People browsing Palo Alto homes for sale have ample choices to explore. Here, and in surrounding Silicon Valley cities, there are numerous single-family and luxury properties to catch the eyes of potential buyers. That’s why making your property’s listing stand out is essential in selling fast — and in selling for top dollar.
On top of a compelling and detailed home description, having sharp, professional-grade images in your online listing is a must. Whether you or someone else will be the one taking these pictures, here are 10 photography secrets that you can use to make your home stand out.
Take drone images
Elevate your images — literally! Drone images and videos provide an exceptional opportunity to capture your home in a unique way. Although this form of photography is rapidly gaining popularity (especially in the real estate world), it is still rare enough to turn heads.
Consider investing in drone-captured images and/or videos. If you have an interesting or particularly breathtaking home exterior, this is even more worthwhile. You can hire a professional real estate photographer to do the work for you at a modest cost. If you feel confident in your skills, you can invest in a drone and take the images yourself.
Videos are an excellent way to make any setting come to life. Vibrant and engaging videos allow prospective buyers to obtain a much better idea of what it would be like to live in your home. And while video services were once a luxury, reserved only for an elite few, this option is now accessible to nearly every seller.
As with any type of photography option, you can technically take either a professional or DIY route. However, with video, opting for an industry professional will make a massive difference in the quality of your final product. Not to mention, you’ll save hours of time on editing and other related duties that come with producing a top-tier real estate video.
Consider virtual staging
Want to make your home’s listing photos look outstanding? One little-known trick of the trade is to use virtual staging.
What is virtual staging? Images of custom furniture, decor, and fixtures are carefully superimposed onto images of empty rooms in your home. Typically performed by a graphic designer, this technique can make your interior rooms look stunning. By leveraging this strategy, you can also avoid the hassle of physically staging your home with real furniture and decorative pieces.
Perform a deep clean
You might be surprised as to what can be visible in an image. Small amounts of dust, dirt, and scuff marks can quickly catch the attention of prospective buyers who are browsing your home listing.
Don’t attract attention in this way! Instead, perform a deep clean of your entire house prior to having pictures taken in each room. Rather than having to go through all of the work of buying supplies and cleaning, this is a great task to outsource. Professional cleaning companies — especially those that specialize in move-out services — will have your property looking brand new.
Enlist the help of Photoshop
In the event that something looks off in your images, don’t fret. Whether taking the images yourself or having them done professionally, Photoshop can be a lifesaver. Expert photographers already use this program when editing images and automatically know to look for imperfections. This is yet another advantage of hiring a professional photographer for your home-listing needs.
If you’ve taken the images yourself and notice something that needs to be adjusted or removed, basic Photoshop techniques can easily be learned and utilized. You can also ask for assistance from a friend, family member, or colleague who is familiar with the program.
Know how to properly adjust lighting
All good photographers have an intimate understanding of how important lighting is when taking pictures. The way the light shines in a room, and on various objects, can totally alter the look and feel of a space.
Since there are so many techniques depending on individual spaces, you’ll want to research lighting strategies if you are taking your own images. Natural light versus artificial light is a great place to start in your learning process. Also, as you experiment with various lighting techniques, ensure that the strategies you use from room to room are consistent. Having a varied mix of lighting in your images can make your listing look less than professional.
Keep blinds and curtains open
As you work to achieve the perfect lighting in a room, be sure to open all blinds and curtains. Why? This industry standard is a must when trying to attract qualified buyers.
Closed blinds and curtains give off a dark, cold, and less-approachable feel. When combined, these elements can make even the most well-decorated rooms feel uninviting. On the flip side, bright rooms with exterior views and natural light tend to look much more cheery and inviting. Creating this kind of environment will resonate far more with potential buyers.
Use a tripod
Individuals planning on taking the DIY approach to real estate photography will benefit greatly from investing in a tripod. Tripods are fantastic for a long list of reasons. Most notably, they improve stability when taking pictures, they are ideal for low light, they help with framing, and provide enhanced flexibility and sharper images. Tripods can be used long after you’ve sold your home, including during holidays and celebrations.
Make a list of all desired images you’d like to take
Creating a list of desired shots is valuable for every type of photoshoot. Taking the time to do this for your home listing will pay off in a number of ways.
Start drafting your shot list by going through every space in and outside of your home. There are select types of images that all expert real estate photographers recommend taking. Be sure to capture images of the front and back exterior, master bedroom and bathroom, family room, kitchen, eat-in kitchen space, and all guest bedrooms and bathrooms.
In addition to knowing which images you’ll need to take, there are also some general guidelines to follow. If your home is smaller in size, you do not need to take multiple photos of every space. Larger homes, however, should feature more images in their online listing. In larger properties that have more rooms than those listed above, be sure to capture pictures of spaces such as the finished basement, media room, formal living room, and so on.
If at all possible, hire a professional real estate photographer
At the end of the day, hiring a professional real estate photographer will save you an abundance of time, money, and effort. Trying to do everything yourself while selling a home is the quickest way to drain your energy. Be wise with your resources by leaning into the expertise of an industry professional.
The same goes for selling your Palo Alto house. Trust the experience of Spencer Hsu and his team of experts. Contact us today to learn even more pro tips for listing your property.