If you are selling your house in this day and age, potential home buyers have already seen pictures of every square inch of your house on real estate websites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and JimmyGrappone.com.
If they are working with a real estate agent, they have seen those images on MLS, as well.
After price and location, a listing’s pictures are the next thing to get a potential buyer’s attention. In fact, the first two items are what get them to look at your house in the first place, but Internet – and Instagram – worthy pictures are what drive potential buyers from looking at your house online to looking at it in person.
Here are five tips to make your home picture perfect for the professional photographer your real estate agent hired to to take pictures of your home – because cell phones and point and shoot cameras just don’t cut it.
1. Clean your house from top to bottom. This one may seem obvious, but clean, sparkling counters and floors look much better in pictures than dirty ones. Mop the floors and make them and the counters shine. And clear everything off your counters. Trust me.
2. De-clutter. You’ve heard this tip before, too. If you are like most people, the way you live in your house is not the way you want a potential buyer to see it. Less is more. Big pieces of furniture in small rooms and hallways make your home look small and unappealing. Move it to temporary storage…or at least your garage.
3. De-personalize. Again, I’m not telling you anything new. I recently toured the home of a very attractive couple with a very cute kid. I think the house was nice, but I don’t remember the specifics. Instead, I remember the collage of black and white family photos in the foyer. And in the hallway. And somewhere else, I’m sure. Here’s the thing…you want potential buyers to remember your house, not you.
4. Enhance curb appeal. First impressions matter most and your objective should be to eliminate as many objections a potential buyer may have for as long as you can. When potential buyers pull into the driveway, they should admire your clean, landscaped lawn and your home’s beautiful front porch or front door. Plant flowers if it’s the right time of year. Mow your lawn. Hire a landscaper to spruce things up if needed. You may even consider upgrading the hardware on your front door or painting the front door to make the entrance more inviting. That first picture on Zillow is the equivalent of driving past your home. Make them stop and look a little more.
5. Make it bright and light. Before your agent and photographer arrive for your photo shoot, open all the blinds and turn on all of the overhead lights in your house. Ask your photographer, but you may want to turn off lamps and overhead fans as they tend to be distracting in photos.
Remember, photos are your house’s way of making a first impression. Great first impressions online lead to showings and, hopefully, great impressions in person. Good luck!
If you are thinking about putting your home on the market and need some professional guidance, contact me at Jimmy@CostelloREI.com and (980) 298-9385. I am a licensed real estate agent in North and South Carolina and I specialize in the Tri-W News readership area.