Preparing Your Home for Listing Photos


There is a lot that goes into selling a house, and it’s more than just making sure your house looks great. Home staging is a great way to make your house stand out above all the rest in order to get your house to sell fast, and often for a little more. You know that selling a house is hard work. It really takes a team to sell a house efficiently, and that’s why you chose to use the team behind TheSellersEdge.com. When you are selling your Idaho home, there is no better team in the state to help you.

Not only do they have a guarantee to sell your home fast, but they also have the team that you need. Your real estate agent performed a comparative market analysis, otherwise known as a CMA, in order to determine the market value of your house. You fixed what needed fixing, threw on a fresh coat of paint, cleaned up your yard, and hired a professional home stager. So now your house is ready to sell, right?

Not exactly. Selling a home goes beyond just throwing a “for sale” sign in the front yard and waiting for phone calls. Your real estate agent will also post your house online, using the MLS. This lets other agents, and potential buyers, see the information about your house. If they like what they see, they will come visit your home, and maybe even put in an offer. Without that online presence, the odds of selling your house drop significantly. But what draws in potential buyers when they see your listing? Good pictures.

Just like the curb appeal brings people into your home, pictures of your home will actually bring people to your curb. It’s like a trail of breadcrumbs. You want to pique the buyer’s interest, so that they actually want to come visit your house. And when they arrive at your house, you want them to actually go inside and look. But without good pictures of your house, potential buyers won’t even come take a look at your house. They can’t see what they are thinking about buying, and that just turns into a pass.

The Basics of Real Estate Photography

The nicer the photos, the better your house looks. And if your house looks professional, it’s possible that you will be able to sell your house for more. Keep in mind, however, that your photographer can only make your house look as good as it is. They will do their best to make your home look its best, but they can only work with the house that you have given them.

Is your living room a mess? The photographer can’t hide that on camera. And even through your living room is beautiful, and that brick fireplace is an incredible centerpiece, all of that will be overshadowed if your house is a mess for the pictures. You are going to need to be prepared for the photographer. This is where hiring a professional stager comes in.

Not only will having your home staged professionally help it sell faster, and potentially for more money, it will make the pictures of your home that much better. Sure, it might be a slight inconvenience to keep your home clean constantly, especially if you are living in while selling, but the advantages make it worth that small inconvenience. And that is how you need to think when selling your house. You are trying to sell your house as fast as you can for as much money as you can. Getting prepared for real estate photography is a must, in order for your house to look great, and your pictures to look great.

First Impressions Are Everything

And you need to take the time, because first impressions matter. A potential buyer’s first impression of your home is probably the single most important factor when determining if they will put in an offer on your home. If they fall in love with from the start, they will have to have your house. And that is a position you want them to be in. It gives you more negotiating power.

First impressions go beyond the entirety of your house, however. And your real estate photographer will use first impressions to make each room of your house stand out. When a buyer first enters a room, it’s through the doorway, and that provides their first impression of the space. Your photographer will use that, by taking pictures from the doorway of rooms to maximize that first impression. So keep in this mind when preparing for pictures. Arrange furniture (or allow your home stager to) in a way that utilizes the space correctly. Highlight windows and light, as well as keeping the doorway and first impressions in mind.

Built-in features also make great focal points, and it’s important to arrange furniture and décor to highlight those features as well. If your living room has a fireplace, the photographer will angle shots to include that feature as well. The more you can show space being utilized correctly, the better first impression your home and all of its rooms will make.

Clutter: Less is More

Your house might be spotless and clean, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t free of clutter. Clutter can be too much furniture, too many knickknacks, or even too many family photos. You want to make your house as open and impersonal as possible, and you want your pictures to be the same. Buyers want to be able to see themselves in your house, and if you have too much of your stuff, or you, in the house, buyers won’t be able to see past that.

So, go through each room and make it as generic, and stylish, as possible. Remove family photos or any other personal effects. Not only will this help your photographer in taking pictures, and help your real estate agent sell your home faster, it also gives you a head start on packing. Pack up your personal items, and you’ve tackled two projects at once: decluttering, and getting a head start on your packing.

