Pro Staging Tips: Prepping your Albuquerque Home for Photos

Tego Venturi: This comes up a lot is you’re getting, we talk about merchandising a home when you’re, when you’re going to be putting in, in the market. But a really key part, especially today is, is having great photography, great virtual tours of the home. And so we wanted to, you wanted to talk about prepping your home for photography,

Tracy Venturi: Right? So we want to make sure the first impression counts and these days, the first impression is photography. Most home buyers are online shopping. They are looking at the photos and deciding if a home matches what they’re looking for and deciding whether or not it’s a home, they want to keep on the short list. So they’re looking at the photos, they’re looking at the virtual immersive walkthrough tours. And oftentimes that’s how they’re deciding, you know, Tega, we have people who’ve actually bought houses. Who’ve never put foot in the house until they’re already under contract to purchase the house. So talking about photos is really critical. And one of the things that we really talk to our sellers about, because when that photographer shows up, we want the house ready. We don’t want the photographer to show up and say, Hey, you need to clear everything off your kitchen counter. Now we want to tell you ahead of time and make sure that the photos shine. One of the things that’s really important to go is

Tego Venturi: Analogy on that is it’s like, when you’re getting ready to sell your car, you have to detail your car. You have to get it ready. You got to make it look its best. And this is, this is part of that, right?

Tracy Venturi: Totally. Yep. So the, one of the things too, that’s really important is if the weather is overcast, gray, snowy, the day you’re supposed to have the photos taken of your house to put it on the market, we want to change that. We don’t want to let the photographer go on a gloomy day. The whole aura of the house shows in those photos and they’re going to feel gloomy.

Tego Venturi: Yeah, well, we live in New Mexico and one of the beauties is this beautiful crystal clear blue sky that we get, you know, 300 and whatever days a year. And you know, one out of whatever, 15 days we get one of those overcast days, don’t don’t do that. I see homes that are on the market that have been on the market a long time. And you go and look at the photography of those homes and it was photographed on a gloomy overcast day. And it’s, you’re really, you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you let that happen.

Tracy Venturi: Right? So the, the following the rules rules to prepare your home for the best real estate photos. So in general, obviously you want to clean the house, right? Have it all clean, make sure the windows are clean, turn on overhead lights, turn on all the lamps before the photographer up. Make sure you replace all the burned out bulbs so that although the lights work, the brighter, the better typically right, re turn off ceiling fans, turn off computers, turn off TVs. You don’t want that kind of distraction in your photos when the photographer comes and they don’t want to have to tell you, Hey, you need to do all these things. Now that I’m here, they want to get the photos and make sure the photos are great. Open blinds, window treatments. That’s where making sure the windows are clean, ready to go remove personal photographs. If you can, you know, one or two, probably isn’t going to hurt. But in general, if you have a lot of family portraits up, you’re going to want to take them down because the buyers want to see themselves there. And in photos, lots in, you know, taking photography of the house, showing all these photos can be distracting as well. Yeah. A lot of times people are zooming in to see what’s on the wall.

Tego Venturi: Can I say something? I don’t know, just talking about knick-knacks and clutter, something to keep in mind when you’re, when you’re looking at photography versus actually being in the space, it’s going to look a lot more cluttered in a photo, in a photograph. Okay. Cause a two dimensional plane versus a three-dimensional space. And so, you know, maybe you go into a room and you say, well, there’s a lot of stuff in here, but it doesn’t, you know, there’s a lot of volume and a lot of air in this room and it doesn’t feel so cluttered, but in a photograph, it may look very cluttered because now all of that stuff is on a two dimension plane. So just something to think about is I would say over declutter.

Tracy Venturi: Exactly. So thinking of the kitchen, this is an example of where you would really want to do that. You want to take everything off the countertop? No knife blocks, no baking supplies, no cooking supplies. If you must leave out a coffee pot, fine, but really take everything off. Take everything off your refrigerator. Take down all the little hand towels everywhere, because what Tico just said, it looks like clutter in a photo. But when you’re in person, the hand towels are gorgeous. Right?

