While some traditional realtors still carry their mobile phones to take photos of a home before listing, many are hiring professional real estate photographers to take these photos. With so many homes hitting the market, especially in the Spring and Summer, there’s a chance a beloved home can get lost in a sea of listings. Most professionally shot pictures are well-lit and expertly framed, showing a home listing in its best possible light and giving it an edge over the competition. 

Before placing a home up for sale or rent, our team generally asks our homeowners to declutter their home before the photographer arrives. A home without clutter can present itself as low-maintenance, breezy, and a place where you can easily relax after a long day. Plus, a clutter-free space leaves more room to show off the nuances and details that ultimately make a buyer or renter fall in love and make their move. 

Whether you’re in the process of listing your home with Marketplace Homes, or if you’re simply looking to refresh your surroundings, here’s a peek into what you can do to maximize your home’s “ooh, ahh” potential.

1. Declutter the Main Living Area

More than just dusting and sweeping (although these are a good start), decluttering reveals your home’s true beauty. Think of it like removing makeup at the end of the day so that your skin can breathe. The same concept can apply to your home! 

Start about one to two weeks out from your scheduled home photography session. Pare your accessories and decor down to a max of five items per surface. Move anything that isn’t designated for the room that it’s currently in (like that treadmill in your bedroom you’ve been meaning to use), and take down artwork or papers that might be taped to the walls or fridge. Put away pet food bowls, toys, and litter boxes. Store away any small appliances on countertops and floors, such as humidifiers, space heaters, toasters, and coffee makers. Don’t forget to look up! Give ceiling fans and light fixtures a quick wipedown, and replace any burnt-out lightbulbs!

Expert Tip: Most photographers won’t photograph the insides of closets, pantries, and garages unless these happen to be key selling features of your home. These spaces can serve as temporary storage to keep items out of sight until after the photographer completes your home’s photo session.

2. Let the Sunshine In

Studies say that about 42% of the U.S. population is deficient in Vitamin D. As the summer months roll in, you’ll want to open up those curtains and blinds and let in some sunshine, which can also serve as excellent natural lighting for your home’s photographs. As far as rooms that don’t necessarily have windows, make sure you have the lights switched on when your photographer arrives.

Expert Tip: Many professional real estate photographers will bring their own lighting to set up in your space, but some will prefer going the natural route. The result? Interior photos that make your home look bright, warm, and inviting.

3. Bath and Kitchen

Let’s talk about high-traffic areas like your kitchen and bathroom. According to our Marketing Concierge team, photos of these spaces can make or break your listing. You’ll want to keep your counters clean. Remember that three-to-five-item rule from earlier? Try to stick to the same rules here. Empty your kitchen sink of dirty dishes and put away toiletries in the bath and shower areas, including bottles of shampoo and body wash. Wipe down mirrors and polish faucets as well.

4. Take It Outside

Your home’s immediate surroundings are its welcome mat, giving potential buyers that all-important first impression. Make sure you pay close attention to the exterior as well. 

Trim all shrubs, hedges, and bushes around the house, making sure to clear away any weeds. You can even add little pops of color by planting some flowers on the front lawn. Cut the grass and lay down mulch or straw over any empty plant beds. Powerwash the driveway, deck, and sidings, and make sure all windows are free of dirt and grime both inside and out. Keep garbage and recycle bins out of view, and move cars out of the driveway so that the photographer can get a clear shot of your home’s exterior. Gorgeous!

Remember, these aren’t the be-all-end-all of getting your home ready for photos, but we hope these tips are helpful. If you’re currently in the process of listing your home for sale or rent with Marketplace Homes, your Marketing Concierge representative is a valuable resource. Keep their contact information on hand for additional questions, or simply call us at 800-331-0646.

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