• Shelter the pets. This is important. Even if you’re the most meticulous pet owner in the world, advertising to potential buyers that you have birds in a cage, a free-roaming guinea pig, or a bedroom dedicated to a family of rare Siamese cats will turn people away. Pets often create odors that stick around for a while, and since you’ll be working hard to make this odor disappear, you want to avoid bringing any attention to these critters. You’ll need to do more than just hide them from the photos, however; find another place to shelter them if you want the most luck in making the sale. • Add sprinkles on top. A few home accessories with colors that pop will go a long way. For example, do you have any bright sofa pillows? How about a healthy green plant, or a vase of colorful flowers strategically placed in each room? • Light it up. Are your pictures too dark or washed out? Not enough light from the windows? Add some lighting to bring them up a level. Bright LED lamps in the corners or off-camera can add just the touch you need. • Hire a stager. If you don’t want to go through the effort on your own, you can hire a professional stager who can come in to rearrange the furniture or even bring in some accessories or extra pieces of furniture. When you’re interviewing different stagers for the job, check up on rates per room. You might decide to photograph only certain rooms in the house, but you’ll win bigger with more pictures. • Hire a photographer. Although you certainly can take great pictures on your own without a very expensive camera, you might consider having a pro do the work. This can give you an even greater advantage over other sellers by helping to increase the perceived value of your home.
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