How to prepare your home for home staging and real estate photography

Introduction

You’ve done it. You’re ready to sell your home and move on to the next stage of life. But there’s just one small problem: It’s not exactly ready for prime time yet. You need to do some staging! If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s what it means: Staging is any kind of work you do on your home before photographing or showing it off publicly in order to make it look its absolute best. Staging doesn’t just mean putting a few throw pillows on your couch (although that would be super helpful). Instead, staging is about improving upon what already works well—and hiding anything else that might detract from how great your house looks in its current state. So if you’re thinking about selling your place soon but haven’t had time/money/opportunity/whatever to spruce up before getting an agent involved…read on! Here are some easy ways for anyone with minimal DIY skills or budget constraints can get started with their own home-staging project today!

Wipe down all surfaces

When you’re preparing your home for a photographer, it’s important to wipe down all surfaces – this includes walls, cabinets, fixtures and furniture. Use a good quality all-purpose cleaner that will leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Wipe down the floors as well. This might seem like an obvious step, but there are two reasons why it’s necessary: firstly, because dust particles can negatively affect the appearance of your photos; secondly, because dusty floors may be an indication of poor air circulation or ventilation in your house – which could impact potential buyers’ decision-making process when they see these photographs online later on (and we all know how much people love their air ducts).

Of course if you don’t have time to clean every room in your house before staging it for real estate photography purposes (and who does?), then focus on those rooms that are more likely to be photographed such as living rooms and kitchens.

Clean floors

Cleaning your floors is a must to ensure that your home shows well. You want to make sure that they are clean and free of dirt, scuffs, stains and other marks of wear. If you have hardwood floors, you should sweep or vacuum them first and then use a damp mop to wipe down the floor. For tile and other stone surfaces, use a damp cloth with mild soap and water.

Clean windows, inside and out (including window frames)

There are a few basic things you need to do before you start photographing your home. One of these is cleaning your windows, inside and out.

  • Clean all window panes with a squeegee or newspaper folded in half (or whatever you’ve got on hand). This will make sure they’re as clear as possible when the photographer takes pictures. If there’s too much water on them, the photographs won’t look great!
  • You’ll also want to clean any windowsills, frames and sills (the wood around the frame) so they don’t distract from a beautiful view outside.

Clean mirrors and glass

The first step to cleaning a mirror or glass is to use a glass cleaner. This will help remove any fingerprints or smudges that may be on the surface. Next, you should wipe down the mirror/glass with a microfiber cloth and squeegee if it’s a mirror. Microfiber cloths work great at removing dirt, dust, and grime from surfaces because they have such fine fibers that allow them to pick up anything they come into contact with—even microscopic particles. Finally, you can use your vacuum cleaner if there is still something left behind after washing with soap and water (like smoke residue).

Organize closets so that the empty space is visible.

The most important thing to do is to organize your closets. You want to make sure that the empty space is visible and obvious, so you don’t want clothes and shoes hanging all over the place.

If you have a lot of clothing, organize it by color or type. For example, if you have jeans and slacks, hang them on hangers in one section of your closet; if you have sweaters and blouses, hang them in another section; if you have skirts and dresses, put those in another section. If there are any items that don’t fit into any of these categories (like men’s underwear), keep those separate from everything else as well.

If it’s easier for you to see what’s inside each bin when they’re labeled with letters or numbers instead of having everything mixed together alphabetically or chronologically (or however else), feel free to label each bin individually with whatever makes sense for its contents—just make sure not too many different things get placed into any one bin!

Take down curtains or valances to show window size and bring in more light.

If you have curtains or valances on your windows, take them down. If you have blinds, open them evenly for maximum effect. You want to show off the size of your windows and make sure light is hitting all sides of each room so it looks larger than it is.

Remove photos and personal items such as diplomas, collections, trophies, and awards.

Removing photos and personal items such as diplomas, collections, trophies, and awards will help the buyers imagine their own things in your home.

If you want to keep a photo of your family or pets, consider removing it from the wall and putting it in an album or frame.

Good photography is an important part of marketing your home for sale

Good photography is an important part of marketing your home for sale. It’s a key factor in helping buyers see the home as their own. Great photos can also help them visualize how they would use the space, which can be especially helpful if you’re trying to sell luxury homes or high-end properties.

While you may not have the budget to hire professional photographers, there are some things that you can do as a homeowner to create better photos for all types of real estate photography projects:

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you get your home ready for staging and real estate photography! We know that it can feel overwhelming to have strangers in your home, but we’re here to help sell your property and make sure that everything looks its best.

Physical vs. Virtual Staging

Realtors and homeowners find themselves wrestling with the question of which staging technique to deploy at their property, physical or virtual. In a time when the pandemic has pushed us to think differently about the ways in which we use technology, virtual staging has gained traction over the recent months. However traditional physical staging stands the test of time since its inception in the 1970’s. To decide which investment provides the highest return and value, home sellers and realtors should decide on the true goal of deploying the staging strategy. The most common goal is to sell the home for the maximum potential in the least amount of time.

In order to achieve maximum potential, it is important to understand buying behavior. According to the National Association of Realtors, 97% of home buyers used the internet to search for a home. This set a record over previous years. Thus, home sellers must make a good first impression through pictures to create property awareness. These pictures must give off a light and livable vibe that showcases the best features of the home and feels spacious. The key preparation to accomplish this is a balanced and strategic design concept.

The second and most important step tasked to home sellers and realtors is to convert awareness of the property into serious interest for one or more potential home buyers. Often this interest translates to written offers. The conversion from awareness to interest happens when the potential buyer makes an emotional connection to the space. While virtual staging gives you a platform to showcase your home online, physical staging ensures that the house looks and feels just as good as it did online.

Staging: The Only Cost That Makes Home Sellers Money


While there are many home seller services available that relive stress and expedite the process for you, professional staging is the only service with a track record of high Return on Investment (ROI).

Professional stagers use their knowledge of design styles, real estate ethics, and property renovation solutions to showcase the best features of your house, keep customer’s eyes moving past the nuances, and helps you reach you reach your financial goals. Staging helps you properly merchandise your home so it appeals to the largest customer base, maximizing the marketability of your property.

According to the 2020 Survey of Staged Homes by RASA, 85% of staged homes sold for 5-23% over list price. Stagers objectively view your property and provide recommendations to improve your ROI. This same survey noted that an average investment of 1% led to 75% of sellers seeing an increased ROI of 5-15% over asking price with the property selling faster than unstaged properties, averaging only 23 days on the market.

Professionally staged properties:

  • Show better in pictures and in person
  • Are positioned as well maintained in buyers minds
  • Are more likely to be shown by buyer’s agents as they are recognized as move in ready.

Professional home stagers can work within your budget to help you invest in the right projects that provide the highest ROI. Home stagers can make recommendations from paint color, fixture and finish upgrade prioritization, floor plan design, knowing what should stay and what should be packed up, upgrades or renovations, and a network to complete it all.

Let There Be Light | Home Staging |Rochester, MN

Do you ever wonder why some people’s online house photos seem picturesque as if straight out of a magazine? The answer is light! Light is one of the most important elements to focus on when prepping your home.  Light makes homes feel clean, inviting and significantly larger.  Below are three easy light hacks to capture amazing photos for the sale of your home.

  1. Remove or replace your window treatments and open the blinds. Remove any black out curtain or light filtering window treatments. If window treatments are needed, use a fresh white sheer curtain. Pull blinds all the way open.
  2. Clean windows. Grab the Windex and start wiping. Remove dirt, debris, and water marks from windows.   
  3. Change out all light bulbs to be the same. Nothing is more apparent than missing, burnt out, or various shades of light bulbs. Stay consistent with light bulb color throughout the house. Daylight colored lights enhance the feel of clean windows and natural light coming into the space.

Make Your Porch Pop |Home Staging| Rochester, MN

I don’t know about you, but this cooler-than-normal Minnesota spring has me yearning for the long summer days with sun so warm it burns my skin.  If summer could come sooner, I would even willingly accept the “h” word… humidity! It’s this longing for warmth that drove my initiative to revamp our three season porch. To be honest, I thought I might as well try to will summer upon us by getting my porch ready, because mother nature is not holding up her end of the bargain.

Here are humble pictures of the porch before the upgrade. The porch is a decent size, rich in warm browns and right off the recently updated kitchen. Honestly, it was a slight eye sore next to the updated kitchen with it’s beige-on-beige motif. This truly hurt my heart having such a beautiful kitchen with large glass windows looking out onto a drab space. The space has loads of potential that is used religiously by our family as an extended outdoor dining room and central gathering place for friends and family. The space was already designed for functionality, but desperately called for some increased tranquility and personality.

Armed with a nearly non-existent budget and less than an hour to shop, I hit the closest store to home, Walmart.  I had been dreaming of buying a blue rug for this space for nearly two years. Briskly walking through the Home & Garden section, I found a rug that was the perfect shade of blue. However the space called for a 9 by 13 foot rug and Wallyworld only had 6 by 9 foot rugs. If you know about rug sizes, 9 by 13 feet is not a common rug size to find at a box store. The stars aligned for this rug though. Pairing two rugs side by side we were able to replicate a 9 by 13 foot rug. We coupled the rugs with some beautiful throw pillows to pull out the blue tones from the rug and brought in some greenery for accent decor. We don’t always get lucky, but on this dreary cold Sunday we were able to transform this space into a peaceful and inviting oasis in the matter of hours.

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