Preparing Your Home for a Real Estate Photographer

Dated: March 9 2023

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We've talked about staging before, right? So today we're going to go a little bit deeper. We're talking today about how to make your home really photogenic.

We were in a listing a few weeks ago and we did this really cool video, and by the time we left her, I was twitching just a little bit because of the lighting and some of the things were really hard to make it come through correctly on the photography. We're gonna do a deep dive into how to make your home photogenic. I've got three tips on how to make your home photogenic.

Step one, we've talked about this a lot. This is always the most important thing you've got to declutter. It's easy to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years, and it's even easier to become a little blinded to our own things because we love our things. That's why I'm never moving. I'm never selling my house because I don't wanna have to declutter. If you're not quite sure where to start, ask your realtor or a trusted friend to kind of go through things and point out some areas where your home could use some attention. The more stuff that there is, the harder it is for a buyer to imagine themselves and their belongings in that space. Not to mention your photographer will have more room to work and will be able to get the best angles in your home to get the best results possible for your listing when it goes on the market.

When you are out there on all of these real estate platforms, look at the photos with sort of a critical eye and sort of how that might relate to when you are putting your home on the market. Look at professionally done listing pictures and other pictures maybe for a reference point. Notice in the professionally done pictures and videos. There's no loose papers. The countertops are cleared off. In fact, I tell my clients, you only get three things on your counter. You can pick whatever they are, but you only get three things on your kitchen counters. The furniture layouts are all very balanced and very simple. It's sort of a fun step to get creative and sort of look at your space through fresh eyes.

Step number two, lighting and paint. Stick with me because we're going to talk about Kelvin's, not Kelvin. I'm going to give you information that was very new to me because you can ask me your real estate question, but you can't necessarily ask me a photography question. So step number two, lighting and paint. The cameras used in real estate photography are highly sensitive to the white balance of your home. Did you know that some homes are easier than others to get a good white balance? Other homes take a little bit of post-production editing to get dialed in, and that post-production editing is what you wanna hire an agent who is really going to focus on those pictures, making sure that the photographs are top notch and a buyer can really see the potential in that property. Now, white balance it says here, has the potential to be a more complicated concept. So for this video sake, we are going to focus on one aspect of it.

Your photographer will thank you if you have this dialed in before we get there, if you've ever been shopping for light bulbs before, and I know you have, you will know that each pack of bulbs comes with a Kelvin rating. Now, I have shopped for light bulbs before, and I never paid attention to the Kelvin rating, and apparently it's been driving people crazy photographers all of these years. Okay, so these packs of bulbs come with a Kelvin rating of anywhere between 1000 and 10,000 on the Kelvin scale. Did you know there was a Kelvin scale? A thousand is the warmest or orange-ish yellow of bulbs, and 10,000 is the coolest, coolest or bluest of bulbs. Warmer lighting will make your home interior appear more yellow and orange and cooler lighting will make your home interior appear more blue.

When you are photographing a home for a listing, you want to be far more neutral. Especially if you have neutral tones throughout your home. If you can find bulbs with a rating that is more in the middle of that Kelvin scale, it will appear more white and it won't tint your home interior in strange ways. No one wants their home interior tinted in strange ways, so pay attention to your bulbs and that Kelvin scale. Also, very important to note, make sure the bulbs throughout your home are all the same Kelvin rating. You want the lighting in your home to be very uniform. The cameras can pick up even the slightest variation.

As for paint, the same rules apply. Not only will it help your home so faster if your walls are a true neutral color, but it will help your photographer out quite a bit as well. There are few faster ways to improve the interior look of your home than a good fresh coat of paint and things will be looking like a model home in no time.

Step number three, the details. It really is the little things that make the biggest difference. Here is a short list for you to check off to make sure your home is ready as it can be for these pictures.

Okay, toilet lids, put them down. Put new toilet paper roll on. It's weird, but a half used roll is slightly off-putting in real estate photography, pay attention to your toilets. TV screens need to be dusted and clean, no fingerprints or smears, and turn the TVs off. I see a lot of real estate photos and they've got, you know, some kind of odd thing. It's distracting for a buyer. Turn the TV off. Make sure the screen is clean. Kitchen appliances are clear of fingerprints and smears, and again, you only get three appliances on your counter. Remember that. Make your beds and not only make your beds, but make your beds look neat and fluffy. Beds made neatly and pillows fluffed are going to make that room look nicer. Think of a nice hotel, pet beds, crates, et cetera. Put those away, can be distracting for animal lovers as well as people who are not animal lovers. It's just something that you want. You don't want the buyer to be focused on, oh, I wonder what kind of pet they have. You want the buyer to be focused on how their belongings and their lifestyle is going to look in that space. If you really want to go the extra mile, and I know many of you do plants live or fake, your choice. Now, if it's my house, they would be fake because my house is where plants come to die. Everybody knows that I only have fake plants at my house, so live or fake, your choice, but clean, simple, clutter-free space with a few plants strategically placed can help make almost any home feel like a model home.

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Jennie Hendricks

I love Cedar City and the surrounding areas! I invite you to explore this fabulous community. You'll find beautiful outdoor recreation, fun boutiques and shopping, amazing restaurants, a winery and ....

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