Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is Your Home "Picture Perfect"?

A large majority of today’s buyers start their home search on the internet.  What does that mean to you? It means the first impression buyers get of your home could be photos posted online. And, they need to be pretty darn good to make your home stand out.

Would it be safe to say that if the home looks good in person, it will also look good in photos? There are a few things to remember to make the photos of your home the best they can be.

So, if you have a small room, edit the amount of furniture, and make sure what is in there is the proper scale. A large sectional sofa in a small family room is going to eat up even more space in a photo. And, an overly large room will appear even bigger if there is too much empty space.

A pop of color is crucial in photos. They have a tendency to wash out color, so the room you thought was colorful enough, may not photograph that way. The solution can be as simple as adding some colorful throw pillows on a couch, or a vibrant piece of art on the wall.

Light says cheery and dark says dreary! Natural light can cast an appealing glow on your home, so take advantage of it. Open those curtains and blinds, but the best time of day to have your home photographed is early morning or in the evening. The sun is lower, and your photos will be softer with less contrast.

Clutter is even more apparent in photos. It’s hard for buyers to concentrate on the home, when there are hairdryers on the bathroom counters, a collection of remote controls on the coffee table, or a dining room table stacked high with the family’s belongings.

People and pets in photos are a no-no. It may be that Grandpa hasn’t left his recliner in ten years, but his presence in the photo will be too distracting. And kitty needs to be moved off the bed, just long enough for photos to be taken. Be sure to watch out for reflections, too.  Many an unsuspecting agent or homeowner has been caught in a mirror!

Whether your agent takes the photos or a professional photographer is brought in, it is your responsibility to have the home in camera-ready condition. And, since these photos will either entice buyers to see your home or cause them to put your home in the “definitely not” pile, be sure you get to see the photos before they are posted. There are websites dedicated to bad MLS photos, and you wouldn’t want your home to wind up there. It’s the responsibility of you and your agent to make sure your home looks perfect in pictures.


  1. Elaine, I'm so glad I found your new blog! I love reading about staging, even though I have no plans to sell anytime soon. These are great tips. I find that photos often reveal things that the naked eye can't see. Somehow, taking a photo of, say, my entry table, shows me that it's missing something for height or color or something else. I look forward to learning more from you!

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Tricia! I like to take the MLS photos with me on a consultation, and the sellers are always surprised with the way their home looks. It's much easier for me to make suggestions from the photos, rather than from the home itself.

      I hope you'll be back as I add more info!


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