Look around your neighborhood, and take stock: how many “For Sale” signs do you see sprouting up? If you sell real estate for a living, you know that the real estate market, while hot, requires a competitive edge to stay successful.

If you’re a homeowner, you want your home to sell fast. That’s a no-brainer. And if you are a photographer specializing in real estate, you already know that great pictures will help improve chances of a home listing selling faster, and for more money. Good photos draw attention, which more often leads to showings, and quicker offers.

You’d be surprised how many online home listings display poorly photographed homes that have not been properly staged. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that these listings tend to languish; they get little traffic and relatively few bids.

To get started, grab your camera, lenses, and a tripod, and head to work. You will need a powerful mirrorless or DSLR camera like the Canon EOS R5, Sony Alpha a7S III, or the Nikon D500, as well as a wide-angle lens, and a sturdy tripod for optimal stability. 

Messy room interior
Image via Shutterstock
Organized Bedroom
Image via Shutterstock

Remember, a well-staged home will look much better to potential buyers, especially when photographed by a professional.

Here are 10 tips for staging a home for a real estate photo shoot:

  1. Pull cars out of the driveway: it gives you a chance to show off the front of the home and the car park area. 
  2. Garbage cans should not be visible in front or back of house (store in garage if possible).
  3. Remove all outside clutter; wrap hoses neatly, put away rakes, children’s toys.
  4. Mow the lawn within 24 hours of the shoot if during summer or spring to get the optimal.
  5. Clear all surfaces — especially kitchen countertops.
  6. Get rid of any clutter on surfaces. Arrange books on shelves so they don’t look haphazard.
  7. Put toilet seats down — a minor detail, but makes a huge difference. 
  8. All window blinds should be at 45-degree upward angle — trust me, it’s the best way to go.
  9. Remove all toys and clothing from floors and surfaces.
  10. Do a complete home cleaning; get rid of all dust bunnies and stains throughout the home. 

Remember that views of your online listing are a first impression that might help a potential buyer decide to look at your home, so make the effort for a successful real estate photo shoot and let it be a good one!