I spend a lot of time in strangers' homes. For the past two and a half years, the bulk of my working hours have been spent photographing houses about to be listed on the real-estate market, and in that time I have visited upwards of 2,000 homes. All day, every day, I come to your house, take some photos, and leave. That’s a lot of minutes, hours, and days spent behind the lens in a lot of different people’s houses, condos, apartments, cabins, trailers, cottages, and bungalows. If it’s a place where people live, I have probably photographed it. I have seen good, I have seen bad, and I have seen some absolutely bizarre things when I’ve arrived to get my pictures, enough that I can tell the winners, and the losers, of the real-estate photo game.
Winner: Well Staged Homes
This is tough to beat. I walk into the house to photograph it, and I want to buy it. A professionally staged home features a designer carefully arranging furniture and interior decorations in a way to maximize aesthetic appeal of living spaces, and to provide a visual of what living there could look like. Not only does this make for stunning listing photos, but a staggering 82% of buyers’ agents said that professionally staged houses made it easier for their buyers to visualize the property as a future home. Even if you can’t professionally stage a home, small things like tidying up and minor rearrangements can go a long way.
Loser: There's A "Little" Trash In My House
One time I was on my way to a shoot, and a text came through that said “Can you Photoshop the trash off the floor? I think that house might be a little messy.” I thought they were being sarcastic, but no, when I arrived, sure enough, I found out “a little messy” meant there was an unreal amount of trash in the house. Literally, McDonald’s bags, Twizzlers wrappers, half empty bottles of soda, all over the place.
Luckily, I’m a magician, and anything is possible in editing. I was able to flawlessly remove every last bit of garbage in Photoshop; the sellers were absolutely delighted when they saw the finished product! “I can’t believe that’s our house!!” Sound a little too good to be true? Think of Photoshop as a safety net, not a blanket that can magically cover all faults. Do a little cleaning, save yourself some stress later.
Winner: "We'll Stay Out Of Your Way And Let You Do Your Thing"
Getting an email with these words is music to my ears. Honestly, even typing that heading gets me a little excited. Me, and my coworkers, photograph many, many, homes, and are experts at what we do, and nothing gets our creativity flowing like an hour or two with no distractions in a photo-ready home. With the time and space to frame each image exactly how we want, we can deliver photos that show your listing in the best light possible, providing you with a photo package that rocks.
I am not a Realtor, nor am I currently selling a house, but I am sure that either is highly stressful and requires great attention to detail. You want everything with the sale of a house to be perfect, no room for error! Being there for everything is a must, I get that, but sometimes excitement about a listing can lead to following me, looking at the camera, and saying things like “Hmmmm I’m not sure that’s the best angle for this room,” or "Are you sure you're getting the right exposure?" And “I’d use a different lens if I were you.” Now, this strategy worked well for me when I was giving my dentist crucial advice during my wisdom teeth removal, but we should have this covered. Trust us, we’ll make you and your property look good, all we need from you is a little time and space.