Preparing a property for great photos is similar to preparing a property for showing. However there are some photography specific preparations that can make for better photos. These are easy to do.
- Make the house look its best
Clean, de-clutter, and vacuum the carpets, just as you would do for an in-person showing. A clean home shows better and looks more spacious.
- Turn ON all the lights
That includes lamps and fixtures under kitchen counters. This makes the home look bright and inviting. You know where the switches and plugs are much better than the photographer will. It’s best to have this done before the photographer arrives in order to keep the appointment on schedule and avoid delays that could add to the cost. It’s amazing how much time can be lost hunting for light switches.
- Turn OFF ceiling fans
Spinning fans create unusual effects in the camera.
- Turn off the TV
- Open curtains
You want to let in lots of nice natural light, so pull those curtains open.
- Lower the blinds and tilt them about half way open.
You don’t want them closed so that the light is cut, but at the same time you want to focus on the interior space, not the yard next door. By partially closing the blinds we get a good compromise. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if they are mostly open or mostly closed, as long as they are all consistent throughout the room. The exception, obviously, is if the window offers a great view. Then you want those blinds all the way open so as not to obstruct the view.
- Close toilet seats
For photos a closed seat is the only way to go. A nice touch you can add is to fold a couple hand towels and set them on the seat lid to help dress up the bath a bit.
- Shower curtains
The positioning of your shower curtain really depends on the bathroom. If the room is really small, open curtains can make it feel larger. Likewise, decorative tile work around the tub/shower can be a genuine sales point and should be displayed. In cases where the curtain should be open, clean out the shampoo and shaving kit. De-clutter the tub area just like any other part of the house. If that’s not practical, or if there’s really nothing special about the shower area, then we’ll just close the curtains.
- Don’t forget behind the doors!
Many rooms are photographed from the inside with the door closed so that the focus is on the immediate space. That means coats, bathrobes, and other things hanging on the back side of the door will be visible in the photos. Bathrooms, in particular, often have robes and nightclothes hanging on the back of the door you really don’t want the world to see.
- You DON’T need to remove every appliance from the kitchen
Most people expect to see a toaster or blender in a kitchen, or a coffee table book on a coffee table. While you want the home to look clean and organized you also want buyers to feel this is a home that they can actually LIVE in. When a house is too sparse, it looks like a vacant staged property and not a true home.
- Pick up pet bowls and beds
These few simple things will make your photos look much better and present your home in the best light. Remember, we don’t stage a home or move things around, but we do present the best face as it is.