In this episode we’re going to be chatting about how to prepare a home for a real estate photography appointment.
I have a full blog post here for more details!
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Stephanie Lindamood: (00:00)
Hey guys, it's Stephanie and thank you for joining me on another episode of the glam life real estate podcast. So today on the show we are going to talk about all things real estate photography related as far as how to prepare for a real estate photography appointment. So whether you are a seller that is looking to get their house ready in an order or whether you are a real estate agent that is working with clients and trying to coach them. I'm going to walk you guys through some best practices and then I'll have a checklist that you guys can go online and download for free that'll kind of guide you through the process. So real quick, let's read a listener review. This is from Karen. She says, one of a kind. Stephanie is truly one of the kind. I enjoy working with Stephanie. She's very professional, very knowledgeable, and our expertise is amazing.
Stephanie Lindamood: (00:44)
She brings a whole new meaning of being a top producing real estate agent. She's very passionate about what she does and it shows, so y'all keep watching her videos and listening to the podcast. Great job, Stephanie. So we really, really love these shout outs guys because it helps other listeners know what they're getting when they listen to the show. It helps Apple and all the other platforms know that you guys are liking what I'm putting out and they will push this to more people so that we can impact more and just give back, which is really the name of the game here. So let's listen to the intro real quick. Let's toot in and I'm going to answer your questions all about real estate photography.
Speaker 2: (01:18)
You're listening to the glam life of real estate podcast where we talk about everything from productivity tips, social media strategies, business hacks, and more to get ahead of the curve and crush it as a real estate sales professional. Whether you office out of a model home or your car where leopard print and high heels never go out of style. Here's your host, top producing real estate agent, social media strategist, and her baby mama, Stephanie Linda mood.
Stephanie Lindamood: (01:52)
All right, so one of the questions that I get asked a lot in the process of listing property is how do we get our home to look amazing online because obviously sellers live in their homes. If you're a real estate agent and you're meeting with clients and you're trying to figure out how to get them motivated to get the house in tip top shape, we know that we live in the age of Pinterest, right? So if a home doesn't look amazing online, it really impacts the amount of showings. A lot of times we get, so before any of my homes go active, I definitely have my professional stage to go out and while I can walk them through things that they could do to get the house ready to list and the appointment. And we do do that. When it comes to condition items, meaning if there's things to repair or things to replace, we definitely talk about that kind of stuff.
Stephanie Lindamood: (02:39)
But from a room by room, what needs to come off the walls, what needs to come off, you know, surfaces, that type of thing. I really want an expert in there doing what she does best and that's going to be my professional stager. So if you are an agent and you haven't used staging, I highly recommend it. One, it keeps your conversation with your client on the topic of the home. And it also helps sometimes because a lot of times people take, you know, the decluttering process, a little personal because the things in their home or the things that they love and someone's telling them to take it down or to put it away sometimes doesn't feel very good. And I don't always like to be the one doing that to be totally honest with you because then I kinda then the bad guy. And so I really prefer to be someone a little bit more objective that doesn't have quite the relationship that I have with them.
Stephanie Lindamood: (03:28)
And my stager will build a great relationship with the clients, but it just comes from a different point of view than from me. And so I'll have her go out and go room by room to really guide them through the process. And then usually most sellers are going to want a few weeks to get ready unless you walk into their home when there's just not a lot in there, which happens. But it's more rare than others or it's a vacant home. Usually they're going to need at least a few weeks. And then a few days of four going active is when I'll have the photography appointments scheduled. And so a lot of times they'll ask, you know, what do we need to do? How do we need to get ready for it? And so I've got a checklist that you guys can go download. I'll, I'll include the link here in a little bit, but a couple of things you want to think about, like just the exterior of the home.
Stephanie Lindamood: (04:09)
Let's start with that. You want to make sure you've got any trash cans moved out of the way out of the front yard. So if it's trash day and photos are scheduled, make sure those are all cleared away. You want to make sure you have any cars out of the driveway. So if it's, you know, other drivers in your household, you want to make sure that they're out of the driveway as well as cars out front. And if you're on a corner lot, you want to make sure that nobody's parked on the side street because we really want to get some good views of your home and the exterior of the home. Um, make sure both garage doors are down or if do you have one garage door, make sure that's down so that it looks ascetically pleasing. I would recommend if you throw on the holidays waiting to get any holiday decor up until you have your pictures taken.