While not directly tied to clutter, it does add to the overall feeling of clutter. Make sure you deep clean your home, removing any hard water stains and any other buildup that has accumulated over the years. If you have pets, you will want to make them as invisible as possible, during the photo shoot and when showing your home. Again, it’s not that everyone hates animals, rather it’s to create a generic space where buyers’ can picture themselves living.

Doing the Preparation

Those are the basics of getting ready for a real estate photographer to come take pictures of your home. Now, you’ll find a thorough breakdown of everything you need to do in order to get your house picture ready and show ready, inside and out.

When it comes to the outside of your home, it’s all about curb appeal. Not only is curb appeal about first impressions, but buyers want their future home to look good on the outside and the inside. The outside of your home will be the first thing anyone sees, whether driving by, or finding your listing online.

  • Clean up the yard by pulling weeds.
  • Trim back any overgrown trees or shrubs. Make sure trees aren’t touching your house or roof.
  • Rake up any leaves.
  • Mow your lawn and edge near your driveway, patio, or any walkways.
  • Store garden hoses neatly, and put them away.
  • Clear the clutter. Put away any toys, garbage cans, and lawn or garden tools.
  • Use mulch to cover dirt.
  • Keep your cars in the garage. When you are taking pictures or showing your home, keep cars of the driveway.
  • Sweep your sidewalks, porches, and patios. Clean any outdoor furniture you might have.

Moving inside the house, you’ll want to emphasize as much natural light as possible. Open blinds and curtains, clean the windows, and turn on all the lights in your home. This includes lamps, surface lights, and any lights that are a part of furniture or appliances. Replace burnt out bulbs if there are any. For pictures, the more light the better.

  • Kitchen. Get rid of the clutter. Remove everything except the bare essentials from the countertops. You want a clean and open appearance. Remove small appliances, as well as any dishes. If there is child-proof equipment on the cabinets or cupboards, remove them for the pictures. You’ll even want to clear away cutting boards, towels, soap bottles, garbage cans, cleaning supplies, and any magnets or decorations on the fridge.
  • Living Room. First up is making sure that the furniture is arranged properly. Create a layout with a goal of making the space look open, beautiful, and functional. Get rid of any magazines on the coffee table. Instead, put out a nice coffee table book, or some other simple decoration. With bookshelves, remove half the books, and arrange the rest in a nice pattern. Keep hardbacks and colorful books. Take away any old or worn books.
  • Family Room. Here, you’ll want to hide all of the different remotes and controllers for the TV, sound system, and video game systems. Basically, tuck away all the small electronic devices that get cluttered in the family room. You will also want to manage cords if they are visible, and make sure they are out of sight. Same is true for toys.
  • Dining Room. Keep it clean. Wipe the table and chairs, sweep and mop, and clear away any left over dishes or food. You can add a single centerpiece to the table if you desire. Arrange the chairs neatly around the table
  • Bedrooms. While it might be tempting, refrain from hiding everything under the bed. Oftentimes, the hidden items aren’t as hidden as you would hope, and they will be visible in real estate photos or videos. If you need to, just move everything out of the room for the pictures. Make the bed neatly, and coordinate with bedding and pillows. Remove any posters, picture, or other decorations that you need to make the space more generic. If there is anything on a nightstand besides a lamp, and maybe an alarm clock, remove it.
  • Bathrooms. Take everything off the counter, and everything out of the shower. No toothbrushes left behind, or shampoo in the shower. You’ll even want to take out the garbage can, bathmats, laundry hamper, toilet brush, scales, and extra toilet paper. Make sure the toilet lid is closed. Hang fresh towels on the rails.

Be Prepared

Even though it can be a lot of hard work to get ready for your real estate photographer, it is well worth the effort. Your pictures will stand out, which means your house will stand out. A solid first impression goes a long way in getting your house sold.

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure about where to find a good photographer. TheSellersEdge.com has an excellent marketing team, which includes real estate photographers. When you are selling your Idaho home, there is no better real estate team. They are number one in the state, and they have all of the tools and people necessary to make selling your home painless.