Tego Venturi: Well, you know, I used to take our photos, right, Tracy, back back in the day. And, and the thing that I used to remember happening is you take a photo and there’d be a red towel, hating hanging on the range, for example, which is very common. You know, there’s a towel on the range. And I, when I would take the photo, I wouldn’t think much of it. And then I’d get back and start editing the photos, getting them ready, and I’m going, Oh my gosh, that’s all I see when I look at this photograph now, is that red towel hanging on the range. So, right.

Tracy Venturi: Yeah. So to finish the kitchen, right? Put away garbage cans, put away dog dishes, dog bowls, dog beds, just remove everything you can. And you know, if you have to hide in the dishwasher for the photographer, hide it in the dishwasher, bathroom, same thing, put things away. Don’t have anything out on the counter. Put the toilet seat down you know, close all the closet doors, remove any garbage cans, any dirt, dirty towels. It’s best. If you can, before photos go get some fresh clean, maybe have a color for the bathroom. Yep. They do tend to enhance the bathroom. Look bedrooms. Obviously you want to make the beds, have them crisp and clean clear the nightstands of anything store away, any phone charging, tablets, things like that. Just remove all the clutter from the dresser, put away family photos, hide it under the bed. If it doesn’t show there. Right.

Tego Venturi: I used to take for like the kitchen sink, for example, you know, you’ve got your soap and you’ve got your, your sponge and this and that. And I would just like put them down in the sink so they didn’t show up on the photo.

Tracy Venturi: She’s great. Yeah. Put them under the sink, put them in the sink somewhere so they don’t show up. Yeah. And then there’s the pets, which we briefly talked about, put away things for the photographer. Obviously when you’re having your house shown, it’s a little bit different, but if you have crates, dog beds, dog bowls, put them away, put away the dog food, get it cleared up and then we’ve got the outside. Right. So first impression we want to make sure that that front photo is great. We don’t want any cars in the driveway. It’s the

Tego Venturi: Cars in the driveway is big. No-No.

Tracy Venturi: What about if the driveway has oil stains all over it? Maybe there’s a way to Photoshop them out if there’s a way to just put something.

Tego Venturi: Yeah. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want to do that. Cause then you’re misrepresenting. So I would say if you can clean, you know, there’s way to clean oil stains, but that isn’t, that is a thing for sure.

Tracy Venturi: They’re so glaring when it’s there. So you want to just remove empty planters, take, put away hoses, put away electric cords clean up the, you know, shrubs and bushes and have it all presented, ready to go put away any broken lawn furniture, things like that, that aren’t going to show very well. And when the photographer comes, their job is to make it look great from different angles. They, their job isn’t to tell you, Hey, we need to clear this counter off. Now, can you help me? Because they may not take the time to clear the clutter that is going to make your house shine. So there’s the quick snippet of getting your house ready for photography.

Tego Venturi: Can I add one more thing to your list? I just, just occurred to me because I was thinking about when I used to do the Matterport photography. So Matterport is the technology that we used to do. The three-dimensional three 60 scan of the house. So the way this thing works is it’s, it’s on a tripod, you set it in the middle of the room and it spins around and takes the scan of the property. Sometimes when you’re doing photography, you’ll, you know, obviously you’re framing one direction and you can move stuff out of the way while you’re framing that shot and then move it back while you’re framing the next shot. You can’t get away with that with the three 60, the entire space, you know, all 360 degrees needs to be clear and ready for those scans. And of course today more than ever, those three 60 scans are, are, are critical in marketing property because so many people are spending so much more time online looking at the homes online versus in person before they well, before they come out and visit the home.

Tracy Venturi: So there’s there it is. There it is. How to get your house ready?

Tego Venturi: Great topic, Tracy. Yeah, I think that’s great.