How Do I Get Ready For a Real Estate Photographer? Lance Selgo Has a Few Suggestions if You’re Game

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Lance Selgo of Unique Exposure Photography is a member of RESA, so as a real estate photographer he has a pretty interesting perspective about how sellers should get their homes ready for his visit.

As part of that, Selgo launched a new website that outlines the “do’s” and “don’ts” of preparing a home for listing photography. Does he still have to get the toothpaste off the vanity now that clients have a catch-all website to check out?

“Because I let new clients know about my expectations I really haven’t had to move much,” Selgo said. “I usually see people leaving out pet beds because they are a part of the family, but it’s important to put those away for photos so buyers don’t judge a home before they see it in person. Not everyone likes animals and some folks are allergic to them so it’s best to hide the furry friends so buyers come to a showing and fall in love once they are there.”

Still, not every homeowner is prepared for a photographer who is going to be shooting images so that thousands of homebuyers can pick their house apart on the Internet.

“I did have one home where the sellers weren’t ready and they had their nanny cleaning up as I went. I had to hold the master bedroom off for last because the bed wasn’t made, and sleep apnea masks/tubes were on the night stands,” Selgo said. “Luckily the sellers have always been open to my suggestions and they take care of things while I shoot other portions of the home.”

Of course, there are going to be certain rooms that have to look incredible. They’re the areas that really sell a home. So buyers should take Selgo’s tips and heed them wisely. That includes kitchens, master bedrooms, and master baths, which should have countertops that are spic-and-span with all personal items in cupboards.

Still, not every homeowner is able to depersonalize their home, especially when they have a lifetime’s worth of large collectables all across their house. This can sometimes make or break a potential listing. Selgo remembers one such listings:


“The seller was big into hunting, so the agent requested I shoot around the big items as best I could … That photo wasn’t used on the MLS, but I wanted to have a photo of the lion to remember it! A home like this really should have a staging consultation. It’s really tough for an agent to go into something like this and recommend the seller’s prized possessions are removed from the property. And surely I should be the last person to have to have to take action on something so extravagant! A third party — a stager in this case — could be the “bad guy” and be able to better explain the purpose behind clearing the home of all of the animals and how it can impact the sale of the home in a positive way.”

That is too funny, and I’m not lion!

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