A Picture is Worth One Thousand Words

Great photography sells houses. This is so important, I want to say it twice, great photography sells houses. On the face of it, no one would argue against the benefits of visually appealing photos. Yet many agents and sellers overlook this vitally important aspect when placing properties on the MLS.

As an experienced real estate agent, I have seen many listings that have been poorly marketed because the rooms weren’t properly lit or kitchen countertops were littered with small appliances,dish soap, and knick knacks. A little effort will go a long way to improve your chances of triggering a showing because of great photos presented to the buying public. Here are some tips to prepare your house for being photographed in the best light. (Pun alert!)

1) Clean everywhere. The more energy spent making your home appear well taken care of, the higher the payoff with every showing. Properly lit photos will pick up dirty windows, worn rugs and fingerprints on stainless steel. Take some time to walk through each room and ask yourself, ‘what will the camera see’? Don’t forget this goes for exterior shots as well. Freshly cut lawns and shoveled driveways give the buyer a great first impression. And it is the photo doing the work of giving that impression.

2) Declutter every room. If your home office has stacks of paper,cups of pens and paper clip holders, take the time to stow all office products, and let the photograph do the work of illustrating a clean surface.

3) Floorspace-organize your living spaces. The camera will pick up whether or not your home is spacious. Such items as magazine racks,knitting baskets, and fireplace utensils can make a living room look much smaller because it ‘looks’ busier. Consider removing any bulky furniture the demands too much floor space.

4) Decor is always a sensitive subject, but in the interest of selling your home, it would be wise to temporarily remove hobby collections,especially if they are dominating wall space. Asking a picture to depict an entire room means eliminating distractions to the prospective buyers when seeing photos online.

5) Cameras love light, and using light to eliminate dark corners will go a long way to improving your listing photos. When shooting the bathroom, using a portable light and placing it behind the shower curtain can add a warm touch to the photograph. And yes, the toilet seat should always be down.

Prepare your home for its debut on the market by following the above tips, and you will greatly improve the chances for getting your asking price. If you are thinking of listing your home, it is never too early to get your house ready for the first impression which will most likely be a picture.

Stacey Hennessey Fox Valley Realtor photo 2014Stacey Hennessey, Broker Associate, ABR, CRS
2014 Double Centurion, President’s Producer, Quality Service Pinnacle Producer