They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in real estate, that picture's worth translates to dollars and then, if it's an excellent picture, you can add a few more zeros to that number. That's why getting the right photos of your home are critical.
Before having your home photographed or, in some cases, videotaped, you'll want to make sure that it's in the best possible shape. But what exactly does that mean?
Getting your home ready for a photo shoot is not quite the same as getting it ready to have dinner guests. Yes, there's the same cleaning rituals such as dusting, and picking up items lying around the house. But making a home picture perfect is about creating an atmosphere that's welcoming, interesting, and even beckoning viewers and then capturing that with your lens.
How is that done? Professional home photographers use the right equipment to get the job done. Wide angle lens to make the home look larger and show off adjacent rooms in a single photo are one good method. Early morning and late afternoon photo shoots make use of the best lighting times in the day.
Whether you're going to photograph your home or have a professional do it, adding some props and taking away the clutter will be top priorities.
Let's start with empty rooms. Showing an empty house isn't ideal for in-person visits or pictures. Why? You can't get a feel for how to use the space and when you see an empty room in a picture and it's hard to grasp its size. The Wall Street Journal suggests bringing in props such as furniture (even just a chair and small table) that will help give the viewer a sense of scale.
If at all possible, rent, borrow, or beg your friends for furniture to have at least a few objects in the room. You don't need as many pieces of furniture as you would have if you're living in the home, just some nice tables, lamps, and chairs to create a homey mood.
If you have to photograph the room empty, use a wide-angle lens and capture a bit of an adjoining room like a bathroom–this adds depth and interest. And always use a tripod.
Kitchen comfort. Here's where you get to have some fun. Think of yourself as a set designer. Your job is to look closely at your kitchen and tuck away all the unnecessary objects. If you leave out an appliance (maybe a good-looking stainless steel one) hide the cord. The appliance isn't there for use–it's just a prop.
Now, add some other props–a basket of colorful fruit in a clear glass bowl (nothing too distracting). A plate of cheese and bread with a wine bottle nearby helps set a scene to make the viewer feel welcome.
Clouds are our friends. When you're shooting outside, a bright sunny day isn't always the photographer's friend. If there are big trees and the sun is creating dark shadows, that can make parts of your photo look dreary. Clouds can greatly add mood to the photo without distracting from the exterior shot of a home. On an overcast day, the shadows aren't as strong and the flowers can actually show up better.
But before you snap that exterior photo, put away those unsightly garbage cans, the seasonal decorations, and those no soliciting signs. Remember, you're making your home not only picture-perfect but model-home perfect too... and that could just be priceless.