Odds are if you're reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it's on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there's a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.
Step 1: Do your researchPhotography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn't mean you can't take photos that will stand out--with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet. Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they're taken from and the lighting they use. You'll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That's because they're probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.
a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.
Step 2: Know your equipmentEquipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world. In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you'll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.
Step 3: Room staging mattersHave you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy. Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there's something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo. Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don't want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone's home with their children's portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they're spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.
Step 4: Take many photosHave you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you'll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you're shooting digital, you don't have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you're on a smartphone. Taking hundreds of photos isn't an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo. Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don't forget to share them with us!
Trying to buy and sell a home at the same time can be tough. Sometimes these buyers and sellers are referred to as being in a sandwich because they are in the middle. The reason this can be difficult is because there is no guarantee that your new home will close at the same time as your old home. Selling and buying a home at the same time is possible but you will need help. Here are a few tips on how to get into your home while closing on your own home: 1. Hire a real estate professional. This is almost an impossible task without having a seasoned professional by your side. There are lots of details that go into selling and buying and an experienced real estate professional will know just what to do to get you to both closing tables. 2. Sell first, and then buy. This is probably the easiest and safest plan. List your home for sale and secure a buyer. You can either close on your home before purchasing another one, or ask the buyer for a contingency to allow you time to find a new home before closing on the previous one. There are many advantages to selling first, it allows you to know how much you can spend on a new home, and you don’t have to worry about temporary financing. 3. Try to schedule the closing date on the purchase of your new home on the same day, but after the closing on the home you are selling. This way, you can stay in your present home until you move into your new one. Bottom line, when it comes to selling and buying a home use the expertise of your real estate professional. Your plans may change depending on your circumstances and your local market.
Did you know that pets can significantly reduce your home's value? Homebuyers are hesitant to buy a home with pets because they are weary of odors and damage. If you are a pet owner here are some tips to ensure you get the highest final sale price for your home: 1. Start outside. The outside of your home is the first impression, it is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Fill and holes in the yard that have been dug by pets. Make sure to walk the yard and pick up any pet waste. 2. Check the woodwork. Pets have a habit of chewing. Go through your home and look for any damage. Check the floor trim, the threshold of your doors, and the corners of doors and cabinets. Also don't forget to check carpet, window ledges and screens, especially if you have cats. Hardwood floors can also get scratched by pets too. You may need refinish your floors if they have pet scratches. 3. Check the carpet. Carpets are usually best replaced rather than repaired. It is almost impossible to remove pet odor from carpet. If the carpet has been chewed or frayed from scratching it can likely be stretched and re-tacked by a professional. 4. Look for stains. There can be stains on carpet, flooring, drywall, and trim. Make sure to repair or replace any items that are stained before a buyer sees them. 5. Address odors. You may not even notice pet odors in your home but they will be very obvious to buyers. Ask someone else to give you an honest opinion of pet odors in your home. Make sure to vacuum daily and open windows if you can. It's not just accidents that cause bad odors. Your pet's hair, dander and sweat also create odors. 6. Clean your furniture. Even though the buyer is looking at the house, if your furniture is stained or ruined buyers will still devalue your home. 7. Keep the pets away. If possible remove pets from your home when showing it. You could board them, or have a friend keep your pets while you're showing your home. If that is not possible make sure to buy pet crates to keep them locked up and out of the way.
One of the trickiest parts of buying or selling a home is the negotiation process. Too often when our home is involved our emotions get in the way and the deal can go south quickly. Negotiating is an art. A real estate professional is trained in negotiating but you will need to prepare too. Here are some hints to help you navigate the home sale negotiation process: Do your homework know your home’s worth, understand the value of your home in the marketplace. Be realistic about what your home is worth. Much of the work you did to the home was a labor of love and may not have a monetary value. Be patient, negotiations can take time. Do not let emotions (greed, pride, anger, or prejudice) get in the way of negotiating the best deal. Think of your home as “the house”,” instead of “my home.” You have made the decision to move so try to think of the sale as a business transaction. Take all reasonable offers seriously. Don't let a good deal walk away over a few hundred dollars. Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. This will help you try to see where the potential buyer is coming from. Most of all, have a positive attitude. Don't get caught up in the game of negotiating instead remember the goal is to sell your house for a fair price and move on to your next adventure.
There are some secrets when it comes to selling a house. There are some things you can do to help your home be more attractive to a buyer. Here are just a few things that often helps buyers sign on the dotted line: 1. A Welcoming Entryway A beautiful entrance is the first thing a buyer sees, remember you never get a second chance at a first impression. 2. Hardwood Floors Hardwood floors have longevity and never go out of style. Buyers don't have to worry about replacing dirty carpets or worry about allergies from pets. 3. Closet Organizers Closet organizers make closets look bigger and buyers love storage. 4. Green Grass
Green grass shows prospective buyers on how the home has been maintained. Buyers are drawn to green spaces with a flat, open lawn.