When listing your home for sale, your main objectives will be to get it sold for the best price possible within the shortest time frame with the least inconvenience. Having professional looking photos of the home will go a long way to achieve these goals. With the vast majority of home buyers starting their searches online, it is key that your home stands out in the listing photos. It is well well established that a listing with pictures attracts more attention than one without. Homes with few or no pictures are often passed over in searches as buyers think that there must be something wrong with the house.
With regards to photography, you can either take the photos yourself or hire a professional photographer who has experience in photographing homes for listing purposes. I always use a professional photographer to ensure the home is presented online in the best possible light. However, if you opt to take the photographs, the following tips will be of interest:

1.) The home should be free of clutter and well maintained. It is important that the person who is looking at the photos can imagine living in the home with their furnishings. Put away magazines/newspapers, personal photographs, loose papers and toys. It is also recommended that you remove any evidence of pets such as food and water bowls, pet beds and toys.

2.) There is nothing better than natural sunlight for taking photographs. You should schedule your picture taking for a bright sunny day. Be sure to open all curtains and blinds/shades to allow as much natural light as possible. Also, turn on all lights as the brighter the area to be photographed is; the better photographs will be. Photos taken on a dark overcast day will produce dull photos that do not present the home in the best light.

3.) When photographing a room, it is always better if the shot is taken from the doorway looking into the room. Exterior photos of homes or condominium buildings look better if taken from an angle rather than directly from the front. This allows buyers to see the depth of the home or building.

4.) Prior to photography, the home should be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. In the kitchen, be sure that counters and appliances (i.e. refrigerators) are clean and free of photos and papers. The trash can should be moved to the pantry or closet and any dishes in the sink should be put in dishwasher.
With regards to bedrooms, make all beds using freshly pressed sheets, bed skirts and comforters. Clear the nights tables and dresser of any personal items including framed family photos. The dining room and living room should be free of any clutter and personal items. The furniture in these rooms should be placed to allow for walk-thru by buyers.

5.) The front exterior is usually the first photos that buyers see so you need to ensure that the house has curb appeal. Be sure that the lawn, bushes, planters and flower beds have been freshly cut and pruned as it shows that the home has been well maintained.

Selling your home is like selling a product . It must be marketed properly to reach a desired buyer. Although, your furniture and decor work for your lifestyle, it is important to optimize your home for the future owner. Some sellers may consider the use of a professional home stagger to ensure it looks its best online through the photographs. According to the National Association of realtors, 50% of staged homes experienced up to a 10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers. Also, 62% of seller’s agents say that staging decreased the number of days the home was on the market.
Should you have any questions on photographing your home for sale, I would be happy to speak with you. If you have an interest in buying or selling in the South Florida market and not currently working with an agent, please do not hesitate to contact me at JayKenney@SFPropertyTeam.com or via cell at (954) 547-9483. Many thanks!