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Real Estate Photography Prep

Real Estate Photo Prep

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In this article I will discuss some of the most common issues I face as a real estate photographer. Most experienced real estate  agents and property managers will know this already, but if you are new at selling or managing real estate, you may not.

Selling your property is a huge responsibility. You are trying to get the most out of this sale. Presentation of the property is vital.  Your efforts are shown directly or indirectly in the images.  Here are some things to be mindful of when you are preparing for your real estate photo shoot.

Throw away anything not being used or is not needed. 

Over the years people accumulate lots of things, items and dare I say junk. Things that have been taking up space for years, not being used, and a lot of this stuff has little or no value. Renting dumpster and getting rid of these items that isn’t being used is the start of preparing for your photo shoot. The client could also host a yard sale for the stuff they do not want to trash or stuff that still has value. 

Use the garage as a storage unit

Most photographers, myself included do not generally take images of garages unless there is something special about them that can really add value to the photo shoot. The same is true for closets for me. Some real estate agents prefer that at least one photo of the closets be taken, but closets can be used as storage in addition to the garage. Use the garage as a storage unit.  This will help to declutter the house.  

Minimize personal photos, images and art pieces

The goal is to make the property look generic yet welcoming. Remove photos of you and your family. Remove most art pieces, they can become a distraction. You want the potential buyers to imagine their stuff here, to imagine this as their home. You want them visualize them living here.

Take the time to stage the property

If you have the budget and can afford one, hire an interior designer to stage the property for you. This is really a luxury option. If you don’t hire a stager, you can still make the property look clean and well kept. Restrict the use of some areas after it has been cleaned and set up for presentation. Make sure to make beds, put dirty clothes into hampers and store them in garage until it is time to wash them. Put everything back into its place after use. 

Lights and Cords

The photographer will turn on all lights. Make sure you have enough light bulbs or you can rotate light bulbs as each room is being photographed. Alternatively you can remove any lamp that doesn’t have a light bulb. If you have a ceiling fan make sure the fan is off but the lights are on. Do not have colored light bulbs, even if they are for a good cause. Do your best not to run cords across walking areas like doorways, hall ways or aisles. They create tripping hazards and they don’t look good in photos. If you have to run a cord across these areas, then use a rug to cover them. Remove all cords, cables, connections, or wires that are not being used. Sometimes a cable cord comes from the wall and can’t be removed.  In this case, roll the cord up and hide it behind some furniture or door, 

Maintain the yard

The yard is often the most overlooked part of the property. Make sure the grass is cut, or the yard looks maintained. Don’t have toys, trash, automotive parts, building materials or anything that will distract from the house in the yard. You want your property to look welcoming and maintained. This is especially true for backyards. 

Pets: Manage your pets

If you have a dog, please cleanup the poop in the backyard. Pick up the pet toys and keep the dog bowls in a place out if sight of the camera. If you have an aggressive pet, you should let the photographer know and you need to manage your pet for everyone’s safety. If you have a cat, you can move the kitty litter when the photographer is ready for whichever room it is in. Like dogs, the cat food and water should be out of sight as well. Be conscious of where the cats are.  I have accidentally photographed cats because they can be very still in whatever spots they are laying in.

These were a few things that I have encountered while photographing real estate. I hope these tips were useful and help you with your endeavors.

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