Tips For Home Owners
I'm taking a short detour from my current blog series in order to address a current need in the real estate market. I've had many conversations with agents about how the house should look when I get there. My vague, "If you don't want it in the pictures then tuck it away" response just isn't cutting it.
Following are tips to share with your sellers in order to maximize the time the photographer is on site.
Front Yard and Landscape Beds: Mow, weed, edge your yard and trim the landscaping. Photographs are taking the place of a buyers first showing and first impressions are now being made on line. If you're selling your home in the winter then make sure the driveway and sidewalks are clear of snow/ice. Vehicles should be in the garage or parked on the street.
Patio/Decks: Seller will need to arrange the furniture neatly, put away the grill utensils, throw out the previous nights beer bottles and sweep off any leaves and other debris. The area should be neat and tidy.
Pools/Hot Tubs: If they're not in use or they're out of season, make sure they're covered up. If you have a pool, clean out the debris, arrange any furniture so that it creates an inviting atmosphere, and put away all pool equipment, toys, towels, floats and rafts, etc.
Backyards: Same as the front yard.......mow, weed, edge your backyard. If you have a play-set make sure the kids aren't on it while the photographer is shooting. Dog owners - please pick up the dog poo, especially if you own a Great Dane.
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: Beds made, pillows at the top of the bed, throw blankets stored away, bedside tables and dressers cleared of clutter. Toilet lids closed, shower and shower doors cleaned (with personal cleaning supplies tucked away behind the shower curtain or in a drawer if you have shower doors), sink and counters cleared of personal items. ie; toothbrushes, make-up, curling iron, razors, sweat socks and gym shorts.
Windows/Mirrors: Where possible, clean all windows and mirrors.
Floors: Pick up all toys, books, shoes, etc. and then vacuum, sweep and mop.
Light Fixtures: Make sure all bulbs are working.
Shades/Blinds: All should be down/closed with slats opened. The photographer will adjust the lights and blinds/shades depending on the time of day and what direction the home/room is facing.
Refrigerators: Clear off all magnets, calendars and art and then clean.
Countertops: Clear off all plug-in appliances, soap dispensers, paper towels, napkins, backpacks, homework and cat food, etc.
Furniture: Pillows arranged neatly and chairs/stools pushed under tables, counters or desk.
Occupants: It's very difficult for some sellers to leave their home for an hour or more, especially if they work from home or have small children. In these circumstances I will certainly work room to room, adjusting and helping where I can. I do ask that parents keep their little ones from running in front of the camera during long exposures and practicing their Tiger Woods golf swing an inch from my head and tripod. ;)
These are actual experiences I've had and am only sharing them on my blog. I will clean up this "Tip Sheet" and either email it to you or post it on my website for agents to print for their listing packets.
Know that the more time I spend doing the above tasks takes away from the time I could be composing my shots and getting the light just right for a particular room.
Thanks so much for a wonderful summer in the recovery of 2012 - Kansas City. I'm so proud of the agents out there that understand how our business is changing and are embracing these facts instead of running from them. Your success is my success!
Thanks for stopping in and please contact me if you'd like to make an addition to the above list.
A Kansas City Real Estate Photographer