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De-Cluttering is Critical

Spotlight on Real Estate Photography

The Big Stuff

When a potential buyer looks at your home online, you want there to be enough furniture in a room to tell them what room they are viewing, but you don't need much more than that. Here are the pieces a room needs:

  • Living Areas - Sofa or couch, 1 or 2 chairs, a coffee table or ottoman, a couple of tables for task lighting and if it is a den or theater, an entertainment center

  • Dining Areas - Table, a comfortable number of chairs around it, and perhaps a hutch or buffet

  • Bedrooms - a bed, bunk bed or twin beds, bedside tables with task lighting, wardrobe or dresser, and perhaps some seating with a table

That's all the furniture you will need to identify the rooms. Certainly you will have other furnishings in the room, but carefully consider each one and the message it may carry.

The Fine Line

While there are general rules to follow, each home has its own personality and needs. A rattan screen in the corner of one bedroom will add just the right touch, while the same screen in another bedroom overpowers the room. That's why it's so important to get second opinions from your agent, your friends or even a professional stager. You don't want things to be too bare, but that's not usually the problem we see.

Too much furniture in a room may send a message you don't intend. It could tell a potential buyer that you not only still live there, but you're not quite ready to let go, just yet. This is a subliminal message they might not even be able to verbalize, but some buyers might be unwilling to interrupt your life if your home still looks too lived-in. Another message might be even worse. If your stuff looks as if it is crowded into your rooms, buyers can't be blamed for thinking there is not enough room for their stuff either.

At the same time, a room can appear almost institutional and miss offering a feeling of home. There truly is a fine line between enough and not enough. A little trail and error with your own camera might help you decide what works best.

Next week we'll talk about the small stuff of staging.

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