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Staging for Actual and Virtual Visitors

Spotlight on Real Estate Photography

Open House vs. Online

Though it might seem as if staging your home for open houses and showings would be the same as staging it for photos, that's not exactly so. Many of the tasks you perform for an open house are exactly the same as staging for photography, but the emphasis is a little different for both.

Staging for an open house is about creating an experience for those who visit. The visitor will drive through your neighborhood and see all the assets of living there. Perhaps along the way they'll see where to shop, the local school, amenities like pools and golf courses, neighbors working on their lawns and kids outside playing with other kids. They'll park by the curb and walk up your sidewalk. Blooming flowers, freshly mown grass and a seasonal wreath help welcome them to your home. Your agent will be there to greet them and invite them in. Warm baked cookies, fresh cut flowers and perhaps a crackling fire in the fireplace can enhance the experience for everyone who comes through to take a look.

All these positive experiences are stripped from your photos on the internet. Now, imagine someone sitting in their den watching TV while they click through pictures on their phone and they have none of the benefits of that onsite visit to influence them. You've really got to make a good virtual impression to get them off their couch and into your living room. Statistics tell us this shopping scenario is becoming more and more universal. Your home will have to cross this barrier in most cases, before someone actually visits. So how do you stand out from the crowd?

Great Photos Matter

We've shared these statistics before, but they are worth repeating.

The National Association of Realtors® revealed this data from their 2017 survey:

· 95% of buyers use online websites in their search for a home

· 89% of buyers cite photographs as the most important feature on real estate websites

· 44% of buyers look at online websites as the first step in their search for a home

Clearly the photos of your home on the internet matter. What's more, professional photos sell your home better than those you take yourself or photos taken by your agent, because the NAR has also shared this data from other surveys:

· Homes with professional photographs are viewed 61 percent more frequently than others

· Homes with professional photographs sell for higher prices than similar homes

Staging, staging, staging!

While all the 4/3/3's in a given area might be pretty much the same, chances are the photos will be radically different. For instance, out of a list of 10 homes, two might be vacant, three are family homes with a wide variety of kids and pets, two belong to empty-nesters and two are rentals with millennial singles currently living there. Imagine the variety of appearances these houses can have!

It would be easy to assume one or the other of these situations would make for a quicker sale. Actually any house which is well-staged and professionally photographed has the potential to pull that online shopper away from their TV binge watching and into your home for a look.

Your real estate agent will have a list of items they'll want you to do to make your home more appealing and they will give you some guidelines for living in a listed home. Those are changes you will have to live with on a day-to-day basis. Your photo shoot should only be one day. For that one day you can live with some more radical changes which will make your home more appealing to a wider range of buyers. When Spot On Images is your photographer, we give you a staging list that takes your home to new heights of desirability. Some of the suggestions may be challenging, but they'll help you get to sold a lot faster. Tell your agent you want Spot On Images!

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