Monday, April 1, 2013

Styling Tips for Real Estate Photos

When it's time to sell your home, your house becomes a product. In order to sell a product for the highest price and in the least amount of time, it needs to have a strong marketing campaign. This is where your photos take top priority. I 'm not sure why in an Instagram, pinning, socially driven world, so many real estate photos still look like they did 10 years ago.

Many top agents are using professional home stagers and photographers which is great. Ask them and they will tell you, it works! Our focus this year is demonstrate how styling your photos can further enhance a home's appeal. But there's a catch!!
Styling is a learned art and you can find many tips online however, it is MUCH trickier when styling to sell. Why? Because you're selling the house, not the "things". You want to tell a story reflective of the BUYER and the house, not you (the seller) and your family or style. 

Here are some easy "beginner" tips for styling great real estate photos:

BEFORE Your Photo Day:
Get a notepad and walk the house. It's a great idea to look through your own camera if you have one, just for ideas. Look at each room individually. Ask, "What is the focal point of the room?"  This should be a feature of the house/room, something that is staying with the house, not a personal item. 
Perhaps a kitchen window? In the photo below, none of us would live with flowers on both edges of the sink (especially in perfect matching white pots), while doing dishes etc. Yet, for photo styling, framing the focal point window with symmetry and a hint of color is perfect. 

via Pinterest
Make a list of things to de-clutter or purposefully arrange, like pulling out mis-matched dishes, kids cups etc.
In the living room, no remote controls, lamp cords, or straight on "sofa shots".
Rugs are a popular item to edit out when staging. In this photo of the living room, the room looks so much larger having a sisal rug instead of a patterned rug.  You could take the rug out for the photo too. The wedding photo(below) is good for styling the photo but would be best taken out for showing time.
Keep making your list of tables and counters where you may want fresh flowers. Maybe next to the bed?

via Boxwood Clippings Blog

In the bedroom, the typical real estate shot usually captures the bed as the focal point. Stand at different angles in your room and decide which spot best captures the whole of the room. Then you are able to decide what areas you may want to style for the photo. I like this photo below because you can see the wall change ups in the space, in addition to the great skylights. The accessories and the (plain white) throw are positioned just right to fit within the frame. You can tell there is a large seating area in the room and it makes you want to see more! 
Plus, I like how although the room is neutral, the color is nicely translated. I'm not sure what the deal is with the weird, sepia/grey filter is on many of the photos I see now, but I must say...I'm not a fan.

Think of your whole house as a decor shop. What little items could you borrow from one room to use in your photo? Remember, things can move from room to room for your photos! Just return them to their spot when your finished, or perhaps you'll decide you like it better where it is. It's funny how shopping your own house can make things feel new again. Before the photographer arrives, have your bathrooms staged and ready.

On the DAY OF the photo shoot:
- Have your fresh flowers and a little pile of extra props(accessories) in a readily available spot. I call this your "shopping spot".

Nothing perks up a photo like fresh flowers and they don't have to be expensive. Get some tall ones and short ones and play with the scale in different vases. The "fresh off the farm" look is in, so go for it!

via Better Homes & Gardens
Fresh flowers that have a short shelf life are good for your Open House days. Make sure to toss out any wilted flowers prior to scheduled showings.
Martha O'Hara Interiors

Although it can seem like a daunting task, styling your photos can really make a huge difference. It does take a little practice but I think you'll find it to be quite interesting to see your house in a different perspective. Let your Realtor know ahead of time that you would like to put some thought into styling your photos. maybe you want to be there or maybe your Realtor or Professional Stager can help. Professional photographers should be accustomed to working with a stylist. I've only had one photographer give me a hard time about trying to make suggestions on opening the door for the shot, etc. 
The fact is, you deserve the best photos for your marketing campaign. So don't be shy, get involved and style your way to SOLD!

Happy Selling!!


  1. Really nice and true, i totally agree with you. Today, if we are considering selling our property ourself or through a broker, make sure we also get our property listed online. home for sale mn

  2. Thanks for your tips, Stayci! Aside from the overall preparation, presentation is something to look forward to. It's not enough to keep every space clean and organized. You have to add something new or refreshing to supplement its appeal, but make sure to not overdo anything.

    -Calvin Mordarski @ CityBlockTeam

  3. Yeah! I'm 100% agree with what you have wrote there. Demonstrating the photos of your house make sense to the costumer, it will work well.

    Selling Houses For Cash

  4. Selling real estate can be an overwhelmingly complicated process. Absolutely wonderful post i really appreciate it and i am very happy to be here because this is a very good site that provides lots of information about the styling tips for real estate photos.
    Brian Linnekens | Brian Linnekens USA

  5. This is an excellent review.I would love to read more about this topic. thanks for sharing this info for more info click hereflats for sale in manikonda

  6. Your website is terribly informative and your articles are wonderful.

  7. Great and useful article. Creating content regularly is very tough. Your points are motivated me to move on.

    Real Estate Video Sydney

    Real Estate Photography