Simple Preparation for Any Real Estate Marketing Budget

The Kansas City market is still going strong, and that is excellent news for everyone!  However, this also means we are all very busy and must utilize our time wisely.  For the experienced scheduler, preparation and organization are two things that don't go amiss.  So when it comes to making an appointment to have a property photographed, and meeting with your local professional photographer, it goes without saying some small preparation will go a long way. This is essential to keeping a full calendar of a busy real estate agent (or photographer) running as seamless as possible.

 Buyers will generally be sympathetic to the fact a home is still lived in, but the more clutter that can go, the better.

Buyers will generally be sympathetic to the fact a home is still lived in, but the more clutter that can go, the better.

As I've mentioned before, professional photography can be a really helpful tool when it comes to selling homes, and hiring a professional stager can be a great option for the right listings.  However, a large number of homes don't have marketing budgets for this kind of preparation, and require a different approach when it comes to preparing a home to sell.

With that said, there are a few steps a realtor and home owner can take to make the photography session not only run smoothly, but also achieve the best results.

  1. Communication – Speak with the home owner and tell them what to expect when the photographer arrives. This helps the seller feel more comfortable and helps eliminate confusion when a photographer arrives with equipment that may be unfamiliar to them. Let them know the photographer will be in several corner of the home, and may need to move a few items to achieve the best possible shot for the marketing of the property.  It is also important that the realtor is clear in their communication with the photographer of any features that should be included, or areas that need left out.
  2. Declutter – Have the homeowner move as many small knickknacks and personal items as possible.  Family photos, toiletries, and a crowded refrigerator are a couple things that can make a space looked cluttered, and an owner may not feel comfortable with someone else moving them.  
  3. Extra Furniture – Not every area of the home will be photographed, so use rooms like the garage, unfinished basements, and closets to your advantage.  Extra furniture in small spaces can quickly make a room feel small so don't hesitate to move that lamp or chair out of the room for the session.
  4. Fans Off & Lights On – Potential buyers will also be interested in the light fixtures, so make sure all ceiling fans are off and still, and every light in the house is on.  Even small bedside lamps can help add warmth and depth to a room.  It's also important to remember that shots will be taking from several angles within a home, so even though the living room is done being photographed, it will still be visible in the kitchen photographs, which is why it is important to leave everything on until the session in complete.
  5. Exteriors – A lush green landscape would be ideal for every shoot.  However, we're in Kansas City, and that's simply not possible year round.  If possible, have the homeowner trim back any necessary landscaping prior to the photographers arrival.  Rake leaves, sweep the driveway, remove any kids toys or other items which may clutter the curb appeal.  Remember this is what potential buyers will see first so it's important to do what you can to make the exterior inviting.

These simple steps help you get the most out of your professional images, especially when the marketing budget is low.  When the homeowner, real estate agent and photographer work together, they can take minimal time and give maximum results.