Staging your property for photography
If you’re choosing to have a professional property photographer photograph your home then one of the most important things to think about is what is known as ‘home staging’. You want your home to look it’s best, so let’s imagine someone important is coming round for tea that you want to impress.
The most important thing is to make your property clean, tidy and clutter free so any potential buyer can look at the photographs and imagine themselves living there. It will also give a better indication of space and allow any viewer to get an idea of what size furniture will comfortably go into each room.
As a photographer I understand that you may still be living in the property so putting loose items in a few storage boxes may help if storage space is tight, which can easily be moved out of camera view as required. Things that are commonly used can then be put back into place once the property photography is complete.
On the day
On the day of the photography it may be necessary for me to conduct a little extra home staging or to advise you to move something that has been overlooked. Don’t worry about that, of course I’m not there to tidy up on your behalf but happy to tweak a few things with the aim of getting the best shots to sell your home.
No one says it’s going to be easy but it really does make a difference and if you are serious about the move this may be a great way to start to get rid of a few things that you really don’t need to take with you. So here’s a few ideas that may help to point you in the right direction.
General tips for all areas in the home
- Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpets, mop hard floors, clean worktops and windows)
- Replace all non-working light bulbs
- Use bulbs of the same temperature
- Turn all TVs and computer screens OFF
- Open blinds/curtains to let in outside light
- Remove personal photographs
- Make all beds
- Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
- Place all shoes/jackets in wardrobes
First impressions last and when a buyer first arrives at a property this is the first thing they see. The same can be said online and even though the buyer may have an understanding of the area the appearance of a neat and tidy exterior may also reflect the district and the people living in that neighbourhood.
- Close garage doors
- Remove vehicles from driveway and front of home
- Clean up landscaping (mow the lawn, clear leaves)
- Remove empty plant pots
- Remove visible water hoses and garden tools
- Store toys, sports balls, basketball goals, football goals, etc. out of sight
- Remove bins and unsightly objects
- Arrange any garden furniture neatly
- Clean the windows
Believe it or not people spend a lot of time in the kitchen not just preparing food but also as a bit of a social hub. It will need to look as big as possible with plenty of worktop space and of course clean and clutter free.
- Clear worktops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, post, etc.
- Leave out max of one small appliance (e.g. coffee maker)
- Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
- Move bins out of sight
- Remove dishes from sink
- Hide all sponges, towels, oven gloves and cleaning products
- Remove pet food bowls and bedding
- Close all cupboards
Imagine you’ve invited someone important around for dinner and you want to impress them.
- Clear table and dust the table top
- Use decorative place setting if available
- Feature one centrepiece such as flowers
- Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
- Remove child seats and odd chair cushions
This may be the room to kick off your shoes and lay on the sofa, but not for the photos. A cosy warm and inviting environment is needed here where anyone looking to buy your home will feel they can relax in the evening.
- Remove stacks of magazines, papers, post, etc.
- Declutter fireplace mantelpiece
- Clean interior of fireplace
- Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
- Remove kid’s toys
- Remove personal photographs where possible
Imagine you walked into a £80 a night B&B and it looked like your bedroom, would you be happy? Bedrooms tend to collect all kinds of possessions so a little extra time may be needed here.
- Make bed and arrange decorative pillows if available
- Clear bedside tables of all personal items
- Store away phone/tablet charging cables
- Remove all clutter, make-up, cosmetics, etc. from top of dressers
- Remove family photos from walls
- Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos
- Tidy children’s toys away in a box
- Remove coats or bed robes from the back of doors
As far as photography is concerned the bathroom is just full of random coloured items and being untidy relates to dirty. Don’t forget it’s full of personal items to which probably belong in draws.
- Clear counter tops of soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
- Put toilet seats down
- Close cupboard doors
- Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from shower cubicle and bath
- Put away all cleaning products
- Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
- Remove floor mats
Don’t feel you have to do everything in one go. Once you have arranged the date and time for your property photography, do a little at a time, that way you’ll be more productive. Once you’ve seen the results of your time and the house is well on it’s way to being sold you’ll be glad that you made the effort.