How to Get Your Home Photo Ready for Real Estate Listings

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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How to Get Your Home Photo Ready for Real Estate Listings
How to Get Your Home Photo Ready for Real Estate Listings

Preparing your home for real estate photos is crucial to attracting potential buyers. Start by de-cluttering each room and removing unnecessary items to achieve stunning visuals.

Enhance the curb appeal by creating an inviting exterior. Open blinds and curtains to maximize natural light and depersonalize the space by removing personal belongings.

Arrange furniture strategically to create a spacious and welcoming look.

Additionally, deep clean the entire home to ensure it shines in the photos. Focus on highlighting key features, and don’t forget to stage outdoor areas. Communicate your vision and expectations with the photographer for a successful photo shoot.

In my experience as a Rochester real estate agent, there are few things more important than selling a house than the presentation and photography.

Clearing Clutter: Removing Unnecessary Items from Rooms

When preparing your home for real estate photos, one of the first steps is to clear clutter and remove unnecessary items from each room. Real Estate agents call this staging a house. This is crucial to create a clean and visually appealing space that will capture the attention of potential buyers.

Start by reviewing each room and identifying items that are not essential or contribute to the overall aesthetic. Consider things such as excessive furniture, personal knick-knacks, or unnecessary décor. These items can make a room feel smaller and distract buyers from envisioning themselves living in the space.

Getting rid of these items is one of the things you should always do before listing for sale.

Once you have identified the unnecessary items, decide whether to store, sell, or donate them. Many companies will pick up donations.

Clearing out clutter not only improves the visual appeal of the rooms but also creates a sense of spaciousness, allowing buyers to focus on the key features and potential of the home.

In addition to removing unnecessary items, organize and de-clutter storage spaces such as closets, cabinets, and shelves. Buyers are often interested in the available storage options, and showcasing well-organized spaces will leave a positive impression.

Remember, the goal is to create a neutral and inviting environment that appeals to many buyers. By clearing clutter and removing unnecessary items, you are setting the stage for successful real estate photos that highlight the beauty and potential of your home.

Creating a Welcoming Exterior: Enhancing the Curb Appeal

When preparing your home for real estate photos, one crucial aspect is creating a welcoming exterior that enhances the curb appeal. The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see, so making a positive impression is essential.

Here are some steps you can take to achieve an inviting exterior:

  • Inspect and repair: Start by conducting a thorough inspection of the outside. Look for damaged areas, such as cracked walkways, peeling paint, or loose siding. Repair or replace these elements to ensure the home looks well-maintained.
  • Landscaping: Pay attention to your landscaping to create a visually appealing front yard. Trim overgrown bushes and trees, mow the lawn, and remove weeds. Consider adding colorful flowers or plants to add vibrancy to the space.
  • De-clutter: Remove any unnecessary items from the front porch or entryway. Clear away toys, bikes, or other objects that may distract from the home’s beauty. Keeping the area tidy will contribute to a clean and welcoming first impression.
  • Refresh the entrance: Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, if needed, to make it stand out. Consider choosing a color that complements the overall style of the home. Add a new welcome mat and ensure the door hardware is clean and in good condition.
  • Outdoor lighting: To highlight architectural features and create a warm ambiance, install outdoor lighting. Well-placed lighting can add depth and make the home appear more inviting in the evening.

Following these exterior home staging tips can significantly enhance your home’s curb appeal and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Remember, a welcoming exterior sets the stage for a memorable real estate photo and can make a lasting impact on those viewing the listing.

Maximizing Natural Light: Opening Blinds and Curtains

One of the critical ingredients for stunning real estate photos is ample natural light. When potential buyers browse listings, they want to see bright and inviting spaces. To achieve this, it’s essential to maximize the natural light in your home by opening blinds and curtains.

Start by pulling up those heavy drapes and opening up the blinds. This allows as much sunlight as possible to flood the rooms, creating a warm and welcoming ambiance. Consider replacing heavy window coverings with sheer curtains or blinds that let in more light while providing privacy.

