How to prepare your house/location for real estate photos

Follow a checklist, declutter all areas and decorate the interior with flower arrangements so that your listing will stand out.  Real estate photography preparation can be tricky, time consuming and stressing, but when done the proper way, it can be also fun and extremely useful for you.

If you are thinking about renting or selling your property, apartment or even office space or building, then you need to consider professional real estate photos. With the economy growth registered in the last years, the real estate market is at its peak, and the properties that make a better first impression, have better chances to go first. Regardless if you are selling or renting, real estate photos are meant to enhance the chances by illustrating all the pluses your property has over others. With 360 View Chicago, your real estate property will look its best and your showings will have successful outcomes.

Make a Photography Prep List and Follow it

Make a general list with steps to follow, so that nothing is left out when prepping your property for real estate photo-shoot.  A real estate photography prep list will help you follow certain steps so that you can check-mark them as you go, making sure you are not missing any important aspect of your preparation. The first impression is important in every aspect of the social/cultural life, hence its importance when it comes to real estate. To make things easier for you, we at 360 View Chicago compiled a list that will help you have a better idea about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to real estate photography.

Go From General to Specific

Certain areas will need specific actions, to be properly set up and photo-ready. Add specific items to your general list, focusing on each area at a time.  The real estate photography checklist bellow will help you keep things simple and neat. Decluttering is the key to a successful first impression on your perspective buyer or renter.  When everything looks “picture perfect” in reality, you will have the perfect images also. Since all property searches start with an online search in the first place, the importance and impact of real estate photo is of magistral proportions. Each area of
your property needs certain care, but there are some steps that apply to all areas, so before focusing on each part of your house, you need to follow an over-all general to do list, that will help you get things started:
– Clean all the areas of your property thoroughly, including windows, carpets, hardwood floors, counter tops.
– Make sure all the light bulbs are working and replace the ones that need replacing, using the same type of light bulbs everywhere for even light.
– Turn all the lamps and overhead lights on.
– The TV’s need to be turned off, and in case you have any ceiling fans or any other type of fans, these should be turned off also.
– Do not close blinds, so that you have the natural light coming in.
– Personal photographs should be removed or replaced with general ones, since the photos you will have after the photoshoot will be on the internet.
– Make sure no items that need to be inside of a cupboard or closed are left outside.
– Reveal the floors of your property as much as you can by removing small, decorative rugs you might have.
Preparing your home for a photo-shoot using a list can be easy and efficient, instead of making you feel like its a burden. All the above steps are meant to give you an idea on how to start preparing your property for a professional real estate photography session. Using a list will make you feel accomplished once all the items are checked and will for sure make your property look better in the pictures.

Follow the Out of Sight/Out of Mind Idea

Store personal items, change personal photos with landscapes and other decorative frames, remove toys and add color by using live plants and flower arrangements. Getting a house ready for estate agent photos does not limit at the list above. While these general steps apply to all areas of your house, there are specific steps for each area that need to be considered when getting your house for a professional real estate photo session with 360 View Chicago. The kitchen is one of the areas that needs special attention. Once all the appliances are properly cleaned, the counter-tops need to be cleared completely. We all use our kitchen counter space for other things that kitchen related, or we like to have things handy for breakfast.
Since you are getting ready for a professional real estate photo session, the counter-tops should be clear of all pancake mix, coffee and tea boxes, knifes, recipes or even mail. You can leave out the coffee maker, a fruit bowl, and maybe a toaster. The outside of the fridge should be cleared of magnets, photos, reminders or your children’s drawings. The garbage cans should be out of sight and so should be the dishes. A fresh flower arrangement in one of the corners of on the breakfast nook could add some color and make the place look better. Just remember to keep everything in place. As long as every area is neat, your pictures will look perfect.

Declutter and Decorate

Decluttering will make all areas of your property, indoor and outdoor, look neat and tidy, and the decorative accents will highlight the beauty of the entire home.  Part of the prepping steps, we at 360 View Chicago have home staging photography tips for every area of your house since every part has its special requirements. For the dining room and family room, besides the general cleaning steps mentioned above and the proper dusting of all the furniture we suggest you declutter by removing toys, magazines, papers, use flower arrangements, keep only a couple of art pieces on the fireplace or on your book shelf, make sure chairs are evenly spaced and pillows look fluffy. For all the bedrooms, including the master bedroom, the set-up starts with bed-making, using the decorative pillows and shams you don’t usually take the time to add, every single day. The beds need to have that hotel look, with perfectly arranged covers and pillows. We recommend you remove all your personal items from the night-stands, and all personal photographs from the dresser-top or walls. An important area to consider cleaning is under the bed, making sure that there is nothing that can show up in the pictures and disrupt the neatness of the space.

Don’t Forget About the Front and Back Yards

Landscape improvements, hiding garden items, planting some new flowers and attending to your lawn, are only a few actions that can make a difference in real estate photos.  The home photography checklist also includes taking care of the outside of the house, your front and back yards, that also need special care when getting ready for a professional real estate photo session. First of all, make sure that the landscape looks great, and that the grass was watered before. If you need to, you can plant some flowers, clean the leaves, mow and trim. You need to remove all visible, every-day items to you have around, like water hoses and toys, pool supplies and if you have any water fountains, make sure they are turned on. The outdoor furniture needs to be clean and new-looking, so if the cushions’ color faded from the sun, it is the perfect time to invest in some new ones.  After all, the pictures need to show a perfect, clean, welcoming yard, so that your prospective buyers will call and make an appointment, as soon as they are finished looking at the pictures.

Proper Preparation Leads to Perfect Pictures

Make your property sand out by following a checklist, and let the natural light inside.  The more you prepare, the better your pictures will look.  Preparing your house for a realtor can take time and energy, but it is the right way to get buyers or renters who are interested in your property. Since there are so many options on the market, the way to stand out is to have impeccable pictures and in order to accomplish that, a neat, organized, clean property is the start.
Preparing your home for real estate photos is, in our opinion, extremely rewarding. Once you finish with all the preparations, and you arranged all areas of your house following the checklists and suggestions we made, it is time for our professional staff to step in. We ask all our clients to finish all the preparations for the photo shoot themselves for several reasons, but most importantly because we do not make any changes to the design and furniture arrangement, and we do not use special editing programs like photoshop, to add or remove things from the pictures. We focus on the natural and artificial light and make sure to use the right angles so that your property pictures will look appealing to the eye of every prospective buyer, but it is up to you how exactly everything is arranged.

Let the Natural Light in

Light is the most important medium in photography, so turn on all the lights, and open the shades and blinds, to give the airy feeling to the entire house.  Real estate photography lighting is an important aspect for the success of the photo session and how the pictures will look like, that is why, you need to make sure that the windows are cleaned, blinds are opened and the access of natural light is not blocked anywhere. Also, all the headlights and lamps should be on at the time of the photoshoot.
Real estate photo staging implies not only a throughout cleaning and decluttering of your property but also using art and flower arrangements to make the place better looking and more inviting. We all know that a nice art piece, as a landscape, can add
value to an empty wall that was previously occupied by family photos, and that flower arrangements and fresh green plants can add life to the entire space. If you do not have any plants to display, we encourage you to invest in a few. If you do have, make sure they have alike-looking pots, that the leaves are dusted, and that the are no yellow, dead leaves on any of the plants.

Adapt the Checklist to Your Property Needs

Each property is unique and each will need certain actions to become picture ready.  Do not hesitate to make changes to the lists according to each area.  The real estate photography shot list above can be updated to fit your needs.  Maybe you have a pool or a fire place, a rooftop patio of a grill area. You can start with our suggestions and work your way around the house making sure that all areas are neat and tidy before the photo shoot. You can add or remove items from the list, according to your needs and the particularity of your property. Maybe you are renting or selling an office space, or maybe you don’t have kids, so removing toys is not a step you need to follow, but maybe you have a dog or a cat, and you will need to temporarily remove the water and food bowls to an area that is not being photographed. It all depends on you and your life-style, but the general requirements specific to each area, still stand.

“Picture Perfect” With the Perfect Photographers

Experienced real estate photographers will make the difference when it comes to your listing’s photos. So instead of reading and focusing on a DIY kind of project, invest in a real company that will help you rent or sell your property in no time.  Good real estate photos imply good photographers and nice looking property.  But that will not help you stand out from the crowd. With so many properties listed on every real estate specialized website, the first impression is extremely important and we all know that pictures help clients in deciding if they want to set up a viewing or not. So in order for you to sell or rent your property in the shortest amount of time possible, a professional photo session is required. You will need great, amazing, breathtaking real estate photos, of a neat and tidy, great looking property, taken by the best photographers in the industry in order to stand out and for your property to become the center of attention. And that is when 360 View Chicago come in. With us, you will have the best real estate photographs of your property, and that will for sure, enhance the changes of you renting or selling it in no time. Just give us a call today and set up an appointment with our team and you will have the best looking property pictures in no time.