Staging for Listing Photography: What Photographers Wish Realtors Knew!
It’s not surprising that there are many opinions about how to stage a home for sale. Homeowners have them. Realtors have them. Staging companies have them. And then, there’s the right opinion: your photographer’s. 😉 We bring our personal tastes in home decor like baggage to every home we take on as real estate professionals, but the bottom line is that if you can’t get a client to step foot in a home for a showing you likely won’t sell that home to that buyer. The importance of professional listing photos cannot be overstated. The substantial investment in staging a home won’t ever be appreciated in person unless the MLS photos are engaging. Browsing listings online is where lookers become prospects. So what can be done to improve the way a home will show in your marketing presentation–and turn those prospects into buyers?
The Big Three:
- Upgrade your light bulbs. Every single one of them. Traditional looking light bulbs, halogen type bulbs for recessed can lighting fixtures and even fluorescent lights in garages and closets — All of these spaces benefit from having daylight balanced (approx 5500 degrees Kelvin for interiors) lighting fixtures and bulbs. There is nothing worse than a dozen different yellow, orange and greenish color casts illuminating your walls in photos. Daylight balanced LED lighting isn’t the garish blue color anymore. It closely resembles open shade on a sunny day. The perfect light to compliment your home and decor, and also make it seem less dated in photos.
- Make your home look like it belongs in a Pottery Barn catalog and completely depersonalize your home. This is the hardest one because it goes against what homeowners feel makes their house a home. Problem is, prospects are culturally diverse. The full-on Egyptian themed living room with sphinx sculpture and leopard skin rugs.. It doesn’t do the house any favors with new buyers. All they see is the decor. It’s the classic case of not being able to see the forest through the trees. This look is what most professional stagers produce, but you can do it yourself for much less. It’s often worth the investment in order to bring top dollar on a short timeline for sale.
- Bring life into your home with living plants and flowers. Often, homes listed for sale seem dated and stale. Living plants — not fake plants — make your photos shine with style and vibrancy. Dining rooms, kitchens, baths, bedrooms sunrooms.. wherever sunlight exists throughout the day in the home, add some green and life to the space. The LED lighting and modern neutral decor will make the presence of plants even more impactful in your photos.
Hit the Big Three with each home you list and watch your sales take off. You’ll be happier, you’ll get more listings because your sellers will be happier, and of course your photographer will be more interested in making your listing really shine because they have great material to work with.