Preparing Your Home for Real Estate Photography

With Christmas mere days away and excitement in the air, we have just entered the quietest two week period for real estate of the entire year. With a huge amount of fantastic properties lined up for January though, it is clear it will be a short lived rest. In fact, we predict the heat will be turned right back up in January, with the market showing very strong signs of a continued recovery in 2013. So whilst many people are busy with festive celebrations, there will also be many people who are flat out preparing their homes for the property market.

So to assist, here are a few expert tips to make your home ready for a successful real estate photo shoot.

Good real estate photos are about space. Unlike a magazine feature or editorial, real estate photos need to convey space, since that is what people are buying. Whereas a magazine feature is about the things that are in people’s houses, about the choice of styling, the furniture, or current trends.  Space is what sells homes so it is crucial to focus on making rooms look as big and open and bright and airy as possible. If you have nowhere to store your items then putting it in storage is a good option. Generally we offer our clients one month of free storage to make sure their home is looking it’s best in the key period of their campaign.

Whilst it is important to clear and de-clutter, there is a very fine line between de-cluttering to make a room look neat and tidy and de-personalising so much that the home loses it’s character. If you take away all personality a home will have no soul.

preparing your home for photography

So whilst it is vital to show space rather than people’s belongings, the things that are in it can go a long way to setting a tone and a mood that encourages people to want to come and look at a house and potentially buy a house. Kitchen areas and kitchen bench tops tend to be a natural hoarding zone in most people’s houses, so we suggest you clear away all of the appliances – toasters, kettles, steamers, slow cookers etc. Keep things that are on the benches to an absolute minimum. Instead place either a nice cook book, a bowl of colour co-ordinated fruit or some size appropriate flowers in a nice vase.

Once you have your home styled and de-cluttered be sure to check the lights work and broken bulbs are changed, particularly if you’re doing dusk shots and photographing things like swimming pools. Be aware of not just what is in the room but what you can see outside the room as well. Some people put a huge amount of effort into preparing a room but don’t think about all the junk that they’ve hidden and is clearly visible through the windows. It’s also good to discuss with your agent which rooms will be shot before the photographer arrives. You can save yourself a lot of stress if you know which rooms to focus on for the day of the photo. Generally the main areas we recommend to feature are the front and back of the house – yards, swimming pools, courtyards etc. Inside we’ll focus on the main living areas – so the kitchens, lounge rooms, dining rooms and living rooms. For bedrooms, we will usually recommend only the master bedroom. It is very unusual to photograph kids bedrooms or guest bedrooms unless they have an amazing view or a very special feature. Bathrooms are only shot if they are particularly nice or spacious but is not usually high on the list of areas to photograph.

Many people ask us if professional styling is necessary. Whilst this varies from property to property, it will certainly make a huge difference from a photography point of view. It is simple to photograph an empty house, however rooms don’t have any sense of purpose or a sense of scale. Potential buyers generally have a minimal imagination and struggle to visualise furniture in an empty room. Normal people just don’t get a scale of how big rooms are when there’s no furniture in there. Styling a home with the right furniture is a worthwhile investment. Be careful with your choices though, cheap and poorly chosen styling will be obvious and people will get the wrong message. Styling must be done right, so if design is not your talent, seek professional advice before you start spending money on furnishings. If you would like specific advice for your property, we can assist. We look forward to guiding you and ensuring your property photos look amazing.

Thinking of selling your property? Let us do the hard work for you.

We implement a comprehensive advertising campaign that includes high resolution photography which get’s your property noticed and SOLD!

Tim Cullen on   0424 006 855

Bernadette Cullen on   0414 618 908

About Tim Cullen

Since joining McGrath Estate Agents 15 years ago, Tim Cullen has defined himself as a first class industry leader with an outstanding track record and rapidly growing and loyal client base. He ranked 1st on the Northern Beaches in this year’s Real Estate Business’ Top 100 Agents List and ranked 21st nationwide.