I want to take a second to talk about home ownership and what that means to me – or to us. Being a real estate photographer, it’s like my whole life is one big house hunt. Everyday we are checking out homes fresh to the market and sizing them up as if we are considering buying it. It’s just a natural reaction I guess. But we actually enjoy it. This experience has also given us a perspective on home ownership that, maybe other people have as well.
So let me get the meat of my opinion out of the way. Owning a home is by far most people’s hugest asset and in some cases, liability. It’s something to be proud of. But owning a home doesn’t mean you buy it, never do anything to improve it for 30 years and then try to sell it for 5 times what you paid for it. We have a responsibility to our homes to take care of them at the least. If you can manage it, update that sucker as much as you can! I don’t know how many homes we’ve seen that are 20+ years old that have literally not been updated or cared for since the day the last brick was laid, and you guessed it. They want HOW MUCH for it? The surprising thing is, sometimes they get it!
This, in our opinion has distorted the way people think about buying a home. I will tell you a little secret. It’s not the house that’s worth money. It’s the land! It’s all about the land baby. And I think that’s where buyers and sellers have been brainwashed. Of course large scale builders don’t want you to think about that because if you did you would be offended by the prices they are asking for these homes. Homes that practically sit right up against your neighbor with something I guess you could call a backyard. Anyway I’m getting off on a tangent. My main point is, take care of your home and update it to stay current with the times. Of course you don’t have to update it if you’re into that shag carpet and Formica counter top look, but don’t be expecting to get an inflated price for it.
Just because it’s a house, doesn’t mean it’s worth an arm and a leg. Many houses aren’t even worth the land they’re sitting on. So if you own a house. Show it some love. Put a fresh coat of paint on it. Rip out that nasty carpet. Install new fixtures. Whisper sweet nothings into it’s…vents. It deserves it. You deserve it!
We see a lot of houses. I mean A LOT, and nothing makes our job easier than a home that’s been beautifully staged. If you can afford to hire a professional staging company, please do so! Not only will it help the home sell faster but your photos and video will look fabulous! If you can’t hire a professional, here are a few tips that we’ve picked up along the way that will make your life and our job easier.
This one is the one everyone knows, but it is the foundation upon which the rest will be built. De-cluttering means not only removing excess furniture and other various items, but also personal items such as toiletries, clothing, cleaning products, mail and papers, refrigerator magnets, phone chargers, etc. I know you live there, but we are creating an illusion here people! Hardly anyone is this ridiculously tidy, but we like to think that we could be. There shouldn’t be anything on the floor and all doorways and pathways should be unobstructed. If you want to save your realtor from having a heart attack, get a moving truck and fill that sucker up! For real.
- Reduce Wall Decor
Honestly, this is one thing that everyone thinks looks good but does not translate well in photographs. Too much wall decor! Less is truly more when it comes to wall decor, I often see walls covered ( and I mean covered) in framed photographs or other decor items that really only make the space feel smaller and darker – and sometimes a little tacky 😬. Even if your space isn’t small, cut your wall decor down to just a few key pieces that ties the room together like in the example below.
- Arrange Furniture in Accordance to the Space
What I mean by that is – Make sure you’re arranging furniture in a way that makes sense to the room and what looks good – even though it might not be fully functional. For instance in the photo below, the instinct is to put the furniture up against a wall, but that wouldn’t look as good as this arrangement.
- Add Lighting
Dark corners are a photographers worst nightmare! If the rooms in your home are dark from lack of natural lighting hitting the walls, add pops of lighting throughout the room to brighten it up and give it a more warm and welcoming feel. Not only will it look great in the pictures but it will look great to the eye.
- Clear the Line of Site
When putting the finishing touches on your home, make sure the line of site through the room is clear. For example in the photograph below, when we arrived the big white vase in the corner of the dining room was placed in the center of the table obstructing the view from the dining room to the kitchen. We replaced the vase with a shorter plant and viola! We have a clear line of sight. That vase looks better in that corner anyway. Your home is one of your greatest assets, so when it comes to selling it, no effort is too little. It’s worth it to get the best offer possible! I hope these tips were helpful, and if not I hope you enjoyed the pictures. 🤗