Staging Tips for Your Listing’s Photo Shoot

April 26, 2019

Photos often make the first impression for your listing. That’s prompted real estate professionals to carefully scrutinize their listings’ online presentation to make sure their photos are giving off the right vibe.

A closeup of a camera with its lens

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The extra attention is understandable: 87 percent of home shoppers say they relied on photos to help make their decision on whether to buy the property, according to surveys by the National Association of REALTORS®. Professionally photographed homes tend to fetch a premium, too—a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot, according to an analysis by Redfin.

“We are a visual society,” Sharron Jones, a real estate professional with Weichert, REALTORS®, told The Washington Post. “Go to successful retail stores like Nordstrom or Target and look at photos for ads, commercials, or merchandising displays in stores. All of them are designed to show their products at their best. Likewise, a seller should show their property at its best.”

HomeVisit, a real estate photography company, recently provided The Washington Post with some tips for prepping a home for a photo shoot, including:

  • Clean all of the mirrors, floors, and surfaces. You want to ensure they are spotless and unsmudged, shining in the photos.
  • Check that the furniture is sized correctly for the space. Any oversized pieces will make rooms look cramped. Remove any bulkier items. Shift furniture around to open up your photographs. Get tips: Amateur vs. Pro Photos
  • Declutter all surfaces. Put two or three objects on counters at most. But anything you do keep on the countertops, make sure the placement is deliberate.
  • Open all blinds. Allow the natural light to flow in. Brighter rooms will appear larger and photograph better.
  • Watch contrasts. Too many colors or objects can be distracting. On the flip side, “low contrast can seem muted or boring,” HomeVisit notes. “The key is to have the right amount of contrast. Place a few framed pieces of art on the walls and try to stick to a single color scheme.”
  • Tend to the outside: Mow the lawn, clean the pool, and add extra props, such as a table setting on the outdoor table, towels by the pool, and potted flowers around the doorway.

Want more staging ideas for your photo shoot? Remove the window screens, water the mulch, and learn more secrets of the pros.