Don’t forget about the importance of cleanliness! Dust and debris can accumulate on blinds and curtains, blocking light and making the space appear dull. Before opening them up, make sure to give them a thorough cleaning.

Dust the blinds with a microfiber cloth or use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Check the care instructions for curtains and wash or dry clean them as necessary to ensure they look fresh and bright.

It’s also worth noting that natural light can vary throughout the day. Take the time to observe when each room receives the most sunlight and schedule your real estate photo shoot accordingly.

Additionally, consider the direction the windows face, as it can affect the quality and intensity of the light. North-facing windows provide fabulous light, while south-facing windows offer warmer and more direct sunlight.

Remember, the goal is to showcase your home in its best possible light. Opening blinds and curtains maximize natural light, bringing out the beauty of each room and creating a welcoming atmosphere that potential buyers will find irresistible.

Depersonalizing the Space: Removing Personal Belongings

Depersonalizing your home is crucial in preparing it for real estate photos. The goal is to create a neutral and inviting atmosphere that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

Here are some tips to effectively depersonalize your home:

  • Remove family photos and personal mementos from walls and shelves. While these items hold sentimental value, they may distract buyers from focusing on the home’s features.
  • Take down any personalized artwork or decorations that may not appeal to many potential buyers. Opt for more neutral and universally appealing decor instead.
  • Clear away excessive personal belongings, such as excessive collections or memorabilia. Keeping the space clean and clutter-free will help buyers see the potential of each room.
  • Put away personal items from bathroom countertops, such as toothbrushes, toiletries, and medications. This helps create a spa-like atmosphere that buyers can imagine themselves enjoying.
  • Organize and de-clutter closets and storage areas. Buyers are often interested in storage space, so creating a neat and organized closet gives a positive impression.

Removing personal belongings and creating a clean, neutral environment allow potential buyers to visualize their belongings in the space. This step is essential in making a positive first impression in real estate photos and attracting serious buyers.

Furniture Arrangement: Creating a Spacious and Inviting Look

Real Estate Photography Tips - Create A Spacious and Inviting Look
Real Estate Photography Tips – Create A Spacious and Inviting Look

Strategically arranging furniture can significantly affect your home’s appearance in real estate photos. The right furniture arrangement can create space and make each room feel inviting to potential buyers. Here are some tips to achieve a spacious and welcoming look:

  • Remove unnecessary pieces: Start by de-cluttering the room and removing any furniture that is not essential. This will help create a more open and spacious feel.
  • Consider the flow: Arrange furniture in a way that allows for easy movement throughout the space. Ensure there is enough room to walk around without feeling cramped.
  • Showcase the focal point: If the room has a focal point, such as a fireplace or a large window with a stunning view, position furniture to highlight and enhance that feature.
  • Create conversational areas: Arrange furniture to create cozy, intimate seating areas that encourage conversation. This can be achieved by placing sofas and chairs facing each other.
  • Balance the room: Distribute furniture evenly throughout the space to create a sense of balance. Avoid overcrowding one area while leaving another empty.

Remember, the goal is to make potential buyers envision themselves living in the space. By arranging furniture to maximize space and highlight the best features, you can create a more inviting and appealing atmosphere in your home.

Deep Cleaning: Making the Home Spotless for Photos

One crucial step in preparing your home for real estate photos is to ensure it is spotless. Deep cleaning of every corner of the house will make it look more appealing and capture its true beauty in the pictures. Even selling a home in poor condition can benefit from spotless cleaning.

