The New York Times’ writer, Tim McKeough, frames the importance of de-cluttering a home in the context of buyers “aspirational” needs in considering where they want to live & what they want their lives to be like. McKeough says this about decluttering:
“It’s vital, because most real estate is aspirational, and buyers want to see themselves someplace better and more beautiful,” he said. “They want the feeling that if they move in there, it will be organized, clean and attractive. If they walk into a cluttered, messy space, there’s none of that feeling that life will be better.” [read the article]
The same, of course, applies to Photographing a Home — if the home looks cluttered online in the Photographs, less Buyers will have the aspirational impulse to add that home to their shortlist of homes they want to request a showing for.
I tell my Agent Clients & the Homeowners that “anything in the shot that is distracting should be removed.” I suspect McKeough would agree with me as he says:
“‘The rule of thumb is, be ruthless.’ If you’re unsure about something, ‘Get rid of it.’”
Usually, it takes a trained-eye or someone unfamiliar with the home to spot what needs to be removed. To help homeowners, I provide My Agents with a “Home Photo Shoot Preparation Checklist” which they pass onto the Homeowners in preparation of the Real Estate Photographers arrival. I always make further changes once I see the home, but the Checklist really helps the Home Owners get much of the de-cluttering done.
My Agents love the Checklist too! A local South Bend agent, Barry Skalski, told me that my Home Photo Shoot Preparation Checklist allowed him to tell his Home Owner “everything he wanted to say about preparing the home for sale, without having to say it himself.”