With the majority of home buyers starting their searches online, it's essential your home stand out in the listing photos. Consider the following to assure it looks bright, spacious, fresh and uncluttered.
Before the photo shoot starts, create as much light as possible. Turn on all interior lights, open drapes and blinds and light candles to create warm ambiance.
Freshen and Clean
Re-paint surfaces that show stains, scuffs or damage. Thoroughly clean house, top to bottom.
Put away magazines, toys newspapers and family photographs. Hide evidence of pets. Remove calendars, bulletin boards and anything that could date the photos (eg. seasonal decorations). Clear photos and magnets from refrigerator door.
Add pop to each room with fresh flowers, attractive vases, colorful afghans, new towels, etc. On broad countertops, display one small, attractive object (eg. unique espresso maker) to provide scale. Outside, replace dead plants and add bright-colored flowers in pots or planted in the ground.
To make home look spacious, decrease amount of furniture in each room and carefully group what's left. Clear kitchen and bathroom countertops; thin number of objects on other surfaces. Trim books and knick-knacks. Reduce the contents of closets so they appear only half full.
Hide empty planters, hoses, trash cans, games, balls, pet houses, etc. Close garage doors and remove cars from driveway and in front of home.
Sources: Real Estate Staging Association, National Association of Realtors, Better Homes and Gardens Blog