Selling next year? Take Holiday pictures NOW!

I am sure you have read all of the articles online about how to prep your house for sale. 

Depersonalize it, remove clutter, reduce odors, etc.  All of these actions are with the intent of painting a picture for potential buyers--allowing them to envision your home being theirs. 

These are all good traditional approaches--but the next generation of buyers aren't quite traditional right? 

They are mission driven, short on attention and dare I say creative in different ways? 

What are you getting at Glen?   First, look at Zillow--every staged photo looks the same--small rooms, wide angle lenses, deceptive photos, all to draw you to a house that isn't what it appears to be.  You look at the room sizes and try to figure out what 11x12 really means--how does it translate to the pictures you see?

I am getting to the point, stick with me!  The holidays are coming, you will likely be entertaining friends and family at your home.  Hearken back to my earlier comment about the next generation being "mission driven". One of their missions is to enjoy life, friends, and family.  Why wouldn't you take pictures during the holidays in your home and add them to your perfectly staged photos?  Demonstrate what the holidays look like in the home, paint a picture of friends and family around that charming fireplace.  But remember, you need to do it now!

Have you ever walked out of a 7/11 and seen the height markers on the door? They are used to tell how tall a criminal is post-robbery.   Imagine putting space into perspective by showing family huddled around the kitchen island or friends playing games after the Thanksgiving turkey. All of a sudden the sterilized pictures turn human again and your house is transformed into a home. This tip is for inside and out.  Do you rock it with a killer exterior holiday display?  Snap shots of that too! Keep in mind, this is supplemental to your staged photos, not replacing them.  Painting a powerful picture of potential paired with reality.

Now for the hard part---cell phones have made everyone into a photographer.  We have high megapixel cameras on our phones that can take great pictures.  Unfortunately, we usually don't take great phone pictures. Therefore, here are my tips on how to take great cell phone pictures---apply these principles for stellar results!


  1. Make sure you are photo ready--get rid of photo distractions. You want focus on the party, not the magnets on the fridge.

  2. Look at the scene with a critical eye and groom / prep as needed.

  3. Friends and family should not be looking at the camera or facing head on, make it look natural--"party in progress".

  4. Turn on all the lights--light and bright sells houses.

  5. Turn off TV's, they never look good in photos.

  6. Take your picture from a corner of the room--diagonal shots give depth and perspective.

  7. If you have window light, be sure to turn on the HDR setting on your cell phone camera.

  8. Be careful that your phone is level--you don't want odd perspectives due to tilt.

  9. Set the camera height to 1/2 of the room height--that means 8FT ceiling, set camera at 4FT.

  10. Crop the photos to ensure your target scene is the point of focus, not the distractions on either side of the photo.


Some other notes:

  1. These are not the first photos you post to grab attention online--they get posted toward the end of your staged photo sets. You are building a story--showing the home’s best features first, then cementing them by showing the home in action. 

  2. After you take the photo, you need to ask yourself, “would I think this picture is positive or negative?”  Do not post ones you have any negative feeling about.

  3. I do not recommend video for the holiday footage--generally cell phone videos will do more harm than good for posting.

We have many great houses in Mountain Lakes, Boonton Township and Montville that have been on the market for a long time!   While these houses are beautiful and traditional, the approach to sell them needs to be anything but traditional! 

Houses that have a formal marketing plan sell faster and for more money.   The above tip is just one arrow in my quiver of non-traditional approaches to selling your home.  

Contact me and we can partner for success!

Trust me, you matter!






Glen Baker