- Grass should be freshly mowed, edged, and watered.
- Sidewalks and driveways should be swept, clear of debris, and hosed down. If photos will be taken during the winter, sidewalks and driveways should be shoveled.
- Shrubs should be neatly trimmed and should be no higher than the bottom of windows so as not to obscure the view of the house from the street.
- Trees should be pruned to a height that people can walk under them.
- Flowerbeds should be clean and free of debris. If photos will be taken in the colder months when flowers aren’t in bloom, have the homeowner lay down fresh mulch to cover the flowerbeds.
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Though many people think of the interior of a home when they think of home staging, it’s equally as important to make the exterior of the home look its best.
After all, the first thing potential buyers see when they search for a home online is a photo of the front of the home. Since first impressions matter so much, it’s necessary to stage the home inside and out.
The following tips on how to stage the exterior of a home will help you get the property in tip-top shape before you take any photos.
Exterior Staging Tips: Have Homeowners Put Their Green Thumbs to Work
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The yard space is prime real estate for impressing potential buyers. Unfortunately, if it isn’t up to snuff, buyers could be so unimpressed that they don’t even want to go inside the home.
Before you take any exterior photos, ensure that the homeowners have addressed the following issues:
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Additionally, unsightly elements in the yard should be hidden to the extent possible. For example, ask homeowners to move trash bins into the garage before you take photos.
Likewise, if homeowners can disguise things like air conditioning units, it will make exterior photos look much more pleasing. A small trellis or shrubbery will go a long way in reducing the visual impact of utilitarian elements like this.
Quick Tip: If the homeowners have children, ask that any toys be gathered from the yard before you arrive to take photos. Play areas should likewise be neat and tidy.
How to Stage Outdoor Living Spaces
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Outdoor living spaces are a valuable commodity that should be showcased in your photos. But just like staging interior living spaces, outdoor areas need some love to put their best foot forward.
Patios and decks should be swept before photos are taken. Furniture should be neatly arranged and placed in such a way that highlights the use of the space. Adding outdoor rugs and throw pillows will enhance the visual appeal of the area and show buyers the true potential of outdoor living, as shown above.
photo by TimAbramowitz via iStock
If possible, the staged outdoor living areas should be portrayed in the photos in a way that also highlights the surrounding landscaping.
For example, the image above not only gives potential buyers a glimpse at the patio and fire pit area, but it also shows off the water feature, the hardscape, the plants, yard, and a bit of the home, too.
Real Estate Photography Tip: Welcome People Home With an Inviting Front Door
photo by Paul Vowles via iStock
While the front yard and outdoor living spaces offer potential buyers a broad view of the home’s appeal, photos of the front door area are an opportunity to excite buyers about what’s beyond the front door.
Before photos are taken, homeowners should clean up the front door area as thoroughly as they clean the interior of the home.
The hardware on the front door should be wiped down and free of dust, dirt, and fingerprints. If the door looks a little shabby, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way.
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If the front entryway is large enough, homeowners should consider adding a small bench or chairs with brightly colored pillows to add some pop to the space. A new welcome mat is an inexpensive item that can have significant impact on your photos as well.
Other items to consider are adding updated house numbers and placing potted plants in the entryway. Exterior light bulbs should be checked and replaced if they are out, and exterior light fixtures should be cleaned.
Quick Tip: If photographing a property at midday when harsh shadows could obscure some areas of the home, bracket your exposures and merge them together to retain the details throughout the image. Learn how to bracket and merge exposures.
How to Stage the Exterior of a Home: Cleanup is a Must
photo by alabn via iStock
Aside from general yard maintenance and picking up kids’ toys, the exterior of the home should be thoroughly cleaned before you take a single photo.
All windows and glass exterior doors should be washed and free of any dirt, smudges, bird droppings, and so forth, that way they shine in your images.
The siding material - be it vinyl, steel, brick, or something in between - should also be power washed to ensure there is no dirt to make it look dingy. Gutters should be cleaned, and the roof should be free of leaves, tree limbs, and other debris as well.
photo by Solidago via iStock
Lastly, homeowners should run a broom along all exterior corners to remove any cobwebs. This is especially important to do around the front door and other entrances to the home.
Though this is a rather long list of staging tips, each one is important for homeowners to accomplish before you arrive to take photos.
The goal is to make the home look as beautiful and inviting as possible, and if property owners follow this advice, the photos you take will be that much more impressive to potential buyers!