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Preparing your house for photographs

A house that looks good in photos will bring more potential buyers and sell for a higher price, so here are some tips to prepare your house for photographs.

Declutter. The best photos are simple, and having a lot of “stuff” in a photo can be distracting or unattractive. But don’t worry about the garage. Unless there’s something super special about it, it doesn’t need to be photographed so it’s a great place to pack things away as you declutter.

Make sure all light bulbs are working. While it is possible to photograph a room that is dark and then make it look brighter, it’s better to have rooms well-lit to start with. Plus, if potential buyers see you haven’t changed burnt-out bulbs, they may wonder what other maintenance has been deferred.

Hide anything belonging to pets. For many potential buyers, the sight of a cat tree makes them imagine a bad smell and allergies. Make sure you maximize the number of potential buyers by hiding food bowls, toys, and anything else that indicates that a pet lives there.

Remove everything from showers and baths. Nobody wants to see your collection of shampoo bottles!

Hide toothbrushes, makeup, or anything else that is on bathroom counters or dressers. If you just can’t help yourself, the only things you should consider leaving are things that are clearly decorative. You should limit this to no more than two or three items, but completely empty is usually best.

Conservatively decorate kitchen counters. Having a few simple, decorative things on your counter can make the kitchen feel comfortable, but too much will make it feel cluttered. The kitchen is the most important room in a house, so try to make it look magazine-ready! Here are some items you could use: flowers, freshly sliced bread or fruit (leaving some unsliced) on a cutting board, a cookie jar, bowl of fruit, stand mixer, small plant, tea kettle on the stove, or a neatly folded hand towel hanging on the front of the sink.

Consider removing family photos, especially big ones. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves - not you - living in the house.

Make sure the grass is not overgrown. The house may be beautiful, but if the grass is overgrown that’s all anyone will notice.

Clean the windows. Opening the blinds for photos makes the interior brighter, feel more roomy, and can show off views. The windows don’t need to be perfect, but they do need to be clean. Move cars out of the driveway before the appointment. Try to avoid parking them directly in front of the house too, because photos may need to be taken from there.

Follow these tips and the photographer will be able to capture great images of your house, and your agent will be able to get buyers lining up! Agents: click below to download this article and a checklist so you can pass them on to your sellers!

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