The Tap House Crew photographs a TON of homes during the busy Spring & Summer selling season. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly of home “staging”. We feel so passionate that professional photography + video can sell your home faster (and often for more $$$) that we put together a step by step guide for all the folks getting ready to sell.
Below is our ULTIMATE guide to prepare your home for a successful photography or video session.
Hire A Professional Stager
If it’s in the budget, it would be to your benefit to hire a professional who can take care of the furniture arrangement and decor. There will be a big difference in the final outcome of the photos when a professional stager is involved in the design of the room.
If it’s not in the budget, then there are some things that you can do on your own to make your space look good. We recommend checking out Pinterest for staging and furniture arrangement ideas. Also, Target and HomeGoods are awesome places to find small updates, like new furniture pillows and throw blankets, to accessorize your new, improved space.
Deep Clean The House
This seems like a NO BRAINER, I know, but have you ever walked through a showing and wanted to immediately take a shower? I have. GROSS! Make a huge effort to clean the living daylights out of your home – get in corners, scrub the bathtub, clean the mirrors, etc. It makes a lasting difference to an interested buyer to see the space they are interested in purchasing at its cleanest and most sparkly. If this means hiring a professional cleaning service, so be it. Nothing will turn buyers off more and not show the full potential of your home than grime on the counters and the lingering smell of cigs and kitty litter. Don’t forget to steam clean the rugs too!!
Get Rid Of Clutter
When it comes to showing a home and its true potential, less is always more. Removing clutter will open up a whole new world of possibilities for furniture rearranging and upgrades. Having a generic space is more appealing to a buyer and will allow them to imagine what their life could be like in the home. So, if you plan to sell your home in the near future, do yourself a solid and start throwing things out or donating items you don’t use anymore. Little by little your home space will open up and you’ll be free of messy closets and rooms. Just think, the more you purge, the less you have to take with you when you sell that amazing home of yours. It’s a win win situation!
Having a family pet make an appearance in a professional photo shoot can lend some character to a family home. I’m picturing a happy labrador retriever laying on the farmers porch next to a rocking chair on a beautiful afternoon. However, there is a time and a place for pet appearances and if you’re not a professional pet trainer as well, you better leave the fur babies out of the shot. Removing pets from the home temporarily also means getting rid of all traces of existence – fur covered dog bed, chew toys, water dishes, litter box, cat trees, leashes, etc.
Get Your Exterior Ready
Having curb appeal matters! It’s your first chance to make a good impression. The front yard is the most important, but don’t neglect the back yard. Both need to make a statement equally.
Exterior tasks should include:
- Trim trees and shrubs
- Remove leaves
- Mow the lawn and edge with a trimmer
- Wrap up garden hoses and put them away in the garage or shed
- Pick up any items that may be laying around the yard, such as garden tools, garbage cans, toys, empty pots or pots with dead plants
- Move cars out of the driveway
- Sweep the porch and sidewalks
- If you have outdoor furniture, wipe it down and make sure that the cushions look clean and new
Let There Be Light
Before The Tap House Crew arrives, do us a solid and let in the natural light. Open the blinds and curtains and turn on every light in the house. If you see a light is burned out, make sure to replace it with a high-wattage bulb to make the room brighter. If your home is dark, consider purchasing additional accent lamps from our favorite places – Target and HomeGoods.
This room needs some extra TLC. Don’t skimp on the deep clean here, people. Make mirrors shine and scrub the toilets and showers like your life depends on it. Also, place your best towels on the racks, remove soap dispensers, toothbrushes/toothpaste, shampoo from the shower and hanging door racks. Less is more when it comes to bathrooms!
Most people clutter their counters with everyday items – coffee pots, blenders, toasters, etc. This way, everything we need is right at our finger tips. However, when it comes to staging a kitchen, a cluttered counter will work against you. The first step here is to clear off the kitchen counters and de-clutter any large items (like your beloved crockpot). Next, remove items on the fridge doors – all of them. Clean appliances and keep your sink free of dishes. Bowls of fresh fruit or flowers are nice accents in a clean, de-cluttered kitchen.
De-cluttering is the name of the game in bedrooms as well! Make sure to remove any random items that may have snuck in over the years – exercise ball, thigh master, etc. Dress the beds with your best linens and fix any noticeable wrinkles. Pick up clothes, shoes or miscellaneous items from the floor. And last, open the curtains to let the sunlight in. Oh, and don’t forget to vacuum!
Living Room/TV Area
Pay close attention to staging and decorating this room. This is the hub of family entertainment and an important factor in deciding whether or not to move a family to a home. We can’t stress this enough, reduce clutter to help this room look large, clean, and organized. Clean up wires or cords behind electronics and put away children’s toys. Upgrade picture frames (if need be) and remove family portraits from the walls. Make sure pictures/paintings are hung straight. Have a sweet fireplace? Turn that baby on during showings and the shoot.