Six Ways to Get Your House Ready for a Real Estate Shoot

Your house or condo is up for sale and your Realtor suggested you have nice, professional photos taken to entice buyers to check it out. After all, in this day and age people seem to do more research online than anywhere else. Now what? It’s important to attract people with quality photos, but first, your house needs to be made camera-ready. It’s all about the first impression and making it count. Houses that are empty are obviously easier to get ready, but there are some easy ways to make furnished houses shoot-ready. Keep in mind that the photographer and camera are there to capture things as is – we are NOT interior decorators. Here are six simple ways to get your house camera-ready:

1. De-clutter

Say goodbye to the piles of “stuff” around your house. Everything has a place and it needs to be there. The camera will catch even a minimal amount of clutter. That stack of old newspapers needs to be recycled. The empty cans on the kitchen counter need to be thrown away. Let’s not forget about the pile of shoes by the front door. In simple terms: anything that is sitting out, put it away.

Top: gorgeous kitchen all-around, but there are many “every day” items left out that distract from the kitchen itself.
Bottom: a clutter-free kitchen with an open counter. There are things out, but they’re more of decorative feature.

 

2. Clean

This should go without saying, but…here we are. Run a vacuum on the carpets, wash the wood or tile floors, do some dusting. To make your house presentable, you must first make it clean. The camera catches every wrinkle and rumple.

The top photo has a rumpled bed with slouched pillows that look recently used, compared to the bottom photo, which has a smooth comforter and upright pillows. This is a small but noticeable thing, and can be easily fixed!

 

3. Depersonalize

This part can be tough. All of the aspects of your house that make it “yours” need to be taken down and put away for the shoot. Family photos, achievements, awards. A photo of your three children in matching Christmas pajamas is cute, but not for a real estate shoot. We want the buyer to picture themselves in the house and imagine the life they can create there. If your personal photos are visible, it will make it hard for the potential buyer to picture themselves in this house.

Top: an example of a de-personalized room. Bottom: This room is very personalized and potential buyers will struggle to picture the room as their own.

 

4. Yard work

Take a look at your house from the outside. Does your grass need to be cut? Is your roof missing shingles? Are there weeds growing up the side of your house? Whatever needs to be done to make the exterior attractive, add it to your to-do list. If people don’t like the outside, they likely won’t make it inside. This can be tough come winter time when snow is covering your yard and the trees are merely standing sticks. It’s important to keep the weather in mind when scheduling your shoot.

The camera (and potential buyers) loves this impeccable lawn.

 

5. Construction-free

We recommend a construction-free house for shoots. Sometimes homeowners like to have renovations completed before they move in order to add value to the house, but wait to schedule your shoot until after it’s finished. The tarps, equipment, and the overall messy “under construction” vibe doesn’t look great on camera.

This home was undergoing renovations during the shoot. Although this is a beautiful kitchen, the plastic over the cabinetry takes away.

 

6. Stage It

Some people choose to stage their houses to make them look homier, bigger, or brighter. You don’t need to hire someone to do this. Some simple online research can give you tons of ideas on what to add to make your house a home. For example, a vase full of flowers is never a bad idea.

The bright flowers on the table are aesthetically pleasing.