by TJ AndersonLennon Stella's home, photo via People.comI was already impressed by Lennon Stella, who, by starring in TV drama Nashville, managed to build a double-threat career as an actress and
Real Estate Photo Fails
by T.J. Anderson
So, it's against the law for realtors to bash local listings. I'll have to refrain from that here, even though it was one such listing (which included piles of junk on the dining room table, wads of unfolded laundry on an armchair, random people and even a huge, stinky-looking dog) that inspired this post and its message, which is: Take the time--however much time that may be--to get your house in the best shape possible and to take really great photos of your listing before you put it up for sale. Because I've spent hours and hours every week for years and years browsing through real estate photos, I feel especially qualified to write this post. Here are five of my tips for capturing photos of your house that will sell it as fast as lightning.
1) Don't take the photos yourself. Not unless you are a professional photographer, and the owner of a wide-angle lens. Even if you're halfway decent with a camera, it's best to trust this task to someone who really knows how to capture a space in the best possible light. This shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg either. I know of a very affordable real estate photographer here in Nashville who gets in and out with lovely pictures every single time.
2) Hire a stager or color consultant. Most of you have heard of home stagers and the magic they can work by simply rearranging furniture and decluttering decor, but have you heard of a color consultant? Nashville lays claim to a famous one--Kristie Barnett, who runs the blog The Decorologist and helps her clients determine color palettes for their homes, whether they plan to put them on the market or not. If you worry that the Ghost of Paint Color Choices Past will haunt you as you work to sell your home, you may want to consider hiring a professional to tone down or rethink your palette. Again, this doesn't have to cost a ton; even a half-hour appointment with an efficient stager or color consultant can help you immeasurably.
3) Clean, clean, clean, and then clean some more. If you have carpet, have it cleaned. Have every bed made up, every countertop wiped down, every dust bunny banished. Hire someone to help you expend the necessary elbow grease, if possible.
4) Take away the personal effects. I don't care if you stuff them under your bed or into a closet, but do your best to remove family photos and other personal items from the home. Also look around for everyday items that strangers would likely consider icky--think sponges and frayed loofahs, graying towels or questionable bedspreads. You'll want your house to look more luxury hotel than lived in.
5) Wait for a sunny day, and open all the blinds and curtains. Don't dare take photos on a crummy day or after dark. Wait until the sun is bright as can be and part all of your curtains and pull up all of your blinds. This will not only make your house look bigger and more cheerful, but it will make your paint colors prettier and softer.
What real estate photo guidelines did I leave out? Leave your favorite tips in the comment section below.
Now, this is how you do it!
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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