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Home Preparation Letter from Snap2Close Real Estate Photography

We have written this letter to help the Phoenix area owners of your new listing prepare for our professional real estate photographer. Please feel free to copy and paste the letter into an email or, if you prefer, click here to view, download and/or print a PDF version.

Dear Homeowner,

Your Realtor is dedicated to successfully marketing and selling your home. Included of your Realtor’s marketing efforts are professional real estate photographs from Snap2Close Photography, which will be used on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other national web service portals such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com. These professional photographs may also be used on printed flyers or other marketing material.

Your home is one of your largest assets and obtaining the highest possible price and selling it quickly are your goals, as well as your Realtor’s. To help accomplish this goal, it is extremely important that the photographs of you house are of the highest quality. Since more than 98% of home buyers begin their search online, the photographs of your home are usually the first chance to make a great impression.

It is very important for you to know that prospective buyers don’t want to see your family photos, personal keepsakes, nick nacks, and clutter. It’s distracting and makes it hard for them to picture themselves in your home. As a mater of fact, the less "stuff" you have out then the easier it is for them to see their home belongings in your house.

In order to have the best photos possible you will need to prepare your home prior to arrival of the photographer. This usually requires a great deal of effort on your part and we have prepared this guide to assist you in your efforts.

Step 1: Clean, clean and clean some more. Professional photographs will capture dirt, glass and mirror smudges, dirty counter tops and a wide assortment of other factors that will distract the viewer from seeing the home’s structure and architecture. Dust can show up on photographs.

Step 2: Declutter. Many homes are filled with memories of past, pictures of your family and treasured knickknacks that you have collected over the years. These items often distract viewers who are looking for a new home and quite frankly may lead to the potential buyer looking for another house. Please do not take this personally because this is simply a part of the business when selling your home.

Step 3: Remove excess furnishings. Large amounts of furniture do not generally photograph well and often distracts from your home’s features.

While it may be difficult, it is important to realize that potential home buyers are not looking to buy your “stuff”. They are looking to possibly buy your home/structure.

Below is a helpful checklist that should help you prepare our home before the arrival of your photographer.

GENERAL

Remove seasonal decorations that might dated the photographs.
Move garbage cans, and other trash from view.
Remove all pet-related items (e.g., food bowls, litter boxes, cages, beds)
Remove throw rugs and runners in entry ways, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms so that the floor can be clearly seen.
Replace all burned out light bulbs both inside and outside your home. Good lighting is key.
The day of the shoot make sure all lights, inside and out, are turned on.

OUTSIDE

Move cars, boats, trailers, etc. from driveway and do not park directly in front of the house.
Close garage doors
Remove any patio furniture, grills, etc., in disrepair.
Remove all children’s toys, bikes, etc.
Uncover an outdoor kitchen items that may be photographed.
Make sure cushions in chairs are arranged neatly
Remove any unattractive potted plants or hanging baskets.
Store hoses out of sight on rolled-up neatly
Turn on any pool features, lights, etc.
Make sure the pool and spa is clean.
Remove pool sweeps, floating chlorine tools.
Remove safety fence.
Trim bushes and trees to maximize the view of your home.
Mow the grass, rake up leaves and debris, pull weeds and remove dead vegetation.
Remove yard signs (e.g., campaign signs, schools signs, sports signs)
If patio umbrellas block a nice view then they should be closed.
Move garbage cans out of sight.
Remove garden tools
Sweep driveway, sidewalks and patios.
If you are ambitious, plant some fresh flowers in empty planters or pots and use fresh mulch.

INSIDE

Turn ceiling fans off.
Open all curtains/blinds to allow light into your home.
As much as possible, minimize electrical cords in view.
Organize or hide all mail, bills, paperwork, etc.
Turn TVs and computer screens off.
Remove remote controls.
Close TV/stereo cabinets

Bathrooms

Put toilet seats down
Clean mirrors
Minimize items on counter tops
Unless decorative, remove all towels, bathroom mats, rugs,etc. from view
Remove shampoo/conditioner bottles, wash rags, etc. from showers and tubs.
Remove robes, slippers, etc. from view

Kitchen

Minimize items on counter tops (pictures, knife blocks, appliances, etc.)
Empty sink
Take all magnets, notes, artwork, etc. off of the refrigerator
Move trash cans out of site
Unless decorative, remove all towels from view.
Remove all food items from view.

Bedrooms

Make sure beds are made and all pillows are arranged neatly
Make sure that items stored under beds do not show
Minimize items on bedside tables
Store all clothing out of view
If you have an exceptional walk-in closets that want photographed then please arrange clothes neatly.

Living Areas

Make sure pillows are arranged neatly on sofas and chairs
Arrange shelves neatly

Dining Room

If you have a china cabinet make sure items are straight and neat.

Personal Items

Certificates, diplomas, awards, photographs, decorative names in children’s room, etc. may show up on your real estate photographs. If desired, remove before photos are taken.

Note: Curb appeal starts on the Internet so it’s very important to make the pictures of your home attractive. If your listing’s photographs on the Internet don’t sell your home, you might not ever get the buyers to actually do a physical drive-by and come inside your home.