Professional photos are a fantastic way to get the best price for your listing. Get the most out of your professional photos by using this quick-prep guide to prepare your home to look it's best.
1. Declutter surfaces. Tables, end tables, nightstands, dressers, fridges, appliances, and especially bathroom counter tops. Ideally these surfaces should be almost completely bare (lamps, flowers, and staged decorations aside).
2. Clean. Photos won't show small amounts of dust, but will show clutter, built-up dirt, and especially smudges (tables, counters, floors, windows, appliances, and especially anything "stainless steel").
3. De-personalize. The less personal items you have visible, the more a potential buyer can envision the home as their new home. Family photos of all sizes are a common personalization. The same goes for other decorations, nick-nacks, memorabelia and seasonal decorations.
4. Lightbulbs! Check and double check that all lightbulbs are working, and that sets of lightbulbs in each room match (ie no "daylight" temperature bulbs next to "soft warm" and no LED next to "incandescent".) Don't forget to check outside lightblubs, even for a daytime photo shoot.
5. Cords. These days charging cords are everywhere: kitchen, living room, bedrooms... Take a moment to put these away in drawers. For bonus points, hide other small appliances and electronics like coffee makers and alarm clocks.
* "Where do I put things?" Prepping for photos can be a challenge! If everything has to get hidden, where can it go? Closets are a great option, unless it's a special or showcase closet that we should photograph (ask your realtor about your particular home.) Garages are also often a safe place for stashing things since an exterior photo is enough to see that a garage exists and how big it is. Hot water/utility closets as well as hall closets, bathroom cupboards, and kitchen cupboards are all good stashing spots. Places to leave clean if possible are laundry rooms, visible portions of bathtubs and showers, and visible portions underneath beds and furniture (photos show lower than eye level).
Remember that this hard work has financial value to you! A tidy, well photographed home sells faster for at least a 1% higher price, usually closer to 2% and sometimes higher. Imagine: Using an average of 1.5% increased value, your $500,000 home might be worth $7,500 extra just by tidying and hiring a great photographer!