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Home Staging: "Buyer-Ready" Photos

How to Make Your Online Listing Pop with "Buyer-Ready" Photos

When buyers start shopping for a new home, the first thing they do is look online for possible houses. They save the ones that look intriguing, then drive by the home if they are not familiar with the neighborhood. Finally, they call their Realtor to make an appointment to go see the homes.

If the Internet pictures show homes so cluttered with furniture and accessories that you can't even see what the home looks like, buyers will not go see them. If the Internet shows vacant homes that look forlorn, buyers will not ask to see them. If the paint colors are hideous, the drapes droopy and falling down, and the furniture is falling apart, buyers will not want to check out the home.

Online pictures can determine which homes buyers want to see. The first impression is a lasting impression, and if the pictures aren't good, buyers remember that, and move on. How can you be sure your pictures are buyer-ready?

1. Empty each room. Only put back the basic furniture, a painting or two, and a few well selected accessories. Pack up and store the rest.

2. Arrange the furniture into cozy conversation groupings in living areas, make sure there is enough room for a bed and two bedside tables along the wall that the bed is on, and be sure the dining table is not too big for the space.

3. Clean up the front and back yards, getting rid of everything that is not attached, unless it is a good-condition outdoor seating area. Place a wreath on the front door.

4. Play up the architectural features with a statue or vase in a niche, a well-proportioned piece of artwork over a fireplace, and a few books and decorative pieces in a built-in bookshelf, and uncover the hardwood floors if you have them and they've been covered with carpeting.

5. Look at each room from its doorway. Make sure the furniture's back is not toward you, that the lighting is at furniture level and spread throughout the room, and there is a focal point in the room that is either natural or created with artwork or furnishings.

6. Make sure toilet seats are down, towels are hanging neatly, and all personal items are off bathroom counters and tub/shower ledges.

7. Brighten up a drab room with a popular paint color, furniture covers, throws, pillows, or a great piece of art.

8. Have all dishes washed and put away in the kitchen cupboards. No dish soap, scrubbies, etc. out.

9. Only one counter appliance on the counters, and just a simple grouping of pretty canisters, a colorful cookbook on a stand, or a beautiful plate on a stand as decor on the counter. Less is more. You are selling counter space.

10. Open all drapes, pull up all blinds, turn on all the lights, and try taking the pictures during the day on a sunny day. They will look so much better!

If you try these tricks, your home will look fabulous, and buyers will be requesting an appointment to see it in person. Once you get that appointment, be sure the home is spotless, and all clothing, book bags, lunchboxes, newspapers, toys, pet bowls, and any other non-permanent decor is put away. Do all this, and you should be taking a trip to the bank with a big fat check in your hand!

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About the Author

Mary Abella, a little bit of red Interior RE-design
6441 Harting Overlook
Indianapolis, IN 46237

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