11 Things To Do Before Your Photo/Video Shoot
You, the homeowner, can play an active role in making your property photos and video even more awesome! We won’t ask for aperture recommendations or key grip and gaffer assistance. That’s our job. But there are a few things you can do prior to the day of the shoot to improve the final marketing materials. We’ve compiled a nice even list of 11 things you should try and do before our arrival. The more items you address, the better your photos and videos will come out.
- Come on Baby, Light My Fire
A roaring fire always adds a nice inviting touch to property videos and photos, regardless of the season. If it’s the “old fashioned” kind, please get it going prior to our arrival and be sure to clean up around the hearth. If it’s a gas log fireplace, simply flick the switch!
- Let There Be Light
Videos and photos love light. The more the better. Damn the electric bill and please turn on ALL lights. This includes lighting over the stove, under cabinet lights, interior cabinet lights, lamps, etc… Please replace any burnt out or missing light bulbs. Check all the light bulbs in your chandeliers. Crank the dimmers up. Your home should be a vampire’s worst nightmare on the day of the shoot. We will turn the lights off when we’re done.
- Lose Fido (Temporarily)
We love pets as much as you do, but no matter how cuddly and adorable, they never add anything to a property video or photo shoot. Potential buyers do not need their wheels set in motion about how many places Rover has marked as his own within your home. Please arrange to have pets out of the home, or in the unfinished basement or garage during the shoot. Also please remove evidence of pets: beds, toys, bowls, dishes, litter boxes, accidents (yes, it’s happened), etc…
- Give the Butler the Day Off
It’s best to arrange your video and photo shoot for a day when no household help will be present. Landscapers, gardeners, house cleaners, maintenance, etc… should ideally be there the day before the shoot.
- We Love Our Fans
Ceiling fans add a nice touch to both property videos and photos. Please give all ceiling fans a good dusting and set them to their lowest settings prior to our arrival.
- Pull The Rug Out From Under Them
Buyers can be a cynical bunch and sometimes assume the worst. If you have area rugs and bath mats present, buyers will often assume you are hiding something under them. Remove all removable rugs and mats that actually AREN’T covering a blemish in the wood or a cracked tile. If your hardwoods have a noticeable difference in fading from where the area rugs have been, leave the rugs where they are. But if the floors under the rugs and mats look just as good as the uncovered floors, remove the rugs and mats so buyers can see how wonderful the floors look.
- Put The Pedal To The Metal
Please move all cars from the driveway and from in front of the property. Put them in the garage (if you have one). Park them a few houses down the street if necessary. We often take “approach shots” and the fewer vehicles visible in the general area the better. Or see item #11 and go for a ride somewhere.
- Clean Out The Fridge
No, not inside. We bring our own snacks when necessary. We’re talking about the exterior of the fridge here. This will give you a great excuse to finally clear off the top of the fridge that you’ve been avoiding forever. Magnetic poetry, adolescent artistic masterpieces, post-it notes, grocery lists and pictures of last summer’s family reunion may have tremendous sentimental value to you, but they do NOTHING for property videos and photos. Empty, clean, clutter-free surfaces work best. All that stuff can go right back up after we leave.
- Counter Culture
Please clear off all kitchen counters and island of any extraneous equipment. Microwaves, bread makers you use twice a year, blenders you use more frequently, toaster ovens, coffee makers, etc… should be tucked away out of sight for the shoot. Buyers want to see a wide-open, spacious kitchen with plenty of available work surfaces. The less clutter they see, the better. If your trash can isn’t incorporated into a cabinet, move it out of sight somewhere.
- Watch a Few Episodes of “Designed to Sell” (and “Hoarders” if Necessary!)
We’ve all seen enough HGTV to know the basics of home staging. Less is more. Prepare to give the house a thorough clean-up the day before and the morning of the shoot. Pick up and conceal all the kids’ toys. Make all the beds. Clean up all the clothes. Tidy walk-in closets if they deserve to be filmed. Put down toilet seats and clear off bathroom counters. Take shampoo, razors, etc… out of showers and hide them under cabinets. De-clutter. De-clutter some more. Do whatever you can to make your house look its best. Pretend you are preparing for a busy open house because, in theory, you actually are. The difference is this open house is going to be the virtual kind and it’s going to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the entire world. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Don’t blow it.
- Take a Hike
Go fly a kite, go to the gym, see a movie, grab lunch… whatever it is you like to do to kill a few hours. Our video and photography shoots always go smoother with less people and animals around. Sometimes a perfect shot or video sequence can be ruined by an innocent bystander being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing personal (after all it IS your home), but in order to get the best video and photography possible, it works best to leave us be to do our thing.
By following these eleven pointers and doing your part to get your house in tip-top showing shape prior to our shoot, you can personally take an active role and ensure that your property video and photos will be that much better than the next Sellers’. Remember, close to 90% of home buyers are starting their home searches online. The first impression they are most likely going to get of your home is from the photos and video they see online. Serious buyers use online photos and videos as a filter for deciding which houses they will pass on and which houses they will make a call to schedule a showing on. Put your house in the second category.
Yes, it is hard work getting your house ready for sale. Keeping it in showing condition is no picnic either. But the blood, sweat and tears you put into properly preparing your home for sale, and specifically for the day of your video and photo shoot, will return dividends in the activity you see and ultimately in the eventual sale price of your home. Considering this should be your ultimate goal, roll up your sleeves and get to work so that everything is perfect when we yell out, “Action”!
If you have any questions, please give us a shout.