Here are some essential tips for achieving a spotless home:

  • Clean from Top to Bottom: Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and shelves. Then, wipe down walls, windows, and baseboards. Lastly, focus on cleaning the floors and carpets.
  • Pay Attention to Details: Don’t overlook small details like switch plates, doorknobs, and faucets. Use a microfiber cloth and a suitable cleaning solution to remove fingerprints and smudges.
  • Eliminate Odors: Unpleasant odors can turn off potential buyers. Open windows to air out the space, and consider using air fresheners or natural deodorizers like baking soda.
  • Tackle the Kitchen: Clean all kitchen surfaces, including countertops, sinks, and appliances. Pay extra attention to the oven, stove, and refrigerator, ensuring they are clean and presentable.
  • Freshen Up Bedrooms: Launder all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and comforters. Vacuum mattresses and fluff pillows. Arrange the bedding neatly to create an inviting look.
  • Refresh Bathrooms: Scrub the bathtub, shower, toilet, and sink to remove dirt or stains—Polish mirrors and faucets for a sparkling finish. Hang clean towels and consider adding decorative elements like plants or candles.
  • Don’t Forget the Flooring: Give special attention to the floors throughout the house. Vacuum carpets, mop hard floors, and consider hiring professional carpet cleaners for a deep steam cleaning.

Investing time and effort into deep cleaning your home will create a pristine environment that will capture the attention of potential buyers in the real estate photos. Remember, a spotless home reflects the care and attention you have put into preparing it for sale.

Highlighting Key Features: Showcasing the Best Aspects of the Home

When preparing your home for real estate photography, it’s crucial to highlight its key features and showcase the best aspects that make it stand out among other properties. By effectively highlighting these features, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and increase the chances of selling your home quickly. Here are some essential strategies to make your home shine:

  • Identify the unique selling points of your home, such as architectural details, upgraded amenities, or spacious living areas.
  • Focus on capturing stunning photographs of these features to create visual appeal. Use proper lighting techniques, angles, and composition to highlight each aspect effectively.
  • If your home has a beautiful fireplace, French doors, or a luxurious spa-like bathroom, ensure these features are prominently showcased in the photos.
  • Consider staging the room or space surrounding the critical feature to create a sense of lifestyle and to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the house.
  • Enhance the ambiance and attractiveness of the space by carefully selecting furniture, artwork, and decorative elements that complement and accentuate the key features.
  • Highlight any recent updates or renovations that have been done, such as a modern kitchen remodel or a brand-new deck.
  • Utilize natural light to emphasize the key features whenever possible. Open curtains and blinds to let in the sunlight and create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Take close-up shots to capture the finer details of the features, such as intricate moldings, high-end finishes, or custom built-ins.
  • Ensure that the photos reflect the true essence of your home, presenting it in the best possible light to generate interest and excitement among potential buyers.

By effectively showcasing the key features of your home in real estate photos, you can make a lasting impression on buyers and increase the property’s overall appeal.

Please don’t underestimate the power of visually highlighting these aspects, as they can significantly impact the success of your real estate listing.

Outdoor Areas: Cleaning and Staging Patios, Decks, and Pools

When preparing your home for real estate photos, don’t forget to pay attention to your outdoor areas. Cleaning and staging patios, decks, and pools can significantly enhance the overall appeal of your property.

Start by thoroughly cleaning these outdoor spaces. Remove any debris, leaves, or dirt from the patio or deck. Sweep the area and power wash if necessary to remove stains or grime. This will help create a clean and inviting look.

Next, evaluate the condition of your outdoor furniture. If the patio furniture is worn out or in poor condition, consider replacing it or investing in attractive cushions and accessories to freshen up the look. Arrange the furniture to highlight the space and create an inviting atmosphere for potential buyers.

Additionally, pay attention to the pool area. Clean the pool thoroughly, ensuring it is free from leaves or debris. If there are any visible issues with the pool, such as cracks or discoloration, consider addressing them before the photo shoot.

Add floating loungers or other pool accessories to create an enticing ambiance.

Cleaning and Staging Tips for Outdoor Areas:

  • Clear away any unnecessary items or clutter from the patio or deck.
  • Sweep or power wash the area to remove dirt and stains.
  • Consider replacing worn-out furniture or investing in cushions and accessories.
  • Arrange the furniture strategically to create an inviting atmosphere.
  • Ensure the pool is clean and free from debris.
  • Address any visible issues with the pool, such as cracks or discoloration.
  • Add some attractive pool accessories to enhance the overall look.

By giving attention to the outdoor areas, you can create an excellent impression on potential buyers and highlight the full potential of your property’s outdoor spaces.

