Placing Your Home On The Market? Be Ready For The Photo Shoot.
It should go without saying, but unfortunately the industry is not quite there yet. It’s catching on quickly however and most everyone is coming to understand that for the majority of real estate buyers the search starts online. It is therefore absolutely critical that your property shines in its best light on the internet / social medial platforms and draws the consumers’ attention amidst the multitude of other properties that everyone has the opportunity to get their “sneak peek” at prior to physically touring them. The key to driving interest to your home is to be one of the offerings in the marketplace that stands out, and a simple yet too often bypassed opportunity by listing agents / sellers is settling for unflattering (not professional) photography.
As a listing agent I always incur the expense of having my inventory photographed by a stellar photographer so that from the first day we go live with our listings we are receiving the best possible exposure. More exposure equals more interest, which translates into a faster and higher final sale price.
Let me show you what I mean. Below is a slideshow of one of the properties I have sold in the past. We were under contract in less than a week and it was due first and foremost to the correct pricing. Immediately thereafter this home garnered the most interest possible upon hitting the market which caused the right “buzz” and had multiple prospective buyers looking that triggered a multiple offer situation.
I use Venjhamin Reyes (shameless plug) as my photographer but I have worked with other excellent industry professionals as well and I can say that there are plenty of them out there. There is no reason why you should not be able to have your photography session scheduled quickly for your property’s shoot once it’s in form. For me it’s a personality click – I get along well with Venjhamin and enjoy working with him but I have used other quality individuals when his scheduling did not match up with my clients’.
Preparing Your Home For The Photo Shoot
Make sure your home is ready prior to your real estate agent and his photographer knocking on your front door.
There is a lot of planning / scheduling / work that goes into having a successful photo shoot of your home, and most of the initial “work” part of it comes from the seller.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how you can prepare your spectacular property for its moment to shine for all of the eager eyes waiting for its unveiling on the massive internet stage:
- thorough professional house cleaning prior to the shoot – day before or a few hours if possible
- remove all items from the bathroom counter tops – this includes toothpaste, toothbrushes, tissue boxes (ornate or not), rinse glasses, brushes, lotions, soaps, bottles, towels, and anything and everything else
- remove most items from the kitchen counter tops – your photographer may opt to leave that nice espresso maker where it is or that fancy spice rack but let him / her be the judge of that, and definitely put away the detergent soap bottle, dish rag, brushes, dirty dishes and everything else
- magnets and stickers off of the refrigerator
- waste baskets out of sight in both the bathrooms and the kitchen
- towels out of sight in both the bathrooms and the kitchen
- let the sunshine in and turn the lights on – open those blinds / curtains and make sure that all of the light bulbs are working and have the home fully illuminated for the photo shoot
- put away / organize the clutter – sneakers and clothes in the closets / drawers, toys put away in bins or organized, throws neatly folded and put away or draped over the furniture, books / magazines stored away or neatly organized, eyesore furniture disposed of (better to not have than have in this case), and all of the framed family pictures that are not hanging on the wall or resting on shelves stored away
- if you own pets make sure they do not photo bomb
- any interior work that your realtor advised you to take care of should be completed prior to your photo shoot – this includes but is not limited to painting, patching, fixing of doors, hanging or taking down artwork, rearranging furniture, etc.
- any exterior work that your realtor advised you to take care of should be completed prior to your photo shoot – this includes but is not limited to painting, patching, landscaping, debris removal, fixing fences, roof work, sweeping out driveways and patios, repairing screens, replacing rotted fascia, pressure washing, etc.
- make sure your windows and glass French doors are clean
- remove your vehicles (no matter how fancy / expensive they are) from the driveway and let the photographer get his / her best shots of the home’s exterior
- discuss with your realtor and the photographer whether it’s better in your particular case to have the floor rug down or to remove it for the photo shoot – this is on a case by case scenario as you may have some gorgeous hardwood floor to show off or that rug may look better down instead of showcasing that 1970’s 13×13 original ceramic tile
- as a general rule leave most counters free of too many items – for example the dining room table may have a very nice center piece to leave in place for the shoot but go ahead and put away the rest of the China you normally have sitting on the table that never gets used because you eat around the kitchen counter most of the time
- and I will leave the rest to your photographer and real estate agent to guide you through as I think I’ve covered many of the general items above
Your home is a special place to you and you’ve personalized it. Now you’re getting ready to have a multitude of strangers walking through your doors to see it from their perspective and hopefully appreciate it as much or more than you do to draw the inspiration to make the offer. Help them out. Clean it up, organize and neutralize it some to increase your chances of selling it faster and for more money.
I try to have my sellers implement the suggestions above when preparing their home for its big moment and it has worked well for us. Upon accepting the listing agreement I walk my inventory homes with their owners and we discuss the items above to make sure that we are on the same page in terms of expectations and putting our best out there from the very beginning.
Here’s a look at another property I sold in the recent past:
Now isn’t that more attractive than looking at those awkward IPhone pictures some realtors have taken of their listings? You know the pics of the toilets; half of the kitchen (because let’s face it the IPhone doesn’t have the lens that a professional’s camera does) counter with the dirty dishes in the sink; the “look down the rabbit hole” shot from the top of the stairs to showcase the railing that only ends up making people dizzy; the close up shot of the “fancy” faucet; the cluttered garage shot; the disheveled master bedroom shot and the list goes on…
Your South Florida Professional Realtor
Thanks for taking the time to read my real estate blog and I hope you found it helpful.
For your South Florida real estate needs, you can count on me to provide you with proper buyer / seller representation. I care about my customers and their needs and I have the experience and competence to deliver exceptional service.
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