Guest Post by Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
If you hope to travel the world by participating in a home exchange, it’s critical that the photos of your home generate interest from home swap prospects. When you attract the right partner, you’ll have a higher quality home exchange for yourself too!
Here are 7 Staging Diva photo tips that I use when staging properties for the real estate market. As a home stager, I use these techniques to attract home buyers (and renters), but they’ll work equally well for you when marketing your home for a home swap!1. Photograph your rooms with a digital camera with a wide-angle lens. You’ll be amazed at how much more of the room you can capture in a single shot, and it will make your home appear larger.
2. Ensure each room is well lit so that your home doesn’t look dark and depressing. Turn on all the lights and open all window coverings. Avoid shooting towards a window as this makes everything else in the photo too dark. When photographing a room with a large mirror or art with reflective glass, avoid capturing your own reflection.
3. Photograph each room from different angles; hold your camera high above and also at eye level. Also shoot it from different corners of each room. Then review all your photos to pick the ones that show each room at its best. While this may add an hour to your photography time, it’s well worth the effort!4. Minimize clutter and distractions before photographing any room. You may love your collection of teddy bears or decorative plates, but these may not appeal to others.
5. Be obsessive about details in every shot. Consider each photograph a key marketing piece for your home. Even simple things like a dishrag hanging from the kitchen faucet, crooked lampshades and artwork, or a sloppily made bed will detract from your home’s appeal. The more perfect everything looks, the more people will believe your home is clean and well maintained.
6. Use props to enhance the emotional appeal of each room. For example, fresh flowers on the bathroom counter and dining room table, a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, or decorative pillows and a throw blanket in the living room.7. Photograph the major rooms in your home and don’t forget the outside too. Curb appeal is important, as well as decks, yard or view, if you have one. Ensure the grounds are neat, and arrange any outdoor furniture or plants to show the property at its best.
Your goal is to market your property as your home swap partner’s home away from home. With the right photos, you’ll increase the perceived value of your home and attract a superior home exchange. If you’re finding it hard to be objective about your home, or you want to make it more enticing using the furniture and accessories you already have, consider the services of a professional home stager. Many stagers will also provide web-ready photographs as part of their service.
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. which operates Six Elements Home Staging and the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for almost 25 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and trained over 7,000 home stagers worldwide. Visit StagingDiva.com for additional tips or to find a home stager in your area.