Eliminating Distractions: Removing Clutter and Knick Knacks

Real Estate Photography Tips - Remove Clutter & Knick Knacks
Real Estate Photography Tips – Remove Clutter & Knick Knacks

When preparing your home for real estate photos, one essential step is eliminating distractions by removing clutter and knick-knacks. These small items may seem insignificant, but they can divert attention and make rooms appear messy or crowded in the photos.

Start by going through each room and carefully evaluating every item. Ask yourself if it adds to the overall aesthetic or distracts from the space. Consider reducing the number of decorations, trinkets, and personal belongings on display.

Remember, the goal is to create a clean, neutral backdrop that allows potential buyers to visualize themselves in the home.

Pay attention to surfaces such as countertops, tables, and shelves. Clear off unnecessary items and keep only a few strategically placed objects to add visual interest. Make sure to store away personal photographs, excessive books, and excessive knick-knacks.

Additionally, de-cluttering extends to furniture as well. Remove any oversized or unnecessary pieces that may overcrowd the room. Keep in mind that spaciousness is critical when capturing attractive real estate photos.

Consider organizing and tidying up storage areas such as closets, cabinets, and drawers. Potential buyers will appreciate seeing ample storage space without feeling overwhelmed by clutter. Neatly arrange items and consider utilizing storage solutions to maximize space.

Lastly, step back and view each room with a critical eye. Look for any remaining distractions or items that may draw attention away from the home’s best qualities. By removing clutter and knick-knacks, you can create a visually appealing environment that emphasizes the potential of the space.

Remember, less is often more when it comes to real estate photography. Removing distractions and presenting a clean, clutter-free home will enhance your property’s visual appeal and allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

Preparing the Garage: Organizing and De-cluttering

Remember the garage when preparing your home for real estate photos. Potential buyers will want a clean, organized space with plenty of storage options.

Follow these steps to get your garage ready for the perfect photos:

  • Remove unnecessary items: Start by de-cluttering the garage. Remove any items that are no longer needed or in poor condition. Consider donating or selling items that are still in good shape but no longer serve a purpose in your home.
  • Organize your belongings: Invest in storage solutions such as shelves, cabinets, or racks to keep your items organized. Group similar items together and label containers for easy identification. This will make your garage look more appealing in photos and help potential buyers envision the space’s potential.
  • Clean the garage: Give your garage a thorough cleaning. Sweep the floors, remove any cobwebs, and wipe down surfaces. A clean and tidy garage will give the impression of a well-maintained home.
  • Pay attention to the details: Don’t forget about small details that can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your garage. Replace any burnt-out light bulbs, repair any damages, and touch up chipped paint. These small touches can help make your garage feel more inviting and well-cared for.
  • Showcase functionality: Highlight the functionality of your garage by arranging your items in a way that demonstrates the available storage space. Showcase how potential buyers can utilize the garage for parking their vehicles, storing tools, or setting up a workshop.

By organizing and de-cluttering your garage, you can create an attractive and functional space that impresses potential buyers in real estate photos. Remember, a well-presented garage can add value to your entire home!

Improving Lighting: Choosing the Right Light Fixtures and Bulbs

Proper lighting is crucial when showcasing your home’s best features in real estate photos. Choosing the right light fixtures and bulbs can enhance your space’s ambiance and appeal.

Here are some tips to improve the lighting in your home:

