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Make sure your listing photos sell

You’ve done the decluttering, created curb appeal, and turned your house into a dream home with smart staging—now make sure your listing photos sell with these top tips.

Buyers today typically spend hours browsing real estate listings, searching for the perfect home-to-be. And, invariably, the most desirable listings have jaw-dropping photos. Their photos make prospective buyers eager to get a closer look (and even put in offers without stepping foot in the house)!

Not only do homes using amateurish snapshots look like their sellers are less serious, they raise doubts about the house itself.

Prospective buyers start to wonder if there are other things about the house that are not quite up to par or properly maintained. These four tips will help remove any doubts about YOUR home, and make sure your listing photos sell as hard as possible.

1. Get the light right

We process a great deal more with our eyes than we’re aware of, as our brains are editing and zooming in all the time. In setting up and taking the right listing photos, it’s important to guide the eye—and that starts with the right lighting.

Do whatever you can to fill the rooms with as much natural light as possible—like these photos from Jeannene Matthews at JR Photography—this will help them look more expansive, and more welcoming.

Yellower or darker paint tones will tend to look dingy and blah in photos (that’s one reason we recommend brighter and/or whiter shades in staging). See our recent post for more detail on lighting your home for showings.

Tips for Staging Photos

And don’t forget the simple things:

  • turn on lights indoors and out;
  • remove window screens (which make windows look dirty);
  • and be sure your windows really have a squeaky, no-streak, clean finish.

TIP: If you can get your hands on some of that old stuff called “newspaper” (LOL), that’s a cleaner’s secret tip for giving windows a final polish. If not, try Armor-All auto glass cleaner, or Method window cleaner.

2. Feature the “features”

Part of the art of staging is guiding prospective buyers’ eyes to what we want them to see (and potentially minimizing the impact of less-beautiful attributes). As noted above, photos should do similar work.

Ensure feature elements of a room or setting are focal points in your photos too: a beautiful window wall, attractive fireplace, unique architectural detailing, or stunning outdoor entertainment area should pop from the screen as people scroll.

Sometimes this can be achieved by lighting (or reflectors in conjunction with lighting); other times it’s by how the shot is framed.

Your photographer will most likely bring some great ideas, and its especially helpful at this part of the process for him or her to have an opportunity to work closely with your whole real estate team on the home’s selling game plan.

3. Choose the right day and time

Do your best to schedule the shoot on a bright, but not necessarily cloudless day. While thick cloud cover and/or rain will convey a gloomy look, harsh sunlight isn’t ideal either because it can create deep shadows.

That’s also why the TIME of day matters. Have your photographer scope out the home in advance, if possible. Then, together, try to firm up the shoot day and time with the help of a good weather app, like Dark Sky or your local weather source.

Sometimes a beautiful sunset can add a lovely look, because it could catch someone’s eye in the feed, but that can also overwhelm the home itself. Be sure your final shots help people fall in love by asking for a few clear, bright, “life is beautiful here” shots where the home is the undisputed centerpiece.

4. Go wide (but not too wide)

Chances are good you’ll be working with a professional photographer. Those we work with typically recommend a zoom lens that can capture 16-24mm.

That range offers an all-encompassing perspective to best capture what viewers would likely see in person. (Note that the lens may vary depending on the camera being used, too. If you’re into that sort of techy detail, here’s a good article that goes into it in more detail.)

When you’re in an area like Raleigh-Durham, where there’s a particularly high number of out-of-town buyers searching for a house, you might also consider a 3D video tour. This is a really effective way to showcase your home, and give people an experience that’s the next best thing to being there.

To make sure your listing photos sell… put your best foot forward

When you’re selling your home, that (ahem!) First Impression, makes all the difference. Researchers have discovered why: it turns out that once we see something we like, our brains aim to find reasons to prove us right and back up our initial reaction!

So declutter, create curb appeal, get your home professionally staged, and make sure your listing photos sell!  And for those in the NC-area, we’ve partnered with JR Photography to offer a high-value package to help you put your home’s best foot forward. We’d love to be part of your home-selling team!

Sherrie was outstanding in helping us stage our home to sell. Her advice is professional and knowledgeable. She is so easy to work with and there is no pressure. She will work with you to make changes that are in…read more

Paula Ragatz

Our home sold in 2 days after working with First Impressions Home Staging! I had never used a stager for a real estate transaction, and frankly, I had some trepidation. I am so glad I followed the suggestion of our…read more

Kile Law

Sherrie did an amazing job staging our house to sell. We had it on the market for a couple weeks but it was vacant and not showing well. We hired Sherrie to bring some life into it and she was…read more

Alison Spain

Sherrie and the First Impression Home Staging Team did a great job. We engaged Sherrie in designing and procuring furniture for an entire four bedroom home. Our project was very time sensitive and she beautifully designed, procured, stored and staged…read more

Michael Thurston

Sherrie was seriously amazing! Our house looks so awesome after our FaceTime staging call (quarantine probs) She was personable, patient and very knowledgeable! Would 100% use her again and definitely recommend!

Gina C

First Impression Home Staging provided a virtual consultation so we could stage our home! They were professional and patient as we did the walk through. It was a pleasure working with Sherrie Medeiros. She helped us successfully stage our home…read more

Cheri K

Sherrie helped me remotely stage my rental property that is up for sale, using FaceTime (I’m in CA and Sherrie is in NC). I initially sent her photos of the house staged with a bare minimum of furniture, which she…read more

Rena W

My husband and I are realtors in Raleigh, and we’ve been using Sherrie’s staging consultant services for our clients, and can I just say, “WOW”?! First Impression Home Staging definitely makes a HUGE difference. . . even in this current…read more

Lisa F

We used First Impressions Home Staging to help us with a completely new interior design of a vacation rental we bought in the mountains of Virginia. Sherrie and Roslyn were both amazing to work with. They were conscientious of our…read more

Josee M

Sherrie has an amazing eye for color and a talent on how to bring out the best in a space. She spent time getting to know what items in my home meant the most to me and created a paint…read more

Shannon H

We recently placed our home for sale and hired Sherrie and First Impression Home Staging to stage it. They did a fabulous job and the house looks beautiful. Sherrie is wonderful to work with. After an initial walk through of…read more

Joan K

Sherrie did a fabulous job staging our home for sale! I would HIGHLY recommend her if you are preparing your home to sale. We had never used staging before to sell a house, but now we are certainly believers indeed!…read more

Rachel M

Sherrie came in to stage our home to sell & she did just that. She made terrific suggestions & simply put, she made our home more marketable. I highly recommend her & if given the opportunity, I would choose to…read more

Sheila C.

The home that you staged went under contract in 3 days with 2 offers. I am certain that your staging was instrumental. The sellers are thrilled. They are so excited. They are convinced it was the best investment!

Mindy O.

Thanks very much Sherrie! You did an amazing job helping us get their home beautiful and ready to list.

Heather Piper, KW Realtor

Hey Sherrie I wanted to share some good news… that townhouse in Brier Creek went live on Saturday morning, held it open both days, and we have an offer on the way today. The exact unit around the corner, not…read more

Hugh Grist, Grist Realty

We’d just like to offer a sincere thanks for the work you did staging our house. We believe that the advice you and Amy gave us along with your staging made a huge difference in both the price and the…read more

Sincerely, Roger & Carla Wilson

Are you selling your house soon? Let me tell you… I didn’t believe it… But our listing didn’t go as fast as we wanted and I decided to stage my empty home… We got multiple offers over asking in 48…read more

K Mitchell
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First Impression Home Staging bedroom decorating photo.

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