Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Good Picture's Worth Thousands of Dollars

Yesterday, I wrote about some very bad photos in the Rochester MLS. Today, I'd like to provide a few tips to get your home ready to be photographed to put on the market.

Looks are everything in today's real estate market. The current public watches tons of HG-TV and their expectations are often unrealistic. A colleague recently described the current Rochester market as a beauty contest. And just as a fashion model spends hours primping before a photo shoot, plan to invest plenty of time and effort preparing your home to look its best.

The first step is to do some serious cleaning, starting with windows. The more natural light that comes in your house, the better it will photograph. Yes, dust will show up in photos. It's also important that appliances and plumbing fixtures sparkle. Take extra time in making beds and hanging towels. Little details need big attention when prepping for photos.

The next step in preparing your home is to eliminate clutter. Clear kitchen counters of everything smaller than a football and even pack up the cute refrigerator magnet collection. Old newspapers and magazines should be banished. Organize bookshelves and nick-knacks and collectibles should be packed away. If necessary, remove excess furniture to make rooms look bigger. If you need some pointers, look at pictures in furniture catalogs or ads in home-improvement magazines.
Finally, give some thought to curb-appeal. The front view of the house is often the key photo to get a buyer's attention! Depending on the season, make sure the lawn is cut, the bushes pruned or the sidewalk is shoveled on picture day. If needed, paint the front door or replace the storm door. Keep entrance decorations minimal and tasteful. Hide trashcans, kid's toys and other outside clutter. Close the garage door and remove all cars from the driveway before pressing the shutter button.
It's estimated that 80 percent of home buyers start their home search on the Internet and so you want to make sure your home looks its very best in front of the camera. If that's not something you are good at, I can recommend several Rochester area staggers with experience and expertise to help prepare your home so that it will likely sell for a higher price in less time.
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