High-quality, professional-looking real estate photos are key for selling your house. Most buyers today begin their home search online, and those listing photos draw them in and make them want to see more. If you don’t present your home in its best light in the photos, your listing probably just won’t get much traction – and it may take a long time to make a sale. Great listing photos, like most other things, are in large part the result of careful preparation. So check out these 6 ways to prep your Kauai house for real estate photos.
1. Depersonalize Everything
Begin prepping your Kauai for real estate photos by depersonalizing everywhere. The goal is to allow buyers to envision your house as their home, imagining all their belongings in place and them living there. “[M]ost people are looking for an empty slate on which they can start fresh without any trace of previous owners. Go throughout the entire property and remove personal items.”
Here are some of the key things to do to achieve that empty-slate effect . . .
“[R]emove any pictures of family members or other sentimental items from the walls and replace them with art prints or posters. Also, change out all of your towels with new ones so it doesn’t look as though you live there anymore. Similarly, remove hygiene items from the bathrooms, toys from rooms, wind chimes from the patio, and anything else that is considered a personal item.”
2. Clean the Kitchen and Bathroom(s)
Certainly, you’ll need to deep clean the entire house before taking real estate photos. But if your time or energy is limited, be sure to at least give the kitchen and the bathroom(s) plenty of cleaning attention.
In the kitchen, make sure to clear off the counters as much as possible to emphasize the available counter space. “Kitchen counters with coffee makers, mixers, and decorations can be a distraction for buyers and make the kitchen feel cluttered. Remove everything except a few decorative items from the countertops and clean all surface area, including appliance, kitchen sink, and backsplash.”
And the same holds true for your bathroom(s). “Take all items off of the bathroom counter and place all of the shampoo bottles, soaps, shaving razors, and other items into a bin that can be stored underneath the bathroom sink. You want your bathroom to look bigger and vacant. Clean the countertops, sinks, toilet, and shower. Neatly fold any decorative towels on the towel rack and place a few for show items on the countertop.”
3. Remove All Pet Evidence
Many people love pets, but others don’t and may even be allergic to them. So when prepping your Kauai house for real estate photos, make sure you put the pets out of sight and remove all their evidence from the photo areas.
According to real estate pros, “[w]hen you list your home for sale with pictures of the beloved family pet running around in the yard and lounging on the furniture, prospective buyers may find this disheartening . . . [P]hotos like these make people think you will leave behind dirt, smells, and dander that needs to be cleaned up. After all, some people have severe allergies, and seeing a photo of a pet may turn them off right away.”
What they recommend, then, is removing pets from your home during photoshoots, as well as removing “any evidence of them, such as dog houses, bags of food, bedding, feeding dishes, etc.” If you’d like more tips on how to proceed, here contact a Kauai agent at 808-634-4518.
4. Light It Up
And be sure to light up your home before taking real estate photos. Good lighting and plenty of light can go a long way toward highlighting your home’s best features. To avoid shadows and have the best lighting possible, you’ll need both natural light and artificial light.
Open all the drapes, curtains, and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. Then, after checking for dim and burnt-out bulbs, turn on all the lights and lamps before taking interior photos. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want harsh glaring light, so “opt for bulbs that give off a warm, natural glow.”
5. Take up Floor Coverings
Another thing (which is often overlooked) you should do to prepare your house for real estate photos is to take up floor coverings.
Buyers want to see the actual flooring. They aren’t really interested in seeing your area rugs, runners, and mats in listing photos. Also, removing these will also “allow for better light reflection and show more detail in the photos.” And taking up floor coverings will avoid giving the impression that you’re trying to hide imperfections in the flooring.
6. Work on Curb Appeal
Remember, too, that your real estate photos will be of both the interior and the exterior. And that means, of course, that you’ll need to work on curb appeal. Here’s what the pros recommend . . .
“[M]ow the lawn, prune shrubs/trees, pull weeds, rake leaves, and remove animal waste right before the photographer arrives. Clutter in the yard can turn off prospective buyers, so hide items like bags of soil, garden hoses, lawn decorations, toys, random chairs, yard care equipment, etc. If possible, repair small imperfections, wash the mud off the plaster/siding, replace broken gutters or screens, and wipe down windowsills. Additionally, you can spread fresh mulch around trees and use eco-friendly green paint to touch up brown spots in the yard.”
And Lean on Your Agent’s Expertise
These are all things that you definitely must do before shooting your listing photos. But local markets vary, and what works in one may not work in another. That’s why you should also call on the expertise of your local Kauai agent before the photoshoot. So when it’s time to take real estate photos of your Kauai house, be sure to contact us at 808-634-4518.