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Feel like your home is photo ready with just a little cleaning? It’s probably not. When you live somewhere, you get blind to the visual clutter and everyday stuff in your home.
Below you’ll find a list of the most common things I’ve seen that need to be done in every home before it is photographed.
Oh–and if you’re wondering why to bother with all of this, remember that a clean, styled, + staged home sells for more. Staged homes often result in offers ABOVE asking price so it’s worth your time to make it sparkle!
As a client, you have access to my exclusive guide to preparing your home to shine in photos which includes everything below and so much more!
Not a client? You can still apply the tips below to make your home stand out online.
Clean like the queen is coming for tea
More than just tidying up, remove any “everyday” items from surfaces throughout the home.
In the bathroom
- Personal products should be stashed away, off the counter
- Put away toothbrushes, hand soap, and anything that plugs in
- Hang fresh towels
- Wipe down the mirrors
- Shine the fixtures
- Clean the shower + remove toiletries
- Deep clean the shower, tub, toilet, + sink
- Dust the lighting fixtures– wipe down if needed
In the kitchen
- Stash small appliances, utensil holders, paper towels, etc out of sight
- Also, remove everything from the front/exterior of the refrigerator
- Do the dishes. The sink should be empty + clean
- Put away sponges, dish soap, drying rack + any other everyday kitchen cleaning supplies
- Organize any glass fronted cabinets so they look crate + barrel/pottery barn nice (pack away anything that doesn’t match or doesn’t fit)
- Organize the pantry. People will look inside + if it’s organized, they’ll imagine living there with a beautifully organized pantry, just like in a magazine.
- Put away or hide the garbage can if it’s not already out of sight.
Throughout the home
- Make sure floors are freshly vacuumed + mopped (especially if you have pets!)
- Dust all surfaces (dust shows in photos + at showings, giving the impression the home isn’t well cared for)
- Remove any distracting items
- Not sure if it’s distracting? Err on the side of hotel empty. When it doubt, put it away.
- Remove family photos + mementos (giving room for people to imagine their photos in the space–it also makes them feel more welcome and less like trespassers in a private space)
- Style all your shelves + mantle
- Clean all ceiling fans
- Straighten artwork
REPLACE ALL BURNED OUT BULBS!
- Replacing bulbs is essential to getting gorgeous, inviting photos of your home.
- Burned out lights indicate that the home isn’t well maintained (whether true or not) so replace them.
- When you replace the bulbs, make sure they are the same color + wattage as the others. Unsure if they match? Replace them as a group and use the bulbs in one-off places as needed.
In the bedrooms
- Make the beds
- Make sure the linens + blankets lay smooth like at a hotel. Rumpled linens distract the viewer from the room itself
- Make sure the edges are neat and cover the mattress
In the living/family room
- Put away throws (unless artfully arranged) and fluff pillows
- Stash away remotes, videos, game consoles, etc
- Put away knick knacks
Why remove so much from the counters?
- Removes visual clutter (which helps keep people from getting distracted by things that have nothing to do with buying the home)
- Makes them seem larger
- Many people lack vision/imagination so we want to avoid them evaluating your choices and just look at what really matters
- Clearing the space leaves them room to imagine “moving in” their stuff
Styling your home like a magazine creative director
Here are a few basic tips to help showcase your home
- Remove fussy curtains, drapes, and valances. Replace them with something simple + neutral for wider appeal.
Get inspiration on how to style your home like a pro on this pinterest board
Wish you had help staging + styling your home? I offer soft staging + styling advice + services and your real estate agent may have a staging professional they highly recommend. Get help where you need it!