The picture perfect home
By now, you’ve gone through the pre-staging and staging process and are ready for your photography and video shoots. This is the time your home really has to shine. What you present to buyers now will be used over and over again in advertising. You are showing the world that you care about your house from the surface appearances down to the mechanical workings behind the scenes. Or at least that is what the buyer’s subconscious mind will conclude. You may consider going to the store to add the extra touches needed to make your home stand out.
New bars of soap
Kitchen and bath towels to match decor or give a splash of color
A welcoming door mat
A new wreath for the door
New accent pillows
Light bulbs with warm hues
Fruit or fresh veggies for a bowl in the kitchen
Small frames to label features in different rooms (use a printer with a nice font)
Scan the house for items out of place. You want your home to look like the featured home in a magazine. Put away all unnecessary items. Remember, less is more. Zen is the feeling you’re going for here.
Front door: This is the first thing a buyer sees and it makes a lasting impression. Make sure your door is clean and that there are no spider webs or leaves outside the front door. A new welcome mat is lovely.
Entryway: Put away extra coats and hats hanging on the coat rack, although one or two nice items is acceptable and advisable. Shoes should be put away if you normally take them off when entering your home. Make sure this space is clean. Add flowers here if you have an accent table. Make sure lights are on.
Bathrooms: Close toilet lids. Put new toilet paper on the rolls. Put away everything that is branded like bottled soaps on counter tops or toiletries in the shower. Do place new bars of soap on soap dishes and hang towels that are clean and neatly folded/displayed that enhance the decor. Make sure anything that looks out of place is put away. Check that the trash is not a featured item, put it under the sink or hidden away.
Kitchens: Buyers need to see a clean kitchen. Dishes should be put away and counter tops cleared. Put away small appliances. Take up the dog or cat bowls. (Reminder: Put the kitty litter box somewhere that is not a focus in a shot. The garage is preferable and tucked into a corner.) Place flowers on the counter or kitchen table. Dress your kitchen or dining table as if you were having guests to dinner, with complete tableware. Put away branded soap bottles, sponges, and brushes. Leave out a bowl of fruit for decoration. You can also use a fresh bunch of herbs on a cutting board for an extra touch of beauty, leaving the buyer to daydream of gathering bounty from the garden and preparing a fabulous meal.
Living Room: Make sure all light bulbs are the same color and brightness inside each room. Add splashes of color with decorative pillows. Light the fire place. Turn on the ceiling fan. Turn on all lights. If the overhead lights are dimmable, turn them on just enough to show that they work.
Bedrooms: Check that your comforter/bedspread is squarely placed on the bed, that the sides of the comforter and bed skirts are level with the ground. Check that your pillows are fluffed and sit at the same height. Look for fuzz on carpet that will show in shots. Check that your mirrors are clean and show no fingerprints or streaks. Open all curtains and check that windows are clean. What does it look like outside the windows? A good photographer will capture both the outside and the inside of the home within the same shot.
Closets: Think neat and tidy. Arrange your closets so that it looks like you take care of every last detail. This gives the buyer peace of mind about the rest of the house. Walk-in closest are almost always photographed.
Lights, camera, action!
Your photographer will be taking still shots and video during the same visit. Turn on all lights, dimming the overhead lights. Open the blinds or curtains. Light a fire in the fireplace (yes, even if it’s 80 degrees outside). Turn on your ceiling fans to their lowest setting.
The photographer will be moving quickly through each space. It’s a good idea to vacate the home so that you won’t accidentally be caught in the background and ruin a good shot. Sometimes the photographer won’t even notice the mistake until they are back at their studio going through the pictures.
Each time you have another showing, your home has to be spotless. It’s a good idea to keep up the hard work so that if a last minute showing occurs, you will be ready to vacate your home. It is very important to leave your home while a showing takes place as it gives the buyer privacy to think about the home and speak their mind to their spouses. Do not make the mistake of just hanging out outside your home. This is a no-no.
The well-prepped home is clean, tidy, warm, and nicely lit. It is free of smells, including air-fresheners that may have the buyer worry about what you’re covering up. If pets can’t be taken with you while a showing occurs, they should be crated or kept in one room and a sign placed on the door as a friendly warning to your prospective buyers.
Leave brochures on the entryway table or kitchen counter for guests to take with them. Place small frames with written details/features about each room. Use a printer and a nice font for these placards.