Lody and David Cooper - Cooper Fine Properties LLC | Phoenix, AZ Real Estate

If you're selling a home, having high quality photos is one of the most important things you can do to catch the eye of prospective buyers. Taking great photos, however, is something that requires a combination of frequent practice and knowledge of how your camera works. Sure, these days you can take a decent photo with an iPhone camera and be done with it. While that method is a good start, if you want to progress with your photography you'll eventually have to make the leap to a DSLR where you have more freedom to change exposure settings. I know what you're thinking. High quality photos means spending a ton of money on camera equipment, right? Fortunately, entry level DSLR cameras have become more affordable in recent years. To start taking great photos you'll only need four things: your DSLR camera, a tripod, a wide angle lens, and a place to practice your photography.

Step 1: Setting up

You'll want to set up the room with the right balance of furniture, decorations and natural light. Avoid decorations that are too personal (like family photos) or eccentric (no stuffed animals, preferably). Set up your tripod against one of the walls of the room. Ideally, you'll have the target of your photo illuminated by natural light coming through windows, so you'll likely be standing in front of or next to the windows. However, before you take any photos use your best judgment to determine the room's best angles. The amount of and the placement of furniture will play a large role in how spacious the room looks, but equally important is the camera angle from which you take your photos.

Step 2: Learn your camera settings

You won't learn all of the settings in a DSLR overnight, but it is important to get an understanding of the basics. In spite of the many technical improvements that have been made, the basic concept of a camera hasn't changed much over the years. The two main components that determine what your picture looks like are aperture and shutter speed. Aperture (or "f-stop") is what is used to determine how much light enters the camera. Much like your pupils dilate in the dark to let in as much light as possible, having a wide aperture will allow you to take brighter photos. Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter on your camera is open. A slower shutter speed allows more light into the camera, creating a brighter exposure. However, due to our inability to hold a camera entirely still having a slower shutter speed creates more opportunity for your photo to become blurred from camera shake. A third important setting is the ISO. This setting is unique to digital photography because it controls the sensitivity of the camera's image sensor. The higher the number, the more sensitive. Why not just crank it up all the way then to get the best quality? Because if you set it too high the photos become grainy or "noisy."

Step 3: Practice

Now that you know the basics, start taking photos in your home using various camera settings. Play around with taking photos with different light sources on, with your camera flash on and off, and at different times of day. You'll find that there are endless possibilities when it comes to taking photos of your home.  

Remodeled rental perfect for short stays. Fully furnished. New kitchen, granite counters, SS applicances. New bathrooms. All tile and laminate flooring. Private pool with gazebo. Pool is not fenced. Cardinals stadium, Coyotes Arena, Gateway West, Tanger Mall, retaurants, movies and lots of big box stores within a few miles. Spring training in Goodyear Indians & Cinciatti Reds. Camelback spring training LA dodgers &Chicago White Sox.

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11346 W Citrus Grove Way, Avondale, AZ 85392  

Remodeled rental perfect for short stays. Fully furnished. New kitchen, granite counters, SS applicances. New bathrooms. All tile and laminate flooring. Private pool with gazebo. Pool is not fenced. Cardinals stadium, Coyotes Arena, Gateway West, Tanger Mall, retaurants, movies and lots of big box stores within a few miles. Spring training in Goodyear Indians & Cinciatti Reds. Camelback spring training LA dodgers &Chicago White Sox.

The longer you live in your home, generally the more repairs you’ll have to perform. Live in your home for 10 or more years and you could easily spend $2,000 a year on maintenance and repairs. That and the fact that your family dynamic has grown or shrunk significantly have inspired you to move. But, there’s this big catch.

Stop robbing yourself of the chance to move on

You keep pumping the brakes just as you near closing. This house that is costing you upwards of $2,000 a year has become your baby. You complain to friends about the leaks, worn roof and old kitchen cabinets. Yet, you also complain about every potential buyer who attends an open house or staging event at the very house that you put up for sale.

Make it easier on yourself and potential buyers. Set aside one to two days to discuss how you feel about your house, selling your house and moving into a new home.Talk it over with a family member or a friend. Think about the advantages of buying a new house. For example, buying a new house could lower your home repair costs. It could also shorten your commute to work or reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

After you are certain that you’re ready to move forward with the sale of your house, steer clear of clogging the house sale process by:