Before you can take great photos, you’ve got to set up a great space.
The biggest no-no when staging your home is clutter. This means two things. One, remove from view all trash, dishes, mail, papers, TV cords, clothes, pets … we could go on. The table in this picture is covered with stuff. Guests need to be able to see where they will live. Can I eat dinner on this table? No.
You all know to clean up, right? But the second de-cluttering advice is less obvious. Remove any unnecessary pieces of furniture. If you can put that giant chest holding all your winter clothes elsewhere, do it. Remember: potential guests are scanning through 18 listings on each page of Airbnb search results. They need to see in a split second that it’s a clean and open place to come stay. Don’t distract the eye!
When staging your home for guests, you also want to aim for something unique but not personal. That really interesting piece of art? That’s great! Your personal photos of you and your girlfriend out on the town, not as much.
This picture is an example of a good staging.
One piece of art. One couch, one chair, a coffee table, a few magazines (but not 20 of them). Will this appeal to everyone? No. But it will appeal to the widest audience, and that’s what you want.
A few other things you might consider when staging. Fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit put a little life in the pictures. Do the fresh flowers or fruit have to be in the space when guests actually come to stay? Well … that’s up to you. A little creative license to sell your home never hurts, so if you’re willing to spend a few dollars on flowers for the pictures but not for actual guest stays, do it.
Another touch is to add items that show how a guest will live in your space.
Put a newspaper and a cup of coffee on the table. Potential guests get a sense of what their life could be like. Coffee, magazine and a view. I’ve also seen people put out a nice wood cutting board, with a knife and some sliced vegetables.