Highlights from a Home Stager: The Listing Photo

27 Mar

Home Staging, South Philadelphia


Hi Everyone!

In our last couple posts, we spoke about staging for vacant properties, as well as staging for occupied homes.  We discussed why staging helps listings sell, and some tips and tricks on how to start staging on your own.  And, we also mentioned some ways that we pro-stagers can help you take things to the next level.

Today, we’re talking about the power of high quality, professional listing photos.  According to Philly’s Mike McCann, The Real Estate Man:

“Professional photos are the first impression one gets when viewing homes. As we all know, first impressions are lasting ones. Nothing is more important in this day and age of the internet than using professional photos to market and represent a property. It will increase the actual activity on the home dramatically, help sell the property and create desire and appeal to the buyers and their friends or family who view it.”   (More from The McCann Team)


Home Staging, Fairmount


The goal for great MLS photos is to act as a preliminary tour of the property.  You want to provide prospective buyers with an understanding of the rooms and their relation to one another.  And, of course, you want to make the property look as good as possible. A professional photographer will produce high quality images.  They will use a lens  that captures a wide angle view of each room, which will provide a clearer understanding of the layout.  They will know how to get the best light and how to get the best angles.


Home Staging, Point Breeze


So, what else do they know that we don’t?  We’ve reached out to our go-to Pro-Real Estate Photographer, Kate Devlin for some insider tips on what we, as stagers, and you, as sellers, can do to prepare for the shoot.  Here’s Kate’s Top 5 Tips:


  1.  Stash all the last minute stuff– As part of your staging, you’ve cleared the magnets from the fridge, you’ve streamlined the wall art, you’ve packed away the majority of the knick-knacks.  But, there’s those lingering items that you can’t just pack away just yet.  The good news is that for photos, you can hide those items in your freshly cleaned out closets.  Stash the toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps.  Clear towel hooks and coat racks.  Hide the pj’s under the bed.  Tuck away the kitchen sponge and random counter items.  And, conceal the kids toys, aside from those neatly displayed in a child’s bedroom or playroom.  Kate says that some clients have been known to pile additional clutter at the far end of the yard or even in the car just to get it out of the way for a great photo shoot.


    Home Staging, Art Museum Area

  2. Lighting- Make sure all light sources have the proper bulbs.  Kate says that a day with light cloud cover is ideal for shooting (as opposed to a super bright sunny day that will produce photos with harsher color contrast), but you just don’t always get that.  Her preference for windows is a clean line window with adjustable blinds but no fabric curtains.


    Home Staging, Francisville

  3. Consider scale & eliminate anything that isn’t right.  If you know your huge dining set isn’t right for the space, consider purchasing or renting a substitute that will not make the space feel small.  Huge pieces of artwork can also overwhelm a small space.  A space-saver shelving unit can make a small bathroom look even smaller.  And even something that seems as minor as a bath towel on a hand towel ring can throw off scale and confuse perception in a big way.


    Home Staging, Fairmount

  4. Keep a few props on-hand.  Now that we’ve told you to put all your décor away, it’s a good idea to have a bowl of fruit and a vase with flowers waiting in the wings.  As a stager- I tend to think of décor in terms of low/wide items, and tall items.  So a bowl with fruit and a vase with flowers are great props because they can fill in where needed, they move from room to room easily, and they add just the right about of color in a natural way.  Fruit and flowers also tend to be easy to attain, inexpensive, and style-neutral.


    Home Staging, Point Breeze

  5. Know what to expect when the photographer arrives.  Kate says that when she shoots, for the most part, she’ll stand at the far corner of the room and her wide lens picks up everything. It’s best if at least 1 floor is completely ready to go when she arrives so that everyone else can go to another floor of the home while she shoots.  Definitely have pets corralled before the photographer arrives, and plan to keep them contained until the shoot is complete.

So, thanks to our readers for hangin’ with us today!  Come back next time to learn a little more about “The Staged Look”.

Thanks to Kate Devlin for her professional advice, and for the use of her lovely photos featured throughout this post and many of our other posts!  If you need a Real Estate Photographer for your listing in Philadelphia or surrounding area, please contact her at photographerkatedevlin@gmail.com

And, Thanks to Mike McCann for his expert insights!  Check out the McCann Team’s website for your home buying and selling needs.

And, of course, when it comes to professional home staging, whether vacant or occupied, contact Ali at Sunflower Creations

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com or 267.207.9898

…Home Staging in 19128, 19127, 19119, 19118, 19130, 19121, 19123, 19125, 19134, 19103, 19102, 19104, 19106, 19107, 19146, 19147, 19139, 19143, 19145, 19148, 19004, 19003, 19035, and all Philadelphia and Surrounding Suburbs.





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