  • Consider the Functionality: Assess the purpose of each room and select light fixtures accordingly. For example, in the kitchen, opt for bright overhead lights or pendant lights that illuminate the countertops and cooking areas.
  • Balance Natural and Artificial Lighting: Make the most of natural light by keeping blinds or curtains open during the photo shoot. However, don’t solely rely on natural light as it can cast shadows. Supplement with strategically placed artificial light sources to create an evenly lit space.
  • Choose Bulb Temperature: The light bulbs’ temperature can significantly impact your room’s mood. Cool white bulbs provide a lively and energetic feel, while warm white bulbs offer a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Experiment with different temperatures to find the right balance for each room.
  • Use Dimmers: Installing dimmer switches allows you to control the intensity of the lights, enabling you to set the perfect ambiance for the photos. Dimming the lights slightly can create a more relaxed and intimate feel.
  • Showcase Architectural Features: Use accent lighting to highlight architectural elements, such as artwork, built-in shelves, or unique details. Well-placed spotlights or wall sconces can draw attention to these features, adding depth and character to your photos.
  • Consider Energy Efficiency: Opt for energy-efficient light fixtures and bulbs to reduce your carbon footprint and save on electricity costs. LED bulbs are popular due to their long lifespan and low energy consumption.

By carefully selecting the right light fixtures and bulbs, you can create a visually appealing and well-lit environment that will captivate potential buyers in the real estate photos.

Final Touches: Adding Pillows, Umbrellas, etc., to Enhance the Space

When preparing your home for real estate photos, it’s essential to pay attention to the final touches that can make a significant difference in enhancing the overall appearance of your space. Adding pillows, umbrellas, and other decorative items can create a visually appealing atmosphere that attracts potential buyers.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Choose pillows that complement the color scheme and style of each room. Soft, fluffy pillows can instantly make a couch or bed look more inviting.
  • Place coordinating throw blankets on sofas or chairs to add a touch of warmth and coziness.
  • Use outdoor umbrellas to create a resort-like feel in your backyard or patio area. Choose umbrellas that provide ample shade and match the overall outdoor aesthetic.
  • Add potted plants or flowers to indoor and outdoor spaces to bring life and freshness into your home. Opt for low-maintenance plants that can thrive in different light conditions.
  • Add small decorative accents to tabletops and shelves, such as vases, candles, or artwork. These details can help create a sense of style and personality.

Remember to keep the styling simple and cohesive throughout your home. Avoid cluttering surfaces with too many items, as it can distract from the overall appeal. The goal is to create a visually pleasing environment that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

By giving attention to these final touches, you can transform your home into an inviting haven that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who views the real estate photos.

Collaboration with the Photographer: Communicating Your Vision and Expectations

Collaborating effectively with the photographer is crucial to ensure that your home is captured in the desired way for real estate photos. You can ensure that the photographer captures your property’s essence and unique features by effectively communicating your vision and expectations.

Discuss the shots and angles you believe will showcase your home’s best features. Share any details or elements you want the photographer to focus on, such as architectural details, updated fixtures, or spacious living areas.

Discussing the overall mood or atmosphere you want to convey is also essential. If you want your home to exude a cozy and warm vibe, express that to the photographer. Alternatively, if you want a more modern and sleek look, convey that as well.

During the discussion, don’t hesitate to ask the photographer for their professional input or suggestions. They have experience and expertise in capturing real estate photos and can offer valuable insights on how to showcase your home’s unique selling points best.

Additionally, discuss any specific guidelines or requirements you have regarding photo editing or retouching. This includes aspects such as color correction, saturation levels, or removal of any imperfections.

Openly communicate any time constraints or scheduling preferences you may have. Establish a clear timeline for the photo shoot and when you can expect the edited photos to be delivered.

Clear and effective communication is critical to ensuring the photographer understands your goals and can capture images that accurately represent your home. By collaborating closely with the photographer, you can maximize the impact of your real estate photos and attract potential buyers.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve completed the preparations, take some time to review each room and outdoor space. Make any necessary adjustments to enhance their visual appeal further. Pay attention to details such as straightening pillows, ensuring proper lighting, and removing any last-minute clutter. By following these steps and collaborating with the photographer, you can ensure your home is photo-ready and impress potential buyers with stunning visuals.

About the author: The above “How to Get Your Home Photo Ready for Real Estate Listings” was written by Kyle Hiscock. Kyle has been selling real estate in the Greater Rochester NY area for over 12 years and has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers move in, move around, and move out of the area!

About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.

Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between!  In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.

The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow!  In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.

The Hiscock Sold Team has almost 50 years of combined experience, so if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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