Posted by Betsy Graziano on 6/27/2016

home fireplaceOdds are if you're reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it's on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there's a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.

Step 1: Do your research

Photography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn't mean you can't take photos that will stand out--with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet. Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they're taken from and the lighting they use. You'll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That's because they're probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.

a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

Step 2: Know your equipment

Equipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world. In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you'll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.

Step 3: Room staging matters

Have you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy. Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there's something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo. Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don't want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone's home with their children's portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they're spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.

Step 4: Take many photos

Have you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you'll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you're shooting digital, you don't have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you're on a smartphone. Taking hundreds of photos isn't an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo. Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don't forget to share them with us!





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 5/16/2016

Selling a home in the age of Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, and mobile computing, changes the way homes are marketed.  No longer is the day when agents and buyers carry around flyers and brochures. Most home hunting happens from the palm of a hand. So, what is needed to sell your home in the digital age? Photos: Studies show that more photos can increase "the perceived value" of your home by about 13 percent. Video: Video marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. Recent statistics show that approximately 21 percent of buyers are viewing videos of homes for sale on online with that number increasing daily. Virtual Open House: Buyers can feel like they are walking through your home without ever stepping foot in the door. Virtual tour videos give buyers a 360-panoramic view. This won't completely replace the traditional open house but it will get more interested and qualified buyers in your door. Social media: Your home should be advertised on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Social media is like word-of-mouth selling on steroids. Information is seen by many people and shared on multiple social media sites causing the information to "go viral". Mobile: Your agent must have a website that displays your listing on a mobile device properly. With over 50% of internet searches being done from mobile devices, make sure your home's listing is mobile friendly. Print materials: Buyers still love to pick up a flyer when they are at your home. Make sure to have high quality flyers available for the potential buyer. Contact information: All online and printed marketing materials should have several ways to contact the agent and view your home. Things to include are a name, email address, phone number and social media contact information. Integrating old and new marketing strategies to sell your home will help ensure buyers on-and-off-line find your home's listing.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 2/22/2016

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.    







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