When putting your house on the market it's imperative to have lots of photos of your home, inside and out, to post on the Mutiple Listing Service and the internet. Homebuyers and their real estate agents begin their search for a new home online, and those listings with few or poor photos will not make the cut! I am fortunate that my broker employs professional photographers to take photos of our listings, so I make sure my sellers know how to stage their home for photography as well as showing.
These listing photos should include plenty of exterior photos that showcase the home's "curb appeal". But, how do you get the best exterior photos when the season begins to change from spring/summer to fall/winter? Exterior photos require a different treatment depending on the time of year. In the spring/summer months when the lawn is green, flower beds are blooming and the trees are full of leaves, photos should be taken from a wide angle to take in large shade trees and sun-filled patios and lawns. In the fall/winter months lawns may turn brown, be covered in leaves that fell from those now bare trees,and flower beds are without, well, flowers. Now what do you do?
First of all, remove any "seasonal" decorations and items from the house and lawn (christmas lights, holiday specific door wreaths, banners/flags, etc.). Although you may have the scariest Halloween pumpkins or the most Christmas lights on your street, these items rarely photograph well and will serve as a red flag to buyers if your house stays on the market past New Year. Make sure leaves are raked (or snow filled walks and driveways are cleared) from the lawn and fill your flower beds with new mulch to make them look fresh, even if they don't have any flowers. A fresh coat of paint on any wood surfaces like siding, shutters and, that all important front door will help your home show better from the street and in photos. Powerwash driveways, patios and sidewalks so they look clean and fresh as well. In your backyard, remove any covers from lawn furniture, grills or pools (just long enough for the photos to be taken). Make sure your pool is sparkling clean and remove all leaves or debris. Now you are ready for photos.
Keep your photos to a tighter angle...more house, less bare trees, grey sky and the brown lawns of your neighbors. Include extra photos of architectural details like an attractive front door or patio french doors, decorative fencing, custom garage doors, covered patios, etc. Also, if you have any good photos of your home's exterior during spring or summer, those can be added to the MLS to give the buyer an idea of how the lawn and trees look when they're green.
Remember, the more photos you and/or your realtor post online, the more time a potential buyer will spend looking at your home, and the better the photos, the better chance you'll have to find a buyer. There is a lot of competition for buyers in the current homeselling market...great photos will help put your listing ahead of the pack.