Picture Prep Checklist
Let’s first talk about how to take pictures that will sell your house:
1. Declutter and Clean
Regardless of your natural tendencies, a home buyer wants to see that a place is well taken care of. So even if you feel like all the magazines on the table and all the movies and books on the entertainment system make it feel “homey,” in a picture, it will just look cluttered and dirty.
When it comes to pictures, less is more. Give them what is necessary to show the size of the room, but leave it with less clutter so as to give them room in their mind to decorate and see the potential.
2. Good Lighting
We’ve all seen pictures of rooms in a house on Zillow where honestly, it looks dark, creepy, and unwelcoming. In all actuality, if there would have been better lighting, it would have looked awesome.
- When taking inside photos, it is best for it to be overcast or raining outside. Yes, you read that right. Why? Because there’s no exterior light to fight with, no glare from windows, no harsh shadows to fight against or edit out. Just lovely, even lighting from floor to ceiling.
- Open all curtains and blinds. This will add to the lighting in the room and will also give the potential buyer a sneak peek of what is outside and the view they may have. It will give a more authentic look and experience.
- When taking outside photos, it is best to take them when it is sunny outside. This increases those blue sky, sunshiney feelings that people want when viewing a home. Don’t worry though. While sunshine is preferred, we know we can’t control the weather, and sometimes pictures need to be taken right away. The addition of some cloud cover or rain can also add to the beauty and calming effect any exterior has. Colors can also pop with overcast sun.
3. Consider Your Angle
When taking a picture of a room in a house, you want to try to take a shot that shows as much as possible. This will help you to avoid taking multiple pictures of the same room, creating an unnecessary amount of photos to look through online.
This will also help you display the room as looking large. Taking a picture from the corner of the room often helps with this.
- Consider investing in a wide-angle lens. They are often a small, inexpensive investment but will help in squeezing more of a room into a shot and potentially make the room look larger.
- Seeing the whole of a room in one shot will help the potential buyer be able to imagine how they could arrange and decorate a room versus getting a close-up picture of one corner of the room where the bed is tucked away.
4. Grab the Paintbrush
Neutral color walls sell better. Bright colors in images, regardless of what they look like in real life, can often be off-putting and look cheap. Neutral colors present a more warm and welcoming environment when navigating online.
- If you have bright colors in your house, consider a shade of white.
- If you really want to show some character to your home, feel free to add a pop of color in certain areas that exude warm, welcoming, good feelings, such as yellow, blue, or green.
5. Stage Your Furniture
Always stage a house, even if it means rearranging what you already have in place. Rearrange so as to show maximum room and maximum potential.
6. Keep Verticals Straight
When taking photos, be sure to keep vertical lines of the photo straight up and down, such as wall corners, window sides, door frames, etc. An off-kiltered photo will look sloppy. Consider buying a tripod; this will ensure level pictures and ensure clarity and no blur from movement.
Pictures are what make or break the selling of a house. Good ones could even mean by-passing a showing and getting an instant buy.
Don’t Forget These Shots!
When you look online for houses, there sometimes is either a lack of photos or way too many pictures. Too many pictures come from too many shots of one room, which is a product of not getting a good shot initially. You really should not need more than two shots of any room.
Too little amount of pictures, honestly, can come from lack of a photographer, time, or just simply not knowing what’s needed to sell a house.
Make sure you have what you need to sell a house. Don’t leave buyers questioning about the rest of their potential new home. It could mean someone being disinterested in the house altogether.
- Pictures of the outside of the house. At a minimum, capture the front and back. You can angle the pictures just right where you can include one side of the house with the front shot and the other side of the house with the back shot. This will give buyers the maximum amount of viewing with a minimum amount of pictures.
- Kitchen (show off appliance locations including refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher). Include a picture of the walk-in pantry/closet if there is one.
- Dining Room
- Living Room
- Each Bedroom where you can see a closet and windows
- Each Bathroom
- Laundry room
- Any other rooms
- Porches/Patios/Front Yard/Back Yard: Make sure to include beautiful and high-quality features such as a pool, hot tub, fenced-in backyard, garden, etc. Show off what makes your house unique!
It would be helpful to include pictures of a floor plan if you have them so as to be able to give the buyer a better overall picture of your house and what it has to offer.
You want to show all that there is of your house so as to not leave those who are interested in it questioning, but also not overwhelm them with too many pictures.
Times Treasured Studios
I’m local to Wilkesboro, NC, and have had over twenty years of experience in all photography, including real estate.