When you’re trying to sell your home you take photos—which end up online for all your potential buyers to see. This step is way more important than it may seem.
Think of these photos like an online dating profile. If people don’t like what they see at first glance, they’re going to move on—to a better looking number down the street.
To avoid that, you have two options: Hire a photographer (expensive) or learn to take good photos yourself. If you choose the later, here’s how to get the job done.
1. Clean up First
Cut the grass, pull the weeds, sweep the drive, move your car out of the shot, and make sure there is absolutely no clutter in any photos. If you’re ambitious, spread a little mulch and plant a few flowers.
2. Get an Angle
When taking photos of the exterior of your house, don’t stand directly in front. Instead, move to the side and experiment with different angles. This usually results in a more interesting shot.
3. Consider Lighting
This might just be the most important step. If you ever walked down your street as the sun set, you surely noticed how the homes seem to glow from within? That’s exactly the look you want to capture. How? Turn on your lights inside the house and wait till just before dusk. The timing should be just right so that the exterior of the home is still illuminated, yet you’re able to see the glow inside of the house as well.
4. Hold Steady
Make sure not to tilt the camera up or down, which creates an odd effect. Also be careful so that the horizon is straight. If necessary, use a tripod.
5. Take Your Time—and Turn Off Your Flash
As an amateur, you might not know exactly how to work the light when taking interior shots. Experts recommend turning on all the lights in the home and shooting just before sunrise or just after sunset, which results in nice balanced light.
6. Ditch Your Cell Phone
We know! Everyone just raves about the quality of cell phone pictures—and they are great for selfies. But to shoot an entire room, you’ll need a lens with a wider angle. This doesn’t mean you need a $1,000 camera; a decent point-and-shoot will do.
7. Move Around
The days of paying for film are long gone, so don’t limit the number of photos you take. Move around the room and experiment with different angles. Take close-up shots of interesting features, like fireplaces or chandeliers. The more you shoot, the more choices you’ll have.
Staging a House with Self Storage
None of your effort will result in good-looking photos if you skimp on step one (decluttering). The thing is, clearing out your space is just as good for showings as it is for photos. Nobody wants to open a closet and see it stuffed. Nobody wants to see a playroom that’s packed with toys.
Renting a self storage unit for a month or two is probably more affordable than you think—and can result in a quicker home sale at a better price.