Ready to Sell your home? Here are some tips to make it 'picture' perfect!

Posted by JoAnne Purcell on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 at 11:59am.

Once you have made the decision to buy a sell your home in Calgary Alberta, it is important to get your home ready to be viewed by potential buyers.    Your home is going to be competing with every other Calgary home within your price point.  Most homes are initially viewed online through a home search tool like the one on  You want to make sure the photos potential home buyers see of your home will make them want to view your home in person.

How, you ask, can you make the photos as attractive to Calgary home buyers as possible?


With less clutter, your rooms will look larger and more appealing to potential home buyers.

We want your potential home buyers to imagine it being theirs.  We want them to see themselves and their belongings in the home without having their imagination distracted by too many of your personal objects.   

Remember that the photos taken will be published online and will be available for the public to see so it is a good idea to keep your private belongings in a place that will not be visible.

Any items that you do not use daily should be packed away until your property is sold.  You want your home to appear well organized, as a cluttered home may give potential home buyers the impression that the home doesn’t have adequate storage space - which is always important to buyers when choosing their perfect home.


When buyers walk through your home, we want them to feel like they could just move in.  

Professional photos will pick up the smallest details:  Water stains, dusty surfaces smudged mirrors or windows.   Try to make your home look as shiny and new as possible.  Dust, vacuum and mop the floors, wipe down any flat surfaces, clean the windows.  Don’t forget the baseboards and window ledges.   Make sure there are no odd odors or major stains on the carpet.   

Even though these wont show on pictures, we don’t want to disappoint potential buyers once they arrive so make sure the inside of your closets, cupboards and appliances are organized and shiny clean as well. 

No time?  Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to help you get your home ready for its internet debut.


Store away or discard any old small appliances.

Make sure your dishes, pots and pans are put away. 

Remove small decorative items such as fridge magnets.

Stage your island or dining table with plates, cutlery and glasses for a more inviting feel.


Store away all non-decorative bottles and products.

Wipe down your counters, faucets, tub, shower and mirrors to remove any water stains.

Put out clean, matching and neatly folded towels.

Close the toilet’s lid. It should also be clean inside and out.  


If possible, try to display neutral bedding.

Make and stage the bed.

Hide personal belongings.


Decorative items only!   Hide all personal belongings.

Tidy and organize any visible cords.

Float furniture away from walls to create a sense of space.

Remember, “Less is More” - too much furniture or too many large pieces can make a room look too small and cluttered.  If your room has too much furniture, consider re-arranging a few pieces in the space or moving some out to see the different ways to present the room.


If you are a pet owner, yes you love your pets. We do too! That said, having a pet is a choice that not all potential home buyers may want and seeing pet items may be discouraging to some. It is a good idea to conceal your pet’s toys, litter, bowls, leashes and food not only for pictures but for showings as well.


Visible cords can make your home look cluttered and disorganized.  Hide any power cords, TV cables, and any visible electronic wires.   If you cannot conceal something, unplug it for the photo shoot


Many properties have small issues that need to be fixed around the home:   Dented walls, chipped paint, loose baseboards or leaky faucets to name a few.  We don’t want potential home buyers to think your home was neglected, so put on your tool belt and start tackling that to-do list.   If you are planning to do some painting choose a light and neutral color palette.  Well lit, bright spaces appear larger and friendlier.  


Nice closets and storage spaces can be an important selling feature for your home.   Try to duplicate the look you might see in magazines:  they are organized with clothing, shoes and other items well spaced out.   

Remove and store items you no longer wear.

Put away out of season items.

Arrange items by category:   all pants together, sweaters together, dresses together, etc.

Next, organise articles by color from darkest to lightest as this is visually appealing.

If possible use the same hangers throughout for consistency.


Go through your home and make sure all your light bulbs are working.  Change any that need replacing.   It may not seem important; however, cameras will pick up lighting differences so ensure that all of your light bulbs match in temperature.   Choose either warm or cool bulbs and use them throughout your rooms.


If possible, remove personal photos and try to keep any mirrors, artwork and picture frames hung straight.  Seek to keep artwork modern and new.


Buyers want your windows to look clean, not dirty. 

Tip:   To avoid streaks. Take an old T-shirt and wipe over a cleaned window to get rid of any remaining streaks.   This trick works great on bathroom mirrors too!


If you walk through a furniture store or your favorite Builder’s show home you may notice how they make it easy to imagine living there with expert staging.  You can create a similar look by accessorizing your home with fresh flowers, current books or magazines on the coffee table, and candles or throw cushions.     As Realtors® we often have a few favorite home staging experts that we can call in to assist in the staging process.

Decorate but don’t clutter.


Now the interior of your house looks pretty good, right? 

But you’re not done yet.   Let’s make sure the exterior of your house looks just as good. Remember your curb appeal will be the first thing a buyer will notice about your house and you cannot undo a first impression.  

Hide your garbage and recycling bins, rake up leaves, trim the trees, cut the grass and pull those nasty weeds.  Store and hide any gardening tools and wipe down the patio furniture.   Add a couple of seasonal planters near your front entrance to add some color to the front of your house.


On the day of your photo shoot, make sure that your car is parked away from the property.  Remember, we want potential home buyers to visualize this as their new home.


Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes; what are the best features of the house you see in each room?  When the photographer shows up, they will ask you to give them a tour.  Make sure you point out the best features in each room.  This way they will be better able to determine what to showcase with their photos.

For further information contact JoAnne & Joseph Purcell 403.612.5298

Thank you to Sona Visual Digital Imagery for their contribution to this article.  

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