As a home owner, you recognise the value of curb appeal. You know that your house has one chance to make a positive first impression. And you understand that bad impressions could delay your sale or lower your home's total value.
But as you spruce up the exterior and attend to the landscaping, don't forget to prepare the interior of your home for professional real estate photos as well.
Many potential buyers investigate homes online before they ever tour the physical property, so you need to make sure your photos look fantastic from every angle. The following steps, in particular, can help your home shine in front of the lens.
1. Remove Clutter and Personal Items
Many buyers need room to imagine themselves living in your home. If you have family photos covering the walls and toothbrushes scattered on your bathroom counter, buyers may have a hard time seeing past your personal items to fully enjoy the rest of the image.
Of course, professional photographers can correct the occasional awkward TV cord here or table smudge there. But you don't want to let your furniture, decorations and appliances distract from your home's best features. So tuck away those post cards on the refrigerator and hide that old toaster in one of your cabinets until after the shoot.
2. Introduce Additional Lighting
Natural lighting works wonders for home. It makes your rooms look bigger, softer and more inviting. It also brings out the striking colours in your wallpaper or your carpeting.
Fluorescent lights and LED lighting, in contrast, tend to make your home look cold and hard. Though a skilled photographer can help balance interior lighting via multiple portable flashes, your best photos will likely rely heavily on natural light from outside.
To maximise your natural lighting, hang mirrors on the walls to bounce light into darker areas. You may also want to install tubular skylights or swap solid doors for glass-panelled alternatives.
3. Clean the Carpets and Flooring
Many of your home's best features likely stand at waist level or higher, such as your gorgeous granite counter tops or your custom pedestal bathroom sink. But don't assume for a moment that your photographer will only snap images of these items.
Often times, real estate photographers step back so they can capture the entire room. These wide angle shots give buyers a distinct impression of space and grandeur. As a result, many of your photos will include your flooring, and a simple vacuum or mop won't be enough to hide years of stains.
Talk to a professional cleaner about deep cleaning your carpet or scrubbing the grout on your tile floors. If you have eye-catching rugs that you want your photographer to focus on, make sure the rugs receive a professional cleaning as well.
4. Refresh and Rearrange Your Upholstery
An empty home often looks boring, bland and unimaginative, so many photographers prefer that you leave some furniture in the room. A charming sofa or elegant chair can serve as a centrepiece or direct the eye to more important features in your home.
However, you don't have to stick to the same furniture arrangement you and your family have used for the past few years. If a kitchen chair looks striking in the bedroom, move it there. Or if a living room couch takes up too much space near the window, shift it out of the photographer's line of sight.
And like your floors, your furniture should look clean and well-kept. Leather couches should be free from stains, and throw pillows should accent the rest of the room. If necessary, hire a professional to clean and restore damaged upholstery.
Ask Your Photographer for More Advice
Although these tips will help you prepare your home for eye-catching photos, your photographer will likely have additional suggestions for you and your family. Before the actual shoot, talk to your real estate photographer about items that need to change or move to bring out the best features of your house.