Real estate reality shows are amazingly popular. And why not? Everyone imagines buying the home of their own dreams and living their best life in that perfect neighborhood. The shows are a kind of voyeuristic wish fulfillment.
But even with the bombardment of real estate programming, the saturation of real estate apps, and other consumer-friendly interior design software – all tools helping homebuyers dream bigger more easily – we still see couples walking into the next viewing, talking about how they can’t envision anything beyond the terribly outdated wallpaper.
Apparently, it’s just the way we’re programmed.
We need a visual – especially in the digital age of homebuying. In fact, Redfin reported that for homes under a million dollars, listings with high quality photography sell for $3-11k more on average than those that do not. A big part of providing those high-quality listing photos is having something great to capture.
How do you do that?
Setting the Stage.
One of the most important jobs of a real estate photographer is to help create a photographic story for each home. It is far easier to build a good story around a staged room than one that is a completely blank canvas.
Professional stagers use conceptualization techniques in order to help potential buyers walk in and envision the property as their home. Ideally, they can see themselves living and entertaining in the space. Likewise, a staged home provides the perspective and depth that a photographer would otherwise not be able to show in a room with nothing in it.
Editing the Room.
Images should be composed with a central focal point and framed with clean lines and complimentary backdrop elements. Doing this is a lot easier when a professional has come in to clear the clutter.
Just like a good book editor, home stagers are able to “edit out” all those mundane details of everyday life that don’t add anything to the story of the home – details that can sometimes even detract from the overall vision.
Essentially, they highlight key features and minimize the weak points of a home, ultimately lending to the lifestyle the seller is pitching.
More Equals Less.
RISMedia noted last month that more photos equal less time on the market, stating, “a home with one photo spends an average 70 days on the market, but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market.”
When a home has been professionally staged, it is far easier for us as real estate photographers to find more picture-worthy spots and angles.
Like photographers, graphic designers, and really any other kind of artist, professional home stagers do the work because they love it. The best stagers put their passion about creating the story of the homes they work on above everything else.
For instance, About Face Staging not only provides turnkey professional home staging for resale and new construction, but a variety of consultation services. Northern Lights Staging is another one specializing in occupied home staging – scenarios where sellers are retiring and need to be comfortable staying in the home, but the market and location calls for targeting younger first-time home buyers or families with young children.
Both firms offer varying price points based on a client’s resources and budget, and those are just two examples out of many great staging companies out there.
Ultimately, what it comes down to is the fact that professionally staged homes enable us to do our job better – something that’s good for everyone.