How to Stage Your Home for Real Estate Photos

First impressions are everything, so it’s crucial that your home is in tiptop shape the first time potential buyers look at it.  For tips on how to play up your home’s strengths and downplay its less attractive features, take a look at these home-staging tips.

stage home for real estate photos

Image by Chastity Cortijo

Consider Curb Appeal

Since the first photos of your home are typically exterior shots, your home’s curb appeal will be a make or break it first impression for potential buyers. Be sure to clean up the outside by mowing the lawn, clipping the bushes and freshening up your flowers. If the outside is looking a little plain, you can always add a well-placed wreath or potted plant to make your home look more welcoming and homey. You’ll also want to make sure your driveway is clear from any toys, lawn equipment and trashcans. If possible park your car in the garage or down the street for your photos. After all, you’re selling the house not your car!

Clean up the Clutter

Professional home stagers recommend removing at least one-third of your furniture and knick-knacks before taking your real estate photos. By removing clutter, you’re automatically opening up your space, making it feel bigger and cleaner. In addition to larger furniture, be sure to get rid of any smaller visual clutter as well. This includes mail, magazines, refrigerator magnets, dishes, garbage cans, toys and any personal items you have on tables and countertops.

Group Your Furniture

While most people think that pushing your furniture up against the wall will open up the room, the opposite is true. Floating furniture away from the edges and grouping it in conversational clusters will make the room appear larger, thus making it more alluring in your real estate photos.

Lighting is Everything

As any photographer will tell you, good lighting is everything. Lighting is what can make your home go from dark and drab to warm and welcoming with just the switch of a light bulb or the swap of a lighting fixture. Make sure you have three types of lighting in your home. The first is ambient or general overheard lighting. The second is task lighting, such as pendant, under-cabinet or reading lighting. The last is accent lighting on tables and walls. You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for each 50 square feet. If possible, schedule your real estate photos to be taken during the day, as the natural light will really help to show off your home in its best light.

Stick to Neutral Colors

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room. Neutral colored walls instantly brighten up any space and a fresh coat of neutral paint can also help tone down any dated finishes you have. It’s known that bold colors in large rooms like your kitchen or living room tend to reduce offers, so refrain from painting your walls any color that’s too drastic.

Choose the Right Accessories

The right accessories can make your space look and feel more inviting. When decorating tables think odd numbers, especially threes. Decorators suggest varying the height, width color and shape of your accessories, placing the largest item in the back and the smallest in the front in a triangle shape. Another quick way to update your space without redecorating is with fresh flowers. Never underestimate how much of a difference a strategic pop of color can make in a photo.