind furniture or strategically placing plants to hide them.
  • Furniture Tuck: Strategically position furniture to hide cords behind legs, bookshelves, or cabinets. This simple trick keeps your space clutter-free and visually appealing in photos.
  • Cord Covers: Consider using attractive cord covers that match the baseboards or furniture. This provides a more polished look compared to loose wires snaking across the floor.
  • Creative Camouflage: For particularly stubborn cords, get creative! Use potted plants or strategically placed baskets to disguise them in a natural and visually pleasing way.
  • Pet-fect Presentation: While we adore our furry friends, their presence can be distracting in real estate photos. Here’s how to create a pet-neutral environment:
  • Pack Away Pet Essentials: Remove pet beds, food bowls, water dishes, leashes, and toys. This allows potential buyers to envision themselves and their own belongings in the space.
  • Minimize Pet-Related Scents: For stubborn pet odors, consider thoroughly cleaning carpets, furniture, and pet areas with odor-neutralizing solutions. You can also place bowls of baking soda or fresh coffee grounds around the house to absorb lingering smells.
  • Repair Pet Damage: Address any pet-related damage, such as scratched doors or snagged carpets, before the photoshoot. A well-maintained space creates a positive impression.

Professional tips from everyday property photographers.

  • Conceal the Cords: Unsightly wires and cables can detract from the clean look you’ve worked hard to achieve. Try tucking them behind furniture or strategically placing plants to hide them.
  • Furniture Tuck: Strategically position furniture to hide cords behind legs, bookshelves, or cabinets. This simple trick keeps your space clutter-free and visually appealing in photos.
  • Cord Covers: Consider using attractive cord covers that match the baseboards or furniture. This provides a more polished look compared to loose wires snaking across the floor.
  • Creative Camouflage: For particularly stubborn cords, get creative! Use potted plants or strategically placed baskets to disguise them in a natural and visually pleasing way.
  • Pet-fect Presentation: While we adore our furry friends, their presence can be distracting in real estate photos. Here’s how to create a pet-neutral environment:
  • Pack Away Pet Essentials: Remove pet beds, food bowls, water dishes, leashes, and toys. This allows potential buyers to envision themselves and their own belongings in the space.
  • Minimize Pet-Related Scents: For stubborn pet odors, consider thoroughly cleaning carpets, furniture, and pet areas with odor-neutralizing solutions. You can also place bowls of baking soda or fresh coffee grounds around the house to absorb lingering smells.
  • Repair Pet Damage: Address any pet-related damage, such as scratched doors or snagged carpets, before the photoshoot. A well-maintained space creates a positive impression.

Thinking like a buyer:

  • Focus on Functionality: Potential buyers want to understand how they’ll live in the space. Highlight the functional aspects of each room. In the kitchen, showcase ample counter space and well-organized cabinets. In the bathroom, emphasize features like a double vanity or a soaking tub.
  • Address Potential Concerns: Anticipate buyer concerns and address them visually. If a room feels small, use furniture placement and strategic mirror placement to create an illusion of more space. For rooms with limited natural light, consider adding strategically placed lamps to brighten the space in photos.
  • Less is More: While staging adds personality, avoid overdoing it. Too much furniture or decor can make the space feel cluttered and overwhelm potential buyers. Aim for a curated look that allows buyers to envision their own belongings in the space.
    Consider Hiring a Stager:
     For a truly polished look, consider hiring a professional home stager. Stagers can transform your space and create a neutral yet inviting ambiance that appeals to a broad range of buyers. They can help with furniture placement, decor selection, and creating a cohesive flow throughout the home.
  • Consult a Real Estate Photographer: A professional real estate photographer knows how to capture the best angles and lighting to showcase your home in its finest light. Discuss your vision with them and ask for recommendations on how to prepare your home for the photoshoot. They may offer additional tips on furniture arrangement, accessory placement, and how to maximize natural light.

    By following these pro tips, you can ensure your home presents its best self in real estate photos and captures the attention of potential buyers. Remember, a little planning and preparation go a long way in achieving a successful sale.

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