Recently I spent about an hour on the local multiple listing service, MLSListings.com, looking at expired or canceled listings. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising, but in many cases, the photography on the homes which failed to sell was simply ghastly.
Whether there’s a professional photographer or the real estate agent is shooting the photos himself or herself, though, you’d hope that they’d move the clutter, make sure that the seller isn’t in the picture, and that the lights are on. Incredibly, that doesn’t always happen. Not everyone is equally “visual”. So here are a few tips:
- clear the driveway of garbage cans, cars, bikes, etc.
- if the roof is covered with leaves or debris, have it cleared off
- make sure all hoses are rolled up and there are no items which do not belong in the front yard
- best if the exterior photos do not emphasize the garage in most cases
- also best if the front door is visible from the main photo
- if needed, trim bushes so that they do not obstruct windows prior to the photo shoot
- make sure that the house is super clean
- clear counters in kitchen and bathrooms of most everything but a tiny number of items
- make sure that lights are on, curtains are opened, and photos taken in daytime
- toilet lids should be closed
- closet doors should be closed
- beds ought to be made
- clutter on dressers, desks, headboards, and any other surfaces should be put away for the photos
Remember, the first “open house” for a home is online, so it is extremely important that the photos make a great impression. If buyers don’t like what they see online, they won’t bother to come see it in person.