Saturday, August 13, 2016

Staging Your Home for Listing Pictures

It's a big decision to put your house on the market, deciding on the right real estate agent and a sale price that works best for you.  But then the hard part begins, and while it's something that a good real estate agent can advise you on, it's not something they can do for you. 

Staging your home.

Since HGTV has taken over with shows geared toward real estate, you may know that term. What does it mean? Really, it just means that you're creating an environment in your home that allows prospective buyers to picture themselves living there.  It can seem completely overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! A few quick tips will help you create a home that photographs beautifully, gets more showings, and, ultimately, sells for the best price possible!
  • Empty Surfaces.  This is going to seem impossible, but you want to banish all clutter. Even in places like the kitchen or the bathroom, where everyday life makes it almost impossible to keep surfaces clutter free, you need to be aggressive.  Find another place for the breadbox, get rid of the toaster, put your toothbrush away--clear the clutter so the beauty of your home can shine.
  • Start Packing.  Everyone has more "stuff" than they probably need, and some of it can be packed up earlier than the move. Start packing away the extras so that your pictures show a home with space, not bursting at the seams. Yes, that even means your closets! 
  • Clear Some Personality Out of the Room.  Family pictures, very personal artwork, and even bold paint choices may need to be removed to make your home more of a blank canvas. This move may be understandably difficult, but remember: your goal is to find the new owners. 
  • Create Understandable Rooms. If your dining room has been used as a game room, that may work beautifully for your family but can confuse new buyers.  Find a way to stage each room to show its intended use--a dining room should be a dining room, etc. You can also find a use for seemingly wasted space; a nook can be a reading area or an unused loft can become a playroom or media room.  Help prospective buyers understand what they are seeing!
  • Turn on the Lights! Make sure your realtor knows when your home shines. When is the natural light the best? When should the photographer come so that s/he can capture the reason you fell in love with this house? When you are photographing the home, or when you are preparing for a showing, open the blinds.  Turn on the lamps.  Make sure there's plenty of light.
  • Clean, clean, clean.  A photograph can be unforgiving. Make sure that as you are staging your home, you are preparing it by giving it a good clean.  Think about cleaning carpets if they need it.  Touch up paint that needs work.  Take the time to prepare your home properly and you will reap the benefits. 
It can be hard to say goodbye to a home that you have loved.  Taking the time to prepare it well for listing photos will help you find the right buyer much more quickly.  These photos are the first impression a buyer has of your home--make it count!

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