People are visually stimulated. Never is this the case more than when shopping for a home. It’s estimated that 90 percent of people start their home search online, checking for listings that they think are attractive before going to an agent. And also, in a similar majority of cases, prospective buyers can tell by the first thumbnail (not even a click!) if they are interested in the house or not.

You can see, then, why it’s so very important that your listing photos do the heavy work for you. Sure, you can knock people dead when they come to an open house and see the full package that your house has to offer, but you first need to get them in the door. Here are some tips for striking photos that will lure buyers in like candy. 

Look at your home like a buyer will. 

Before you even bust out your camera, try to take an objective look at your home. Room by room, go through and ask yourself some objective questions. What is the focal point of this room? What makes it stand out - in either the right way, or the wrong way? What could be a turn-off? 

“When” is the big question. 

Knowing the correct time of day to shoot your house can be a little tricky. Some people prefer full daylight, when the vibrancy of the yard and every exquisite detail are in high relief. Others love the “golden hour” (which is actually about 20 minutes) of dusk, when the shadows make everything look super-hygge. There are those who say that a partly-cloudy day eliminates shadows. All these theories are valid, so do your research. 

Loose that “lived-in” look. 

Assess all the things that make your house “home.” The kids’ school pictures on the wall, their art stuck to the fridge with pizza magnets… and then take them down. As I have said here over and over, you want your prospective buyers to visualize themselves in your home. At least until you take the listing photos, hide the tchotchkes, trophies, toothbrushes, and so on. 

Flood the place with light.

Even in broad daylight, you should turn all lamps and overhead lights on for photos - but turn off ceiling fans! (They will look blurry and weird.) Make sure that every bulb is accounted for and working. A dead bulb will stand out like a sore thumb in pictures, so test them all in every fixture before picture day.