Preparing for Pictures
First and foremost you need to remember that the even though you own and probably live in the home you're trying to sell, that the goal is to make it someone else's home. So in order to do that, there's some preparation that needs to be done on your part as the homeowner. You have to start by letting go of the fact that it's your house and start the process of simplifying and depersonalizing what is hopefully soon to be someone else's home. Remember that as long as it's pack with your junk, it is hard for someone else to see themselves living there. But don't worry, we've put together some helpful suggestions to give you greater success. To start with, feel free to download our Picture Ready Check List to make it more convenient for you. If you're the realtor, we recommend you print and provide your clients this guide and advise them to start working on preparing their home as soon as they have signed all the papers with you.
If the house is vacant, please ensure that your home has recently been cleaned to avoid things like dust buildup and dead bugs. Also, ensure that the lawn has been cut.
• Remove unnecessary items from front and back yards such as toys, hoses, worn-out furniture, grills, decorative items, flags, etc.
• Cut grass and trim bushes and trees as needed
• Sweep all porch/patio spaces and sidewalk areas
• Move vehicles away from the home as much as possible
• Storage buildings will be photographed from the outside only. Barns will be photographed inside and out.
• Turn on all lights and ensure all bulbs work (avoid mixing bulbs because they put off different colors)
• Turn off all ceiling fans, TV's, and computer monitors
• Open all curtains, blinds, and shades
• Clean all glass surfaces, countertops, and tops of furniture
• Hide or remove items you do not want shown such as tools, guns, or other expensive items.
• Do not use throws on furniture and avoid over using pillows
• Hide things such as papers, keys, phones, chargers, generic tissue boxes, etc.
• Kitchen: Clean all surface tops as well as oven and microwave doors, put away all dishes, hide cleaning supplies, clean sink, remove items outside of refrigerator, etc.
• Bathrooms: Hide all toiletry items from sink top and tub/shower, hide bowl scrubbers and trash cans, close the lid, remove all clothing items, minimize towels, hide laundry baskets, etc.
• Bedrooms: Put away laundry, clean furniture surfaces of excess items, use closets to hide excess belongings
• Garage: If being photographed, remove or hide items you do not want shown and remove your vehicle. If not being used, feel free to fill it with everything that needs to be hidden from pictures. At a minimum I need to be able to measure the garage with a laser.
• Closets: Only unique closets will be photographed. All others may be used to hide stuff.
We understand that at the holidays everyone wants to decorate according to the season, but it is HIGHLY recommended that you avoid decorating till after pictures are completed because any decorating will date your listing quickly if it doesn't sell as fast as you hope.