Monday, February 29, 2016
By Jed Williams
 Getting the Best Shot to Give you the Best Shot

At Hagan Realty, we go above and beyond to make sure your home has the very best chance on today’s market. We have a team of experts to market your home. Much of that marketing takes place before the MLS listing is ever live, and you are a big part of the process.

Our photographer and writer come to your home after you’ve decided to list it with us to start on the marketing materials. The writer will make sure she has a good feel for features and nuances that are a little more difficult to capture on camera. She will ask questions about the age of your home, age of your appliances, updates you may have done, features that you’re particularly proud of, and what there is to do in your area. Additionally, both she and the photographer will walk through your home to make sure they have a good understanding of the flow before they even get started writing or shooting. During this walk through, there are things that the photographer may point out that need to be moved or cleaned or open or shut in order to get the best photos possible. Don’t take anything personally, we really just want what’s best for you. To avoid a last minute scramble of cleaning and straightening, we’ve prepared a short guide to help you get ready for this visit.

Start out with the basic decluttering and depersonalizing. I’ve written another blog about this, so I won’t go into too much detail, but you should definitely read that post. Basically, you’ll want to remove all kids’ toys, family pictures, and any other overly sentimental or identifying decorations or knick knacks. You can pack them away in boxes, because with all the preparation going into selling your home, we anticipate a short market period. If you’ve taken pictures down and replaced them with generic wall hangings, you’re probably good to go on that front. If not, you’ll want to fill in nail holes and paint over them. And don’t put the paint away too soon, make sure you go over your walls and fill in any places that the paint might be chipping or any scuffs that you can’t get out with elbow grease. Those little marks that you may just not notice anymore will stick out like a sore thumb in pictures.

Make sure that your kitchen is also clear of excess clutter. Countertops should be empty, and if you have glass-front cabinets, you’ll want to make sure the inside of those is neatly organized. Clear all clutter from kitchen and dining tables except for maybe a center piece or table settings. Your refrigerator should not be displaying your kids’ art work. Clear office space of papers. Closets should be organized and relatively clean. We’ll likely open closet doors to take the pictures to show how big they are.

Whether it’s spring or not, you’ll want to do some spring cleaning. Don’t worry, it won’t go to waste as it’ll help you pack your things for an inevitable move, and it’ll start as a great baseline for keeping your home straightened and clean for open houses. If you have hardwood floors, mop them, steam them, or wax them if they need it. Shampoo carpeting. Wash your windows inside and out to let as much light shine through as possible. Make sure light fixtures have all of their bulbs and that none are burned out. Make sure bathrooms are spotless.

If you have a basement, there is some likelihood that you have a storage area down there or it ends up being somewhat of a catch-all. Make sure it’s as organized and clean as the rest of your home. If you pack your belongings away like I’ve suggested and have them stored in the basement, you may want to make sure they’re neatly stacked in a designated storage area or at least easily movable for different angles of photo shooting. The same goes for the garage. It may seem odd to clean a space that so many use just for parking their cars or storing their things, but we’ll want to make sure it looks as large as possible.

Outside, you’ll want to make sure your lawn and landscaping is in order. We take pictures of the outside of your home as well as the inside, and you’ll want buyers’ first impression to be the best one. Remove dead plants and replace them, mulch, and mow the lawn. You may even want to trim dead tree branches. If you store bikes or have kids’ toys outside, you’ll want to pack them away or move them somewhere out of view. When we shoot the interior of the home, we’ll want those things away from windows, and when we’re shooting the outside, we won’t want them cluttering your yard.

I hope this guide has been helpful. Remember to read my Declutter, Depersonalize blog post and the blog post that goes into extensive detail about spring cleaning. Both will help you determine what’s important for getting your home ready for a quick sale.

Jed WilliamsJed Williams
Principle Broker and founder of Hagan Realty