When you're getting your home ready for pictures, most folks think doing a deep clean is all it'll take. While that is true, that a deep clean will need to take place, to really make the photographs "market ready", it can be more complicated than that. A vast majority of buyers are viewing a home online before they ever step foot in the door which means they need to be able to picture themselves there. Think of this as the general rule: Less of You Means More of Them.
Well Before the Photography Shoot
Repair any items that will need to be fixed not only for aesthetics, but to keep buyers from requesting repairs on items that could have been handled easily to begin with. This can even be as simple as replacing any burned out light bulbs.
Refresh and possibly update the paint on the walls. Neutral colors are always great to go with...no matter how much you love that bright red kitchen.
Landscape the outside of the home with fresh flowers, trim the bushes, clean up trees, mow the lawn, and even pressure wash the cement and walkways to be sure you have the ultimate curb appeal.
Speaking of pressure washing, also consider this for the outside of the home. Roofs that have streaks from weather can also be cleaned as well.
If you have a pool or spa, bring this up to a level you are ready to dive into yourself.
If you are able, remove excessive or clunky furniture. Have a large safe or over-sized couch that eats up a majority of the living room? Take it to a storage or your new house right away. You could even go as far as to move out of the home (of course, you'd likely need your new home already) and have a stager put in minimal furniture to give the home a modern and clean feel.
While we are removing items from the home, it's also a good idea to remove "you" from the home. Pictures of the family, magnets on the fridge, personal decor, etc. You may love the theme of your kitchen, but it might not be great for photographing the sale of the home. Keep the decor light with a plant here and there, maybe a modern piece of art, candles, etc. A home shouldn't be bare but think more along the lines of minimalism so someone else could "move in" when they see it.
If you needed to get a mobile storage unit like a POD or a large trash dumpster, be sure to time the photography session after these have been hauled away.
Right Before the Photography Shoot
Park cars in the garage or at a location away from the view of the home.
Put all trash bins in the garage including the indoor ones. If you have pets, it's also a good idea to put their food, water bowls, crates, and bedding in the garage during this time too.
All window blinds and curtains should be open.
Turn on all lights and turn off all ceiling fans. The motion will not look great when taking a photograph, however, all the lighting will help the images clarity.
Be sure to remove all seasonal items as they can easily outdate photography.
Deep clean everything. Dust, vacuum, clean windows, wash showers, clean mirrors, wash handles, clear the dishes, it's all going to be photographed with a bright light and everything is sure to pop up.
Put all shampoos, conditioners, hand soaps, toothbrushes, etc. under the sink to clear counters and showers.
Clear counter tops, coffee tables, end tables, nightstands, etc.
Make the beds and fluff all of the pillows, including the ones on the couch.
Turn off all TV's, computers, and close laptops. Be sure to clean all screens.
Remove rugs to reveal real flooring and give the room a larger feel.
Think of your home as a canvas that you'll create someone's dream home on. Virtual Tours and 3D Imagery has certainly been a great development to displaying a home, but it's not a substitute for what you put together. Giving buyers the ability to see themselves in the home will not only entice them to take a tour, but possibly strike a chord that will bring you your next offer. Do you have more tips? I'd love to hear them! Be sure to send us your particulars. We always love more ideas.