When you're about to sell your place, you want it to look as gorgeous as possible to attract the best buyer. And the one thing that all the most attractive listings have? A set of great photos. The first thing you'll want to do when selling your home is take some great snapshots that reflect what your pad really looks like (minus the pile-up of junk in the corner). "Remember that you're selling a home, not a hotel or a location," says Marie Bromberg, a real estate agent with Corcoran in New York City. "It's not a hotel or location and your photos should reflect this and show a place someone will want to live in for years." Read on as our experts art-direct your next apartment photo shoot:
Remove the clutter
It might sound simple and obvious but the best thing you can do for listing photos is remove clutter. "Take shampoo out of the shower, clear the kitchen counters, etc.," says James McGrath, co-founder of Yoreevo, a real estate brokerage in New York City. "Buyers are better able to envision living there if someone else's life isn't on display."
Focus on the main spaces
When people are looking for homes, they're usually interested in the rooms they'll use the most. This means always including photos of the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and master bathroom, suggests Teddy Shonka, a real estate professional at North & Co. in Phoenix, Arizona.
Show the house in the best light
Lighting and timing are key to capturing the best photos of your home. "For interior shots, we recommend the middle of the day as the best time to photograph the inside in order to get the best light and remove any shadows in the space," says Shane Stanfield, partner at Stanfield Real Estate in Newport Beach, California. "For exterior photos, we will come back at dusk to best capture those twilight shots of the outside of the home."
Use photos to boast about amenities
If you live in a subdivision or apartment building with extensive amenities, always include photos of those perks. "Things like a community pool and tennis courts are selling points," says Susan Matthews, a realtor at Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, South Carolina. "Buyers want to know about the lifestyle that comes along with the home or apartment."
Don't forget the neighborhood
If the location of the apartment is distinctive in some way, brag about it. "We'll often include photos of nearby restaurants, parks, shopping districts, and any other local business that we think will attract buyers and tenants to the property," Shonka says. "You won't believe how many clients buy or rent a property because it's within walking distance or a short bike ride to a favorite coffee shop or restaurant."
This is one scenario where your iPhone won't cut it. "You want photos that will make the place look like a million bucks, so hire a professional to shoot your home," says Sep Niakan, owner of HB Roswell Realty in Miami, Florida. "Especially in a competitive market with lots of inventory, when someone searches online, the photos are what makes them decide yay or nay for the showing. If they never come to see your place, you will not have a chance to sell it to them."
Less is more
While some agents think putting 50 photos up will somehow benefit them or the seller, upload fewer—but better—photos, Niakan adds. "How is five photos of the same living room going to make someone more interested in seeing the place?" he says. "The photos are meant to entice someone to learn more, not to get people to intimately know the property. One or two photos maximum of each room is enough in my book."
Need some listing inspo? Check out Property Crush, our weekly column that features some of the best, AT-approved listings on the market.