Stephanie Lindamood: (04:49)
A lot of times if I have listings going active, let's say in December or January, if I have enough time, I'll try to get photos taken before the grass goes dormant before things start kind of turning, you know, dormant for the wintertime just because the green grass and the flowers are going to look better. You don't always have that option, so you just work with what you have. But definitely I try not to get Christmas slights or holiday decor like Reese or things like that. Football flags in the photos because you just never know. Every once in a while I'll have a seller that their plans change and they're like, Hey, we didn't get relocated like we thought so we're going to wait a few months so I don't want to have those photos taken. And then maybe there's a football flag because it's football season and there are photos and it looks really awkward whenever we go to posts.
Stephanie Lindamood: (05:31)
So we want to make sure that nothing time sensitive is in the photos or that would denote the time of year that it is. That would be one recommendation. Um, you want to make sure that the landscaping is freshly mowed, trimmed and mulched. I always recommend the dark Brown mulch over the red or the black because our photos are going to be super bright and not bright in a bad way, but just very vivid. And so sometimes the black and the red can look a little odd. The Brown's going to look more natural. And then if you normally have landscapers come, let's say on Mondays and you know, photos are going to be on Friday and it's summertime and the grass is growing quickly, you know, maybe get out there the night before and go ahead and just do a quick mode to where everything looks nice and fresh.
Stephanie Lindamood: (06:12)
You want to make sure any landscaping at the front of the house doesn't impede on the walkway, doesn't impede on the doorway to where the [inaudible] would feel crowded. Make sure all the weeds are pulled, all of that looks nice. It doesn't mean you have to go and just totally redo all your landscaping. As long as everything looks fresh and clean. If you've got some fresh mulch down, it's freshly mowed. Um, if it is spraying or you know, a nice time of the year and you want to plant some seasonal flower, wonderful. But a lot of it's just making sure it looks fresh and clean and trimmed and groomed. Then as you come in the front door, you know, I always recommend every once in a while we'll have a front door that if it faces West, especially, maybe it's faded or it's um, the staining needs to be redone on it.
Stephanie Lindamood: (06:56)
I would highly recommend making sure that's done because again, this is the first impression of the home, especially in the photos. And if you have good photos being taken, they're going to show up a lot of those little imperfections, especially on the front door. As you walk into the home, you're going to want to make sure that all the windows are open, all the lights are on including lamps. So one thing yet to think about is when the photographer comes in and they set up, they're going to take photos of the house, as is. Sure. They're probably gonna turn on some lights and open blinds and that kind of thing. If it's not already done, but you are going to be the best person to do all that and prepare for them. So that I think gets missed. Okay. So make sure all the blinds are open, all the lamps are on, all the lights are on.
Stephanie Lindamood: (07:37)
Now when you're doing this, as you walk through your home, make sure all your light bulbs are working, and also make sure that all the bulbs are the same color. So a lot of times I'll see homes where you know you've got some fluorescent lights in one room and then maybe you know, one of the bulbs went out and you replace it and it was more of a warm tone light. Make sure everything is in the same color palette because that's going to look funky and photos if it doesn't. Um, and then we're going to make sure, want to make sure you turn off all the ceiling fans cause that'll look funky in the photos as well if the ceiling pans are going. And then all screens, TVs, projectors, computers, all of that. Cause again, that'll look odd in photos. The reflections not going to look good.
Stephanie Lindamood: (08:16)
Um, as you walk through the home, you're gonna want to make sure that anything that could be perceived as clutter is cleared away. And you want to be super sensitive to this because the cameras are going to pick up items, small items on desks and mantles and countertops as clutter, even if it looks good in person. So you're going to want to have a heavy hand at this, which is one of the reasons why it's so important to have the staging done because we're so used to the way our homes look. And there is definitely a way that you decorate and stage your home to live in it versus to sell at. So, or to sell it. So don't take it personal. If you know the stage comes out and is half your house needs to go, it's very common because in photos everything is going to look very cluttered if you leave it out.
Stephanie Lindamood: (09:02)
So all the kitchen appliances that are, you know, countertop need to go underneath the cabinets are in the pantry. Paper towel holders, um, dog food, bowls, rugs, trash cans, all that needs to be put away. Small picture frames, small trinkets, um, small things that are going to be on mantles or countertops or desks. All that needs to go as well. And you can bring them back out later. But that definitely needs to be gone for the photos. Um, anything like shredders, trash cans, anything like that. Again for the photos that need to go ahead and go into a closet or the garage. And then as we move out into the backyard, we want to make sure that the back patio is swept off. Again. The landscaping back there is fresh and trimmed. If you have a pool, we want to make sure it's cleaned. We want to make sure it's sparkling.
Stephanie Lindamood: (09:52)
Any outdoor furniture has been cleaned off. Um, remove large items such as trampolines, dog houses, basketball goals, clean any outdoor appliances such as grills, remove any toys or sports equipment, pick up the dog poop and then go ahead and schedule to have your pets offsite that day. Or at least for that time window when the photographers there. Um, usually cats aren't that big of a deal frankly cause they're gonna usually just go crawl under a bed or something like that. But definitely dogs because again, the photographers trying to work around everything with their equipment. So it's just easier not to have those distractions. So those are just some high points as some of the things that you'll want to think about when you're preparing your home for a photo appointment. What I would say is less is more in the sense of if the house is super clean and super clutter-free, it's gonna come across way better in photos than a fully fully decorated home.
Stephanie Lindamood: (10:49)
Sure. You want to have some things that warm up the photos, like you know, maybe a, a vase of flowers on a large table. But we definitely don't want too much because it can then look very, very cluttered. Same on the inside from a decor standpoint. If it's seasonal time of year, I do recommend waiting to put up Christmas trees or anything holiday ish until photos are done that way. Again, the home is not, um, showing anytime of time-sensitive or timing of the time of year that it is. A couple things that you can do to really get the home in tip top shape before photos and before you start having showings is gonna be, um, getting your windows clean so that everything looks really nice and clean. The light comes in well through them, especially depending on where you live. It can sometimes be really dusty and when the windows are caked with dust, it does impact the amount of light that comes into the home.
Stephanie Lindamood: (11:44)
Having everything deep cleaned. Um, touch up paint all, all done. If there's any carpets that need to be cleaned or carpets that need to be stretched, a lot of that stuff because of the photo technology is going to show up in your photos. So you want to make sure that all that stuff is done before that photo appointment. Um, when the photographer comes out, what will happen is they come out with a wide angle camera lens and it's called HDR technology and they shoot basically, at least the ones we work with at six different light levels, which means that when they shoot a room, the light, all it gets merged together, all those photos get merged together and then they're able to produce one image where the light is perfect. There's no shadows. It looks amazing and that's why it looks different than when you take it with like a phone.
Stephanie Lindamood: (12:31)
And that's why we'll get a lot of questions that people will say, Hey, do you really need to get professional photos? I mean, I have the latest iPhone or what have you, and it has the best camera. We still have our photographer come out because again, they'll have the wide angle camera lens with the HDR technology and that way we can get the best photos for you, which is going to impact how you look online. Of course you're going to want to do the things like, you know, toilet seats down. Nothing in the sink. Like, that should be common sense, but I'm going to still mention it because I can't tell you how many homes I see that are on MLS that are online, that have sinks, full dishes, toilet seats that they take photos of really messy closets. Generally we don't take pictures of your closets and post them at the photographer takes them.
Stephanie Lindamood: (13:14)
We normally don't post them unless there's something we're trying to advertise, like some really unique feature in there. Um, but I still recommend if you can, getting the closets cleaned up. Nothing on the floor, everything picked up and cleaned up cause you're going to want to have it that way for showings anyway. And then if you do live in some sort of community that has um, neighborhood amenities we want to showcase, make sure you let the photographer know that so they can take photos if there's not already stock images on the, like the homeowners association website. And then if there is some sort of unique feature about your home, like let's say you backup to a golf course or there's something really, really close. Like, let's say you're within walking distance to a beach or a Lake, then definitely make sure that your agent is, I'm planning on having the photographer go in with some drone shots or something like that to really highlight those areas because that's really powerful in today's day and age.
Stephanie Lindamood: (14:04)
So definitely something I recommend even if you have just a really large home site to be able to showcase that with some of the drone shots. Um, so if you guys want to download, I've got a checklist that will help you walk through this. So whether you're a client that's trying to get their home ready for the photo appointment or if you're an agent that wants some additional guidance on that, what you can do is go to the glam girl, boss.com for slash home photos checklist. Again, that's the glam girl, boss.com forward slash home photos checklist. You guys can download your free checklist and that'll just give you some additional tips and information on how to prepare for your real estate photo appointment. So hit me up on Instagram. If you have any other questions you can find me. At miss Stephanie Lindamood and let me know if you have any other real estate questions. Subscribe to the show so you guys get notified anytime I posted
Speaker 3: (14:58)
update and we'll talk soon.