So you've made the decision. Your going to sell your home. You have met with a Realtor and discussed all the important things like the listing price etc. Then your Realtor casually says: "have the house ready for photos Tuesday and I'll drop by around 2pm."
Ready for photos? What does that mean? The idea that hundreds of potential buyers will judge your home based on these photos adds some extra anxiety to the question.
There is nothing really to worry about. One important factor and perhaps the hardest is to "be objective" about your home. The way we live is not usually the best way to sell. So even though grandma Jones gave you the multi colored knitted doily on the living room coffee table; it may detract from the overall look of the room. Remove it for now; it will be back on display in your new home soon enough.
(Neat, organized, no clutter)
(Nothing in the room detracts from the great view)
The objective of real estate photos is to showcase the home; not your things. De-cluttering can be very helpful. Remember that you are moving; so start packing now by boxing up all of the extra nick knacks and stuff that occupy every inch of shelf space in your house. A few tasteful decorations are OK. You'll be surprised to see what a difference it makes in the overall appearance of a room. Replace any burnt out light bulbs. Bright rooms make for better photos.
(You can focus on the great kitchen)
The camera sees everything. If you have a digital camera take a quick snapshot of a room. Take an objective look at the picture to see if there is anything you can improve. If you can; load the pictures on your computer and look at them in full screen. This is likely how potential buyers will view them.
Make sure the exterior of the home is looking it's best also. Everything should be neat and tidy; grass cut; toys and tools put away. The exterior shot is almost always the first picture people see. Buyers will decide from this picture whether they want to see the rest of the photos.
(Neat, clean, uncluttered)
When it's time for the photos to be taken make sure all the beds are made; go around the house and turn on all the lights; keep the kids and pets in one area and hope your Realtor knows how to take good pictures. If your Realtor doesn't take good pictures all your preparation isn't really going to matter.
I guess I should have mentioned that earlier. Before you choose a Realtor you should check out what kind of photos they provide for their listings. Ask them about the photography they provide and check out some samples. Do they just upload a few low resolution photos to MLS or do they have another website with high resolution photos. Compare their photos to the properties showcased here. A recent survey showed that 84%* of buyers use the Internet to search for a home and 84%* of recent buyers found online photos "VERY USEFUL". Dark blurry photos just aren't good enough for today's buyers and they are not good enough for your homes photos.
Insist on a Realtor who can provide quality photos to showcase your home. The first showing of your home is online. If the online showing doesn't go well there won't be an in person showing. Century 21 Colonial in Charlottetown P.E.I. is dedicated to providing high quality photos displayed in a high resolution online slide show (Showcase 21). Call today 902-566-2121 to speak with one of our Realtors about the online presentation he or she can provide for your home.
For more tips on preparing your home for sale check out this article on About.com.
*2007 NAR Profile of home buyers and sellers.