Prepping Your Home to Sell: Photoshoot Advice

Thoughts and suggestions from our in-house team

One could argue that outside of sales associates, our photography team sees more properties for sale than anyone. We thought it time to get their take and advice on what homeowners should be doing to prepare their home for the oh-so-important photoshoot. With Sotheby’s International Realty syndicating properties on over 5,000 websites, the first showing is truly online, so let’s see what advice our photography team has for those getting ready to sell.

Tim’s Take: “I think the best thing people can do to get their houses ready, is to clean and declutter. When asked about whether or not to remove something from a composition, I always tell my clients, “When in doubt, take it out.” Clean spaces tend to be calming and attractive to the average viewer.

Hiring a professional interior decorator or stylist is huge for anyone looking to showcase their home. Most people have a hard time imagining themselves living in an empty space. Proper interior decor can help viewers picture the functionality and livability within a space. I’ve seen listings generate four times the amount of traffic upon hiring a professional decorator.

Taking the time of day into consideration plays a key factor in creating a world-class architectural photograph. It’s important to understand when each space will look it’s best. It’s also a good idea to have the photographer scout the location beforehand to get a sense of where and when to take each composition. 

Skylar’s Take: “Always consider color, contrast, composition, and lighting in your rooms. Once you have done all that, the best thing you can do to prepare your home for architectural and interior photography is to simplify. When a photographer makes photographs of your home, their task is to translate the three dimensional environment you’ve created into a two dimensional medium without losing the impact of experiencing the space first hand. Because photographs are two dimensional, they will flatten all of the objects in a room which can make interesting objects merely distracting. Try to remove objects until everything has a neat, uninterrupted silhouette against its background. Simpler compositions will be easier for the viewer to digest, thereby drawing attention to the most important aspects of each image.

Add texture: An often overlooked but important aspect of architectural and interiors photography is texture. Although textures are a part of the world that we don’t always pay direct attention to, we are always absorbing the information that textures provide. The texture of flat and matte materials tend to disappear in photographs. Textures that catch light like velvet, rough fabrics, leather, suede, fur, etc., give the viewer a deeper sense of the space and another reason to stop and linger on an image.”

Jon’s Take: “I think the biggest challenge about preparing your home for pictures is finding a balance between lived in and completely empty. You want some stuff in your home but not too much. Do you keep the coffee maker out, how many pillows do I put on the couch, what color duvet do I put on my bed there are so many questions that will run through your mind and overwhelm you. The best piece of advice I could give is think of it this way. You want to give the future owner an idea of what the house looks liked lived in so they can start to envision what the home will be like for them. Its not always an exact science and sometimes you can get overwhelmed but you can always turn to Pinterest for some great idea on how to get your home ready!”

Check back next month for more tips from our photography and videography teams.

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