Selling Your Existing Home: Staging and Photography Tips

Keleigh Swan, an accomplished art director, and stylist and her husband Ron Blunt, an award-winning architectural photographer, contributed to this story. Together, they run a busy studio serving the design industry. Their work has been featured in LUXE, Traditional Home, Home & Design, Veranda, and Architectural Digest.

Do you need to sell your existing home so you can move into your new Toll Brothers dream home? One of the most efficient ways for a quick sale is the practice of ‘staging’ your home. We spoke with Keleigh Swan, an interior stylist, and Ron Blunt, a world-renowned photographer, who have shared some tips on how to accomplish your staging goals!

Prep

First, develop a written plan that establishes your vision for each room and that answers your questions about what you’re shooting and when: a sunny breakfast nook, a bright and airy kitchen, a romantic outdoor dining area with a fireplace at sunset? No matter what you decide, your vision will help you take great photographs. Next, you need to “perk up” your rooms. Swan suggests adding tasteful botanicals to the spaces like petite bedside flowers, potted green succulents, or vessels of large tropical leaves; they should complement without cluttering your rooms. Try to buy them on the day of your photo shoot to look fresh, and refrain from using any artificial plants- it’s obvious in photos, Swan says. Some rooms may take about one to two hours to stage and photograph, but prepping will make it go more smoothly.

Clean and De-clutter

Any surface or area that’s unkempt or unclean could be a deal breaker for a prospective buyer, so thoroughly cleaning your home is vital. Choose natural cleaners with lemon or lavender smells to clean- it is important to create an aroma that is appealing to both men and women. Your house needs to appeal to a wide range of buyers, so they need to see more of the space and less of your things. Your space should look streamlined and airy- more universal, less personal. Remove your visual clutter: paperwork, magazines, personal photos, and anything else that accumulates. Simplify your bookshelves and place things in cabinets to create a sleek view!

Stage

Now it’s time to use some of your creativity; staging is essential in creating a visually appealing living area. Start by arranging your large pieces to be photographed- sofa groupings, bedroom furniture, and kitchen island and barstools. Then, add in your next layer of items, the goal is for them to add impact without distracting the buyers. These could be rugs, side tables, framed art, mirrors, lights, or lamps. If your home needs a boost, don’t be afraid to spend for a new piece- the benefit of selling your home could be worth the price! When you’re choosing your decorative style, be sure that it complements the architecture of the home. If the home is traditional, stick with classic pieces, if the home design is modern, go super modern. The last consideration is color and graphic pattern. A revamped wall color can make the difference for a sale, so don’t be afraid to make an appropriate change.

When you are selling your old home, use these tips, and you’ll be in your new Toll Brothers home before you know it. To learn more about upgrading to a Toll Brothers home, find out how to get started with our Design Your Own Home tool here. For more photography and staging tips, read our past Toll Talks including: Sell Your Home Quick with Four Professional Photo Tips, Ten Home Staging Tips, and Photography is Key to Selling Your Home.

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