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A checklist for your sellers

Post by Daniel Morris | Date: 26-06-2022

A checklist for your sellers

Is this a scenario you can relate to?

Call the handyman! What moving company should we use? What’s that plumbers number again? Selling a home is stressful. There are a ton of moving parts that all need to come together before you put your listing on the market. You’re stressed, your clients are super stressed, and you have days - not weeks - to get this property ready to show.  

After all that hard work your sellers are ready. They followed your list and notified you that the work is all done. The touch-up paint in the hallway - check!. Leaky faucet in the powder room - check! All you have do is book the photographer for Monday so you can list by Wednesday - perhaps multiple offers by Tuesday *fingers crossed*.  

It’s Monday morning and the sky is blue, grass is green, and you are ready to photograph your newest listing. You told your office last Thursday that you have a GORGEOUS four-bedroom colonial that is going to go quickly - so have your buyers ready to bid! You meet your photographer at 11:00am on the dot and tell them “This house is unbelievable. Wait until you see it!”. The photographer responds “Great! The last home I was in was a disaster…clothes everywhere, beds unmade, it was horrible!”

Ha! Not your clients, right? Right?? They cleaned up, right? You remembered to tell them to make their beds, right? Declutter the kitchen, pick up the kids toys, and depersonalize their home…right??  

You open the door and….AHHHHHH!!!! It was worse than you expected. Baskets of laundry on the living room sofa, dishes in the kitchen sink, clutter on the dining room table, and…is that…last night’s spaghetti bowl next to the kids bed??? You look over at your photographer, embarrassed, and say, “I told them that the photos were happening today. I thought that they knew?”  

Has this ever happened to you? Scrambling at the last minute to get each room ready. Hoping that all the clutter is out of the photograph. Or perhaps you “shoot it as is” and post the photos. Your clients call you on Thursday morning extremely upset that their home looks terrible online.  

There is a solution to this dilemma.

If only there was a list you could give your sellers to ensure that the home was fully prepared. And if only that list would come from a company that markets BILLIONS of dollars in homes per year. Perhaps a company that photographs THOUSANDS of homes per year to guide your clients. That would be nice, right? Oh yea, there is a company that does that - us!!  

While home sellers are bound to be stressed, a checklist can simplify the process.

Prepping your home for photographs is like preparing for guests to come over - except these guests are buyers. We’ve created a basic checklist for you to go through to make the process as simple as possible - and for your sellers to be prepared.  

Main Areas - Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, Family and/or bonus spaces. These areas are considered the most “lived in” spaces of the home:  

Remove personal items and family photos for all surfaces

Open curtains and blinds to let natural light into the home

Make sure the lights are working (recessed lights and lamps)

Vacuum carpets and/or sweep the floors

Remove children’s toys

Make sure couch pillows are propped up and straightened

Keep TV’s and monitors off (we can always photoshop in images as an enhancement)

Add flowers to spaces

Set the eating spaces with plates/glasses

Kitchen - the heart of the home!  

Declutter the counters

Remove appliances from counters - toaster ovens, microwaves (that are not built in)

Remove floor mats and dish towels

Remove all items from the surface of the refrigerator - magnets, calendars, photos etc

Organize shelves

Hide soaps and dish washing utensils

Remove dishes from the sink and/or counters

 Bedrooms & Bathrooms

Make the beds & arrange pillows for decoration

Remove personal clutter from surfaces - chargers, electronics, clutter etc

Put clothes & shoes away  

Remove all bathmats from the floor

Arrange the towels on the towel rack

Clear the counters and vanities of toiletries

Clean mirrors

Close toilet lids

Remove all items from the bath tub and/or shower

Exterior of the Property

Remove cars from driveway

Have your landscaper come and prep your property 1-2 days ahead of your shoot

If you don’t have a landscaper, then just remove any fallen sticks/branches from the ground and sweep your driveway & walkways  

Add pillows and decorative items to outdoor furniture - also make sure that any umbrellas are opened

Remove all grill and patio furniture covers  

Put away children’s toys

Remove all signs from the front yard

Let’s give the buyers what they want.

Buyers want to see a property in a “hotel-like” condition. They want to feel good about what might be their next home. Even before there is a showing, decisions are being made based on the photographs. Because the starting point for most buyers will be viewing the property online - it is so very easy to move on to the next if you don’t like what you see.   After all, they are going to pay top dollar for your listing, right?  

This guide is simply a tool for your sellers to use in order to prepare their house for photography. Like the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words”..except at our company we say “A picture is worth thousands of dollars” - whether those thousands are added on - or off - the list price is up to you and your sellers.  

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