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Picture-Perfect Takes Picture Prep


The photo that tops your Santa Barbara real estate listing is more than your property’s calling card. Make no mistake: that one photo will appear lined up with all the other homes it is going up against. That shot is close to a make-or-break statement of how serious you are about offering your home for sale. To a great extent, it predetermines whether your asking price looks like a bargain…or wishful thinking!


If you have access to an experienced photographer, it’s a cinch that their picture won’t be blurry or over- or underexposed. However, if it still doesn’t do justice to your property, chances are the entire blame can't be laid at the photographer's feet. In the same way a high fashion model must get a good night’s sleep before the next day’s cover shot, you need to be serious about prepping your property for the day of the shoot. Some things you can do:


Put Rover to Bed.


Will your home's picture have a nice, homey feel if your pooch is parked in front of the house? Maybe. But it’s more probable that some prospective buyers will imagine layers of dog hair built up throughout the house. And if Junior has an allergy, Mom and Dad will be twice as likely to move on.  So, put Rover in the garage and let the photographer concentrate on the job he’s doing. The same goes for pet accessories, too: please! no cat trees in the living room.


Clean Up! -


- and that means going way beyond the general tidying up we do for regular visitors.  When you are prepping for your real estate listing, remove photos from the fridge and lose the indoor trashcans. Then vacuum, polish, clean the windows. Clear the countertops and -- if you’re running behind schedule -- stash the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (you can deal with them later). This is strictly about how the surfaces look, so shriek-and-peek closets are A-OK.


Ditch the Wheels.


People expect that the Santa Barbara and Montecito real estate listings show homes that have been lived in -- but it is not a selling point. Including lifestyle statements (your choice of make and model of auto is one of those) parked in the driveway puts “I wonder what kind of people live there?” into prospects’ minds, rather than your goal, “This house looks interesting!”


Other considerations come into play when you are readying for a real estate listing shoot. The bottom line is that the property needs to be as polished and uncluttered as possible. It winds up being about time: displaying your home in any other condition will only serve to slow down the sale.

In case you have been thinking of buying or selling a Santa Barbara property, give us a call.

Year after year one of Santa Barbara’s top realtors, our office is here in Santa Barbara & Montecito to help with your Santa Barbara home search and Montecito home search.