Getting Your Home Ready –
The first thing to know is CURB APPEAL SELLS!
This can be the most important selling image of all. Home buyers make a decision to look at more photos or to book a viewing based on if they like what they see . Pictures can be like the centerpiece to your real estate marketing campaign. Its important to take a few small steps in efforts to ensure the home can look the best it can to perspective home buyers. Its no different than when you would prepare yourself for a photo shoot with the right clothing, hair, and making yourself look great .
Realtors , feel free to send this link to your clients to prepare for the photo shoot .
The following check lists for
EXTERIOR GUIDELINES :
- Make sure that no vehicles are on the driveway nor in front of the house
- Remove covers on patio furniture, BBQ, pool
- Remove children’s toys where possible
- Clean and place cushions on outdoor seating
- Open patio umbrellas
- Neatly stow or better yet, completely remove hoses
- Remove any dog “presents” from the lawn to prevent ‘accidents’
- Clear gardens of dirt, leaves, etc.
- Clear driveway, walk ways, mailbox, of dirt, leaves, etc ( consider pressure wash if needed )
- If it’s garbage day and possible, wheel bins and garbage cans to a location where they interfere as little as possible
- Put away hoses and
- Ensure ALL outdoor porch lights – including pool lights – work and that instructions are left for how to operate all exterior and pool lights.
WINDOWS: Clean dirty windows, remove screens if you don’t wish to have them in images, open window treatments as symmetrically as possible. Don’t forget glass balcony guards
Open all front window blinds and curtains and make sure they look uniform
Prune trees and shrubs
Apply fresh mulch or pine straw
Plant blooming flowers
Remove dead plants or flowers
Remove all empty plant containers
* Please have these items taken care of before I get there so I can start taking photos of the outside as soon as I arrive.
INTERIOR GUIDELINES :
In general it is a good idea to minimize personal items on surfaces such as sideboards , that have a great many family pictures, etc.
Remove valuables that the owners do not wish to appear in published images. Clean up toys and pet toys and paraphernalia, pictures on fridges, etc. Flowers and other items that add color are welcome but remembering that ‘less is more’. Large orchids in small rooms can actually get in the way if the camera has to be situated close-by. Remove cordless phones, wired appliances, phone chargers, etc., from walls and counters.
- LIGHTS: If you prefer ‘lights on’ in images, turn on indoor lights in advance and replace any bulbs as necessary.
- BEDROOMS: Beds made, smoothed and as lump free as possible. Nightstands and vanities should be cleared of family pictures, with the minimum of items visible. If walk-in closets are to be photographed they should appear neat and organized. Try to reduce visible clutter in kids’ bedrooms.
- LIVING ROOM: Living room pillows should be orderly and fluffed. Surfaces should be dust-free
- KITCHEN: Minimize small kitchen appliances if there are many, remove paper towels, cleaners, etc, wipe and clear counters of excess items
- BATHROOMS: Always clear all medications and toiletries (minimal decorative soap, perfume bottles are OK). Clean shower glass. Towels should be as plain as possible , solid colors , and neatly folded. Remove bath mats.
- FIREPLACES: Depending on ease of use and for liability reasons, photographers may elect not to light fires. However, if you have a working fireplace and it is to be turned on, ensure the owners leave the flues open in advance.
While everything may not be applicable or possible it is best to prepare as much as you can for the photo shoot. Most of these checklists are things you would do anyway to be ready for more impactful showings or for an open house.