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Preparing For Your Photo Shoot

You already know that getting your home ready for market means cleaning everything from the floor to the ceiling inside and cleaning everything outside from your door to the edges of your property.

You’ve already heard that you need to de-clutter and not allow things like newspapers, toys, shoes, clothing, or trash cans to be in evidence when buyers arrive. You already know that you should remove all personal photos, trophies, collections, hunting mounts, and other items that personalize the house.

When getting ready for your photo shoot you need to go one step further. These photos are going to be the magnets that draw prospective buyers to your home – so make them the best they can be. It takes a bit of work, but since it could shorten your time on the market and add thousands to your selling price, it’s worth the effort.

First, in this case “clean” means “polished,” because one fingerprint on the front of the dishwasher or a film of dust on the dining room table WILL show up in the photos.

Then there are some things you might not have considered:

  • Open blinds and window treatments AND turn on all overhead lights and lamps
  • Use all bulbs of the same temperature – warm or cool – and replace any burned out bulbs.
  • Turn all ceiling fans, televisions, and computer screens off.
  • Remove all small rugs – even from the bathroom.
  • Clear the counter-tops in both kitchen and bath – remove all appliances, soaps, toiletries, etc. except those recommended by your staging professional.
  • Place new towels on display in the bathrooms.
  • Press bed linens and bed skirts – and remove anything from under the bed that might show in a photo.
  • Remove clutter from all surfaces – fireplace mantle, dressers, end tables, desks, etc. Two or three decorative objects per surface and flower arrangements are fine.
  • Remove all waste baskets, diaper pails, etc.
  • Close all toilet lids.
  • In children’s rooms, remove wall posters and any objects bearing the child’s name.
  • Remove phone chargers and tuck away cords/cables leading to TV’s, computers, etc.
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly around tables – in the house and on the patio.
  • Use decorative place settings on the dining table if available.
  • Outside, put the cars in the garage and shut the doors.
  • Put away all visible hoses, garden tools, yard toys, etc.
  • Mow the lawn and weed the flower beds.

As you prepare, envision the homes you see in glossy magazines – and strive to make your house look just as inviting and impersonal. Remember, your object is to cause would-be buyers to envision themselves and their own possessions in the house.

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