Spotlight on Real Estate Photography
Successful Staging Shows
Staging can mean different things to different people. If an empty house has furnishings installed in several rooms, that's staging. Some real estate agents help their clients de-clutter their rooms and call that staging. Many agents and homeowners hire professional stagers to come in and transform a home to be listed, either with the homeowner's own furnishings or with items provided by the stager or often, a mixture of both.
There are even different kinds of professional staging. Builders want their their model homes staged with completely different considerations than a homeowner would for a listing they will be living in. TV shows on DIY and the Home Channel are going to stage their homes one way. An accessory store is going to stage their rooms another way. A furniture store has other considerations as they place their merchandise on the sales floor.
So, if someone tells us a home has been staged and is ready for us, there is no telling what we will see when we get there. We love it when our favorite stager, Amy Fedosky of Staging Dallas, walks out of a house as we walk in. We know that everything will be picture perfect, but we also see everything else - from homes where nothing has been done to get ready, all the way to so much over-decorating that you can't even see the house.
Avoid These Mistakes
If professional staging is in your budget, we heartily recommend calling Amy, but if it's not, here are some basic rules anyone can follow.
Don't have cars in your driveway or in front of your house
Mow and edge the lawn
Sweep off sidewalks, porches and patios
Turn on all lights in house, including all lamps - replacing any burned out bulbs
Turn off ceiling fans
Hide electrical cords
Don't hide things under the sofas or beds
Be sure tags have been taken off of everything
These very basic rules will help your home look the best. Many staging lists suggests things like:
Seasonal color in the flower beds
Painting the front door and putting a wreath on it
Fresh flowers throughout the house
Fresh baked cookies for open houses
There's nothing wrong with these kinds of "extras", but anything you add is ineffective if the basics have not been covered. Seasonal color doesn't disguise a lawn that needs edging. A wreath on the door doesn't make up for leaves on the sidewalk. Fresh flowers don't hide dirty windows, dust or even make tags disappear.
There are many miracles a photographer can do with editing. Your grass and shrubs can be green, even in the dead of winter. The sky can be blue, even on the dreariest of days But poorly made beds, stacks of junk, dirty animal cages, dangling cords, burned out bulbs, dirty windows and dusty furniture? There's little we can do to save situations like that.