A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
There are a few staging rules you should apply before taking pictures of your property.
- Always set the table – place settings with napkins, candles and wine glasses tell the viewer they can entertain with style and that your place is complete and refined
- GET RID OF THE CLUTTER: Make sure the kitchen counters and any shelving or bookcases are thoroughly de-cluttered. Uncluttered space looks larger in pictures and much more inviting.
- Your personal belongings, family photos etc should be put away for the shoot. Straighten up! Crooked window shades and curtains, lamp shades, picture frames, throw rugs, sofa pillows — all can show up glaringly in a photograph. Remove excess furniture so the room isn’t crowded.
- Add as many pillows as is reasonable to beds, turning down the quilts/comforters a la Euro style.
- TV’s should actually be turned on as they show better in a photo than just a black screen – ditto for fireplaces
- Add some flowers to the dining and or living rooms – this adds a nice focal point or a nice bowl of fruit will really set it off
- photo – then zoom in to a focal feature of the room (armchair by fireplace, view from the window).
- Of course a clean home does shine through so hire a professional team to put some sparkle ‘n shine into it – if paint touch ups are needed get them done too
- Find the most flattering angle of the room – walk around until you see a configuration that includes most of the features or highlights the main feature – take several angles. Often a corner of the room is best to shoot from.
- Sunny days are probably best for outdoor photos – blue skies make your location appealing but overcast days are best for indoor photos where you can avoid the “light blast” coming in from windows. Close the blinds and use your flash for an even balance of light.
- If you have a furnished patio/balcony two tall drinks, coffee cups and towel or other props shows how the space can be utilized
- Many people suggest turning on all the lights – set your flash to auto so it fires when necessary
- Use a step stool to rise a bit higher in the room and take a long shot
- Pros use a tripod – no more shaky photos from a hand held
For absolute best results hire a professional Real Estate photographer where you can be assured of perfect focus and exposure.
Make Your Property Move-in Ready
How do we move the property from “your home” to a “tenant’s dream home”? There are some key things in place that you may want to look at.
- The first order of business is to get rid of all your personal stuff. You might think that your books, magazines and movies would be a great asset to those who might make your place a home – but I can assure you that is not the case. Unless your place is just for a short-term holiday, prospective tenants will want to make it their includes family photos, personal mementos and of course your diary (joke).
- Anything of sentimental or real value to you and is not easily replaceable should also be packed away. Typically this includes fine china and silver, crystal vases and glass ware, heirlooms and anything else that you cherish. Your renters will need only basic dish and glass ware and won’t miss these other valuable items.
- Keep your artwork simple and sparse and your decorative knickknacks are not needed. I also find that sculptures (unless they are large and heavy) really have no place in a rental home, after all art is subjective and your pieces may not be for everyone while at the same time you don’t want your renter to feel that they are living in a museum. I am always amazed at how homeowners who advertise their space for rent will put a value on all the “artwork” as if that adds anything to the comfort of the stay.
- What your renter will want is a comfortable bed, fully equipped kitchen, a place to read, study or work, most of the utilities covered and secure parking. Anything extra is just that extra and may not add much to the final rental price.
- In addition keeping your place scrupulously clean, painted and in good repair will add value. Making sure that everything works from the lights to the BBQ to the fireplaces EVERYTHING should be working as it was meant to be. Fix it if it does not work or work as it should.
In the end the better care your property has the better your renter will also take care of it. If you care so will they.