We use various companies when it comes to providing professional photographs for real estate.
When we first started in real estate, as an aside, we took 35mm wet film photos. We then had those developed at the Photo Developing Shop and turned them into the Board of Realtors with the "MLS" information sheet, which was filled out by hand.
With the advent of digital photography, most agents took their own photos and then uploaded them into the multiple listing services.
After that, there came services that "built" virtual tours, all you needed to do was send them your photos.
Today, in the present time - circa 2018, we now hire professional photographers to do the photos.
Our phones have just as many megapixels as the professional photographer. The most important part of a well-taken photograph has to do with lighting. That is the part which we are missing.
Lighting changes everything. Then after the photos are completed, the retouching is also something that is best left in the hands of professionals.
I have been listing and selling real estate since 1998. During that time it has changed immensely. It has become more technologically oriented and if the agent you are hiring is not "on board", your real estate goals won't be fulfilled.
How to prepare for the Professional Photographer
OUTDOORS FRONT & BACK
• Remove dead potted plants, toys, pet toys, bicycles, hoses, yard tools, garden hoses/sprinklers, mowers, etc.
• Remove motor vehicles from the driveway. Hide trash from view.
• Add curb appeal and inviting atmosphere!
• Real plants/flowers or carefully chosen artificial plants/flowers
• Patio furniture with a decorative centerpiece (flowers, patio sculpture, tea/lemonade set with pitcher/glasses)
• Open umbrella (as long as it doesn’t obstruct a view)
• Open/tie-back all curtains and raise mini-blinds or open straight across (try to be consistent throughout). Turn on all lights, turn off all fans
• Light bulbs—double-check all lamps/light fixtures have working light bulbs
• We typically do not photograph storage areas, so hide daily essential ‘extras’ in the utility room, garage, or closets for the day (high chair/ booster seat, baby carriers/playpens, pet beds & food/water bowls, etc.)
• Clear counters of clutter & small appliances, paper towel holders, paper napkins, the drain rack, soap dispensers, etc.
• Remove trash cans, pet bowls, dish towels (even decorative should be put away for photos), cleaning supplies (soap, sponge)
• Leave only minimal decorative items (bowl of fruit, the vase of flowers, the cookbook on the stand, or wine bottle/glasses on a serving tray… etc.)
• Dress breakfast table with the plant, vase of flowers or centerpiece (bowl of fruit, candle arrangement, etc.)
LIVING - FAMILY - GAME & MEDIA ROOMS
• Make sure decorative pillows are in place. A small throw blanket may be draped over a chair, ottoman or sofa.
• CDs, movies, video games/consoles & accessories, and remote controls should be put away out of sight – close TV cabinets, if possible
• Remove clutter, newspaper, and magazines
• Enhance a room with decorative touches: plants, decorative candles, a stack of a few books, art.
• Bookcases should be organized. Staging tip: 1/3 books, 1/3 art/plants or sculptural displays, 1/3 empty space
• Remove all personal items and toiletries (toothbrushes, hairbrushes, medicine/vitamins, shampoo, etc.) from all bath caddies and counters
• Remove bath mats, weight scales, trash cans
• Remove health aid devices (shower chair, etc.)
• Display only decorative towels, candles, plants, etc...
• Clear end tables and dressers of all clutter and health aid devices (breathing machines) and make the bed with matching bed linens and decorative pillows
• Stow laundry baskets/hampers, bathrobes, and any other extra wardrobe items (clothes, shoes/slippers) or toys in the closet, etc..
Something that I will share with you is how we don't just have the virtual tour company take these professional photos and do with them what they will.
We also take the same photographs and distribute them in many technologically driven ways within the real estate online channels.
Those professional real estate agent acts drive more traffic to your home than any other agent who just relies on the virtual tour company and MLS to distribute your home's listing.
Be safe - reach out to us when ready. You should be contacted by the Virtual Tour Company secured by my top producing real estate team and me.
After you get the call and get the time nailed down, contact me so I can ensure I watch out for the photos to start the listing propagating online.