You may be thinking of selling your house in the near future. To optimize your chances, you should plan out your photographs carefully and take some important technical aspects into consideration. To guide you through the process, we’ve asked a real estate photographer to share some tips.

Here’s some advice that will go a long way.

1. Depersonalize
Potential buyers should be able to imagine themselves living in the house and taking possession of it.

  • Remove personal items.
  • Remove children’s drawings, unpaid bills, etc., from the refrigerator door.
  • Clear off your kitchen counter (cellphone charger, headset, MP3) without denuding it completely.
  • Free up your parking spaces by moving vehicles to the other side of the street.
  • Cats, dogs, litter boxes and animal beds should be conspicuously absent.

2. Declutter
Potential buyers should be able to visualize your home’s strong points. Don’t hesitate to move furniture and objects that give it a crowded look.

  • Move the baby’s highchair and the life-size papier mâché giraffe.
  • Hide the bathroom rugs so the floor surface seems larger.
  • Primp the exterior as well as the interior. Hide shovels if it’s June, and bikes if it’s January. Collect those autumn leaves, especially in April. Garbage cans, recycling bins and compost boxes aren’t selling points!

3. Know your camera
Here are a few technical tips for using your camera:

  • White or pale-coloured walls are often under-exposed because of the way cameras work, and make for dark photos. Purposely overexpose your photos (see your instruction manual).
  • If your device has manual settings, use a high ISO sensitivity (e.g. 3200) for the interior.
  • Use a tripod or stool for better camera stability.
  • Use natural light wisely. The more light there is, the more shadows there will be. Don’t hesitate to close the curtains to balance the light. Turn on all the lamps so that the rooms are well lit and the light uniform.
  • The camera should be placed midway up the height of the room. Note: If you’re tall, you’ll tend to point it downward.
  • Take two photos per room, one from a corner to show its depth, and another from the opposite corner.
  • Pay attention to vertical lines (door frame, cupboards, corners of walls). If the camera is pointing downward or upward, the vertical lines will converge.
  • Make sure the camera is level to the horizon. A camera placed at an angle can make the viewer think the floors are slanted.
  • Compose your images by purposefully framing them when you’re beside an undesirable object or construction (electrical wires, cupboards for firearms, etc.).
  • Some classified ad or property sale sites only accept landscape or horizontal photos. Avoid vertical photos, except when absolutely necessary (powder rooms, walk-in closets).

“It might seem complicated, but by following these basic tricks, you’ll get a more than satisfying result. Basically, there’s only one real rule: Show off the property in its best light—without cheating!” says photographer Carl Viens, a man with an obvious passion for his craft.

If your home is equipped with JELD-WEN ENERGY STAR-certified windows, don’t hesitate to show them off in your photos. Potential buyers are increasingly concerned with purchasing high energy efficient properties.

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