Preparation is the key.  We have compiled some helpful tips for the homeowner to prepare their home for the photo session:
Clean!  This can not be stressed enough!  No one wants to look at a dirty home.  Clean like your mother-in-law is coming to visit.
Declutter.  We know that you’re proud of Junior’s tennis trophies, but this is not the time to show them off.  It would be a good time to go ahead and pack these away safely so that you can display them in your new home.  Same goes for your PEZ and beer bottle collection, the stack of empty flower pots in the yard, and the junk mail that has amassed on the kitchen counter.  We are all human and all have similar clutter in our homes, but we pretend we don’t when we want to sell it.
Hide the pets and kids!  Here at Pierce Pixels, we LOVE pets!  In fact, we have a little white floor mop (Shih Tzu) of our own.  Kids?  Of course, we LOVE  them too!  We have two tween boys –  and you KNOW they can make a home look “lived in” in seconds!  When your home is on the market, try to make it look like there has never been a pet in the house and your kids have never drawn on the walls (Magic Eraser is a godsend!).  Put away the pet food bowls and hide the litter box.  Stash the kids’ and pets’ toys in a closet.  Take the one-of-a-kind original paintings off the fridge.
Secure. Don’t help thieves.  If you have a valuable gun or jewelry collection, this is not the time to display them.  Please, don’t help thieves by leaving these precious items out while your house is being shown.  Remember, your address and pictures of the content of your home will be on the internet for all to see – not just potential buyers!
Go “bah-humbug”.  It may be near a festive holiday when you put your home on the market, but potential buyers won’t want to see your Jack-o-lantern if it is January and your house is still for sale.  Take down any seasonal decorations, at least for the photo shoot.
Empty nest.  If you’ve already moved to your new dream home and your old home is now empty, there are still a few things you can do to make the home more visually appealing.  It is always a good idea to have the carpets cleaned.  This will help remove pressure marks where your furniture had been.  Fill and touch-up holes and scuff-marks on the walls.  A fresh coat of paint is always nice, but if this isn’t possible, at least make sure you go over the walls and trim with some cleaner and/ or Magic Eraser.
Below, we’ve compiled a room-by-room checklist with specific tips for preparing your home for the photo shoot:
  • Living / Dining rooms / Den – Declutter as much as possible.  Make sure floors and walls are clean.  Remove any family photos from display.  Hide cords, if possible.
  • Kitchen – Put away dishes.  Declutter countertops.  Remove all but one or two appliances from countertops.  Make sure that floors and countertops are clean.  Take everything off the fridge – pictures, magnets, honey-do lists.  Hide any trash cans or trash bags.
  • Bedrooms – Make the beds.  Stage pillows neatly on the bed.  Put away clothes and toys.
  • Bathrooms – Clear clutter from the countertops, including toothbrushes.  Remove any kids’ toys from the tub.  Hang clean towels. Put the seat down 🙂
  • Garage – The inside of the garage may or may not be included in the photos.  Just in case, try to remove as much clutter as possible.  A clean, organized garage that can actually hold a car or three is very appealing to a buyer.
  • Yard – Remove or repair any signs of pets in the yard.  Put away kids’ toys.  Clean garden areas.  Minimize any eyesores in the yard – such as a compost pile.
  • Porch – The front of the home will be the first picture any potential buyers will see.  You will want your home to look inviting.  Clean any cobwebs off the porch.  Wash the windows.  Put away the old, faded lawn furniture.  A nice chair with a bright cushion and side table with fresh flowers (or bright, new, fake flowers) are definitely welcoming.
Now that you’ve read all of the tips on preparing your home for the photo shoot, take a deep breath.  You are human.  You are moving.  You are probably stressed already.  Do what you can.  It’s going to be okay.