Professional photography is one of the keys to selling your home for top dollar. Of course, even the best photos can fail if the subject matter (your gorgeous home) is not in the right condition. Although you can hire a professional home stager or cleaners to prepare your home for a photo shoot, there’s plenty you can do on your own to get ready.
For photos that will be sure to “wow” buyers, here are five tips to follow when staging your home.
1. Clean and declutter everywhere
To begin, mop and sweep the floors, vacuum and shampoo the carpets, and dust off the shelves and cabinets. Make sure all the windows and mirrors are free of streaks, and ensure that open shelves with books and décor look organized and not overcrowded.
Next, you should declutter your home. Buyers are interested in large and spacious homes, and having small appliances cluttering up the kitchen counters or stacks of magazines sitting out on side tables creates the opposite effect. Make sure that the closets are organized and cleared out, that wires for electronics are tucked away, and that everyday items like toiletries or cutlery are out of frame. If you’re having problems storing all your items while keeping areas neat and tidy, consider buying a storage unit to keep items out of the way.
2. Take yourself out of it
3. Decorate smart
Once you’ve created a blank slate, you can start redecorating your home. Think about how you can add small items for a significant impact, such as a display of art that adds a touch of color in a room or new pillows to refine a living room. If you need some inspiration about decorating choices, hire a home stager or interior designer to help you.
When decorating for property photography, avoid overdecorating. A shelf with too many books or ornaments can look distasteful. A photographer can edit out items to make a room appear less cluttered, but to avoid the extra work, it’s better not to incorporate too many decorative items from the get-go. If it’s your first time, avoid using props, as they can come off as distracting or cheesy when not done correctly.
4. A room-by-room guide
The kitchen is one of the most important areas to stage for photos and showings, as this is one of the key rooms that impresses buyers. Make sure the countertop appears as big as possible by cleaning off appliances, tools, and other items that collect on the tabletop. Then, add décor items to keep the area from looking too stark. If there is outdated furniture like worn-down cabinets in the room, make a slight home improvement that’s seller-focused by adding new cabinet hardware.
Living rooms are another important area to stage, as buyers look to these rooms to socialize or relax in. Make sure to neutralize the room by painting over too-bright walls or using a couch slipcover on mismatched furniture. Then, bring in some visual interest with different textures and smart pops of color. Clear off the coffee tables and side tables, and then add one or two carefully selected décor items, like a large book or lamp that matches the design flow of the room. Maintain a clear theme throughout the space for a sense of unity.
The focus point in bedrooms is naturally the bed, so make sure to plan around the bed when making design choices here. A room should look cozy and comfortable, so stick with soft and neutral colors. If you’re decorating a children’s room, you have more leeway for brightly colored quilts. When considering the color palette for a space, a good rule of thumb is to stick to the 60-30-10 rule. This means 60% of the room should be a neutral color, 30% a secondary color, and 10% an accent color.
The biggest challenge in the bathroom is all its reflective surfaces, which are amplified in the mirror. Make sure the mirror itself is clean, as well as the countertop, tub, and toilet. It’s easy to overfill a bathroom, so clear off the countertops, remove the rugs, and add small touches like a nice soap dispenser and a decorative hand towel for a touch of elegance and refinement.
5. Don’t forget the outside
Also, take down any front yard decoration or lawn ornaments that are eccentric, faded, or polarizing to increase the interest in your home. For the backyard, tuck away garden hoses and store away any tools like rakes or shovels. Then, stage outdoor seating areas like covered decks and patios by straightening out and cleaning furniture, adding pops of color, and turning on outdoor lights.
Ready for stellar real estate photography?
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock