Your home’s first impression for a home-buyer is most often online. How your home looks in those pictures can make a major difference on whether you will get a buyer in to your home to look at it or not. As a realtor, I sometimes cringe looking at the quality of photos posted of a home or the messiness of a house which stands out more than the natural beauty of the home itself. You don’t want this to be your house so read more for tips to help get your house picture-perfect ready:
#1. Make sure you take care of the major items to prepare your home for sale like touching-up paint, making necessary repairs around the house such as broken or damaged items, cleaning carpets of obvious stains, and sprucing up your yard. You want your house to be in it’s best shape to get top dollar. See my earlier blog on The Seller’s Roadmap if you aren’t sure on the process of selling your home.
#2. Make sure you hire a realtor that will coordinate professional photos for you. Most realtors should offer to pay for these photos – if they try to convince you they can just take the photos on their phone, I’d highly suggest you start looking for a new realtor! You (and your home) deserve better. Professional photos will help make your home shine.
#3. Talk with your realtor about whether it is worth the investment to stage your home. Houses that are vacant or have furniture that have seen better days may really benefit from home staging.
#4. A few days before the pictures, take an afternoon to prepare your home for the photos. This includes:
- Putting away & organizing major clutter. Try to clean off counters, tops of furniture (such as coffee tables & desks), tidy up shelving that may be overflowing with personal items, tuck away pet supplies, and put away laundry.
- Minimize toiletries in bathrooms & freshen the space. Too many products on the counters may imply there is not enough storage. Plan for the photographer to open shower curtains for the photos so try to keep the shower/bathtub clean & clutter-free.
- Check all light bulbs and replace ones that are burnt out. The photographer will likely want all the lights turned on and it will look funny if one of two bathroom lights are out, for example. Don’t forget exterior lights!
- Do a thorough clean of your house. Consider a professional carpet clean if the carpets are particularly dirty & stains visible.
- Spruce up the yard and outdoor space. Wash off dirty outdoor furniture, clean-up the yards and gardens, pull any dead plants, mow the lawn, put away children’s toys and games.
- Feel free to add some additional greenery inside or out with plants, but be careful about dating the pictures to a specific holiday in case your house doesn’t sell as quickly as you hope.
- Hide electrical cords, including any jumble of wires that may be visible under your TV console or desk.
#5. On the day of the photos, you’ll want to do a final run through sprucing up your property.
- Clean counter-tops and do another round of de-cluttering. Put away the majority of items on the kitchen counters such as dish drying racks, extra appliances, utensil holders, spices, etc. You want to make your counters look as spacious as possible.
- Wipe down hardwood & tiled floors and try to get your appliances to shine, especially stainless steel that easily show smudges.
- Make all the beds and ensure pillows & throws look tidy on furniture.
- Clean windows of smudges & dirt which can show up in photos and take away from the pretty windows or views.
- Toilet seats down & neatly fold any hand towels around the house.
- Turn on all lights – don’t expect the photographer to do that for you.
Finally, after the photos are taken – it is still important to keep the house in excellent condition for the showings. Nice photos will help get people into your house, but you want them to be impressed once they are there too. Keep the house clean, tidy, and odor free while the house is on the market!
If you are thinking about selling your home in the Boulder/Denver area, I would love to help. I always provide professional photos for my clients, advice on updates or tips to help the house sell for top dollar, an innovative & custom marketing campaign around each listing, and I always strive to exceed my client’s expectations with exceptional client service. Please email me below for more information on how we can work together & to see my sample listing marketing plan.