Top 10 Staging Tips for a GREAT photoshoot

We’ve shot over 150 houses in the past year and have seen some truly awe-inspiring homes! These homes all had a few things in common, so we thought we’d share our favourite tips on getting your property ready for a photoshoot.

  1. Pack up family photos and consider putting away memorabilia and personal keepsakes
  2. Make the foyer welcoming and open by adding a small bench or a vase of flowers to the front hallway
  3. Hire a professional cleaning staff to clean the property before the first showing
  4. Pack up non-essentials in every room to create a more spacious atmosphere
  5. Check that all window treatments (Blinds, shades, and coverings) are modern and work properly
  6. Set the dinner table with a nice place setting to let the buyer imagine living in the space
  7. Be sure to clean or replace any carpeting and consider refinishing any wood flooring
  8. Use bright white lightbulbs to give your space a brighter, true-colour appearance and update/clean your light fixtures/lampshades if necessary
  9. Remove items from the kitchen counters such as coffee makers, toasters, microwaves, etc. these items take up space and make the counter seem smaller
  10. Install new shower curtains in the bathrooms (fabric is always a great choice) and add fresh flowers, pretty soaps or candles to the bathroom counter to give it a spa-like feel

Top 10 Staging Mistakes You May Be Making

Mistake No. 1: Removing all your family photos

I’m sure you’ve heard that you should remove your family photos – heck, our last blog post even said to do it – BUT there is something to be said about displaying a few key pictures. Don’t be afraid of showcasing some generic (maybe you had a professional family photoshoot) photos, but don’t leave up intimate/funny/inside-story imagery.

Mistake No. 2: Including excess furniture

Do not over-stuff your rooms! When you’ve purged the room, it will feel too empty and you will be tempted to add in a new piece of furniture or accent piece – DON’T DO IT! They key is to create more space, not less.

Mistake No. 3: Not cleaning up

As we mentioned in our last post, it is highly recommended that you clean your property before showing it off. With that said, a quick clean will most likely not suffice; splurge a little (for your home and your sanity) and have a professional cleaner come in and take that task off your list. A full and complete clean will not only look better on the surface, it will clear the air and just “feel” better too!

Mistake No. 4: Rushing

Getting your property ready for sale/showcase is always a task-filled project and when there are so many items on the to-do list, you may be tempted to rush through them and “just get them over with.” If you take your time you’ll make sure that nothing gets missed.

Mistake No. 5: Stuffing clutter into closets

On the other hand, if you’re faced with a last-minute showing, don’t load your closets full of stuff. Potential buyers looking specifically at how much storage space your home has, so they will definitely be looking in your closets. If you’re truly stuck, hide the mess under a bed.

Mistake No. 6: Ignoring your home’s exterior

With all of the hard work that you’re putting into the interior of the house, it’s easy to forget the exterior of the house. Here’s where extra help will come in handy! If you can, hire a landscaper to come and clean up your gardens, mow your lawn or trim your hedges and if you’re showcasing your property in the winter, make sure your driveway and walkways are clear of ice/snow and that your roof is clear of icicles. If necessary, make repairs or repaint the entry/garage doors and window frames.

Mistake No. 7: Showcasing your pet

You may LOVE your pet and of course they are definitely part of your family, but potential buyers may actually have allergies or just generally dislike pets (Crazy-talk right?!!) Make sure you vacuum on a daily basis to keep the hair to minimum, make sure the litter boxes are always cleaned and if you can, have the pet relocated to a friend/family member’s home for any showings/photoshoots.

Mistake No. 8: Faking it

In our last post, we suggested that you include plants/flowers in your front hallway/kitchen and we even recommend having plants in the livingroom too. As you know, live plants/flowers will wilt and die and while it maybe tempting (and possibly cost effective) to purchase fake plants/flowers to have on hand, we HIGHLY discourage it. Real plants/flowers just show an extra special caring touch and your prospective buyers/clients will notice your efforts.

Mistake No. 9: Excessive pillow talk

I love me some cozy, cushy throw pillows but even I go overboard sometimes! A few coordinating pillows on your bed or sofa work only if it’s realistic (ie. Would you cozy up with that pillow while watching a movie?) and whatever you do, make sure they’re clean!

Mistake No. 10: Creating themes

A few floral accessory pieces may be ok, but if your walls are floral and your sofa is floral and there are flowers on the tables and in pictures, then you MAY have a theming problem. Of course that is just an example but if you can walk into your room and immediately pinpoint a “theme” then you need to dial it back.