Prepare To Take Photos

Understand the camera’s perspective.

  •  The camera’s eye is very different from the human eye. It magnifies clutter and poor furniture arrangement. To make a home shine in a virtual tour presentation, cater to the lens.
  • Make the home “Q-tip clean.” Because the camera magnifies grime, each room must be spotless. Don’t forget floor coverings and walls; a discolored spot on the rug might be overlooked by prospects during a regular home showing, but that stain becomes a focal point for online viewers.
  • Pack up the clutter. But leave three items of varying heights on each surface. For example, on an end table, you can place a lamp (high), a small plant (medium), and a book (low).
  • Closely examine images you take with your iPhone.  Change what would improve each room’s appearance: opening blinds to let in natural light, removing magnets from the refrigerator, or taking down distracting art.
  • Pare down furniture. Identify one or two pieces of furniture that can be removed from each room to make space appear larger.
  • Rearrange. Spotlight the flow of a space by creating a focal point on the furthest wall from the doorway and arranging the other pieces of furniture to make a triangle shape. The focal point may be a bed in a bedroom or a china cabinet in a dining room.
  • Re-accessorize. Include a healthy plant in every room; the camera loves green. Energize bland decor by placing a bright vase on a mantle or draping an afghan over a couch.
  • Keep the home in shape. You want buyers who liked what they saw online to encounter the same home in person.

Make Small Spaces Bigger: 5 Ways to Show Off Space.  

Size does matter when it comes to the perception of space in a home. That’s why it’s important to make sure you show off every square foot of your listing so that buyers can visualize enough room for all of their belongings.

However, homeowners often crowd spaces with over-sized furniture, bulky accessories, and piles of clutter that wind up making a room look much smaller than what it really is.

So how can you show off that space in your listings? Besides the obvious of removing clutter, try these simple ideas from Norris.

1. Scale down the furniture: By having too many large pieces of furniture in a small room, space can feel more cramped, Norris says. Select smaller-scale furniture over large, chunky options. A good choice: furniture with wooden legs or unskirted chairs, so that you can see through the furniture to the floor underneath to open up a room.

2. Beware of overly busy patterns: Too many bold patterns in a room with fabrics and accent pieces can make a room feel smaller, Norris says. Big prints, bold plaids, and large floral patterns can be too busy for a small space. Stick to solids and use texture in fabrics to add interest.

3. Lighten Up: Dark colors absorb the light making small rooms look even smaller. “The general color rule for small spaces is lighter is better,” Norris says. Lighter colors on walls — such as creams, light blues, light greens, tan, and soft yellows — help expand the room. Plus, softer, cooler tones are soothing and relaxing, she adds.

4. Add height: Bring in anything that is tall to show off the height of the space. Whether it’s a piece of furniture such as a bookcase or an object like a tall tree, the height of the object will draw the eye upwards. Also in a house where you want to show off the height, hang the curtains above the normal window top-level, Norris says. To widen the window, tie the curtains back with a rope tieback to show off the windows.

5. Use the reflection: Hang mirrors on walls to help add visual space. “When the room is reflected in the mirror, it can make us feel like there is more space as we see ‘another room’ in the mirror,” Norris says. “Mirrors can also reflect light and views, which will help lighten up the room and make it feel open and airy.”

More Suggestions:

  • If there is an ocean view be sure it is the time of the day when the ocean is blue.
  • Make sure it is not a waste disposal day.
  • Have your lawn service do the yard the day before the tour.
  • Cancel any construction work on the day of the tour.
  • Do not schedule the tour until the Open House is over.
  • Park your car in the street away from your home or in the garage.
  • Put away clutter, toys, pet beds, clothes, and bedding. If you hide it under the bed make sure they are not visible.
  • Clean off counter tops and the top of the refrigerator/cabinets. Put away appliances, dishes, pots and pans, and food. You do not want others to think you do not have enough storage and/or counter space.
  • Icebox art and magnets have never been an issue. If you feel it does not wait to remove them when it is time to take the picture.
  • Make the bed and spruce up the pillows or quilts.
  • Remove all spider webs.
  • Remove Dog and Cat bowls and containers.
  • We will not move furniture. This prevents an injury to the photographer and or potential damage to property.
  • If you are concerned about photos of your family members take them down the day before the tour.
  • If you are concerned about expensive possessions or paintings being photographed remove them.  We can digitally cover large paintings for $2 each.
  • Make sure your pets and children do not zip through the area while the tour is being conducted.
  • Provide the photographer with the gate code or the phone number to call from the gate or meet him there.
  • Fix all problems before you list your home.

Lighting Check List.  Everyone likes a bright home.

  • Make sure all the lamps and lights work. Turn them on when the photographer arrives.
  • Disconnect any night-light timers.
  • Replace all burned out bulbs.
  • Replace fixtures and lampshades if they are damaged.
  • Make sure all fixtures are clean.
  • Add dimmer switches to areas that need mood lighting.
  • Add task lighting to your kitchen – most people don’t have enough. Mount halogen pot lights under your cupboards for optimal counter lighting.
  • Clean the skylights.
  • Clean all windows and pull back the curtains so the sun can shine in.

 Make your images sparkle.

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