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Are you thinking of selling your St. Louis home and don’t know where to start? In the past, curb appeal was the most important first step to make your home stand out. Nowadays, most potential buyers view listings online to determine if they even want to look at the home based on what they see. Taking good listing photos should be your starting point, so here are some tips to ensure your photos will get noticed.
Clean and Declutter
What you may deem as charming decor may seem like clutter to buyers. By depersonalizing your space a bit, other people viewing it can picture themselves living there. Remove the baskets of toys, the stacks of DVDs, the books piled on your nightstand, and the mound of magazines in the living area. Tuck away your small appliances from the kitchen counter. Organize your pantry, your garage, and your closets. Once you have decluttered everything, give the home a spring cleaning. Make your windows sparkle, sweep and mop the floors, and clean off all surfaces. You’ll need to do this cleaning to show the home anyway, so starting now with the listing photos will reflect what the buyer will eventually see in person.
Stage Your Home
This doesn’t necessarily require a professional, but it does require a discerning eye. Remove any bulky furniture that may make the space look smaller and rearrange the existing furniture to highlight the focal point of your room. Create conversation areas with accents such as fresh flowers or throw pillows. Make sure beds are made, rooms are clean, and personal items are put away. Consider painting the home with warm and neutral colors that appeal to the masses and reflect well in a photo.
Natural light is a big selling point for buyers. Once you’ve cleaned your windows, make sure you’re going to take photos on a day when the sun is out and shining. If it’s too cloudy out, it will cast a blue glow over the room. Keep your window treatments open to let the light shine in, and add additional lighting such as lamps or sconces to give the room additional warmth.
Taking your listing photos with your cell phone isn’t going to cut it. Your listing photos are essentially the advertising that is going to bring potential buyers through the door, so low quality photos might be a red flag that you, as a seller, may be hiding something. You can hire a professional photographer to get good shots, or you can invest in a higher-grade camera and do it yourself. Try to take your photos from the corner of the room to encompass as much of the room as possible, making sure to capture the home’s best features. If your home has a view, photograph it from both the inside and outside of the home. The more photos you have to show, the better. With that said, there is no need to go overboard – be discerning when editing your photos and choose the ones that best represent the home.
Review the Photos
Digital cameras allow us to take and view multiple photos at a moment’s notice. Don’t just review and select based on what you see on the camera, take the time to look through each photo on a monitor and choose the ones that best represent your home. You may need to do some editing if the photos look too dark or the color and contrast are off. Bottom line is, the buyers will expect the photo to reflect what the home truly looks like, so avoid wide angle shots or photos that don’t depict the actual features and size of your home.
Listing photos are generally the first thing a buyer sees when looking at your home. Be prepared to keep your house decluttered and clean so potential buyers are not disappointed when they come to view it. Buyers want to trust that they haven’t been deceived, so if the listing photos are an actual representation of the home it puts them at ease the moment they walk through the door. What do you look for when perusing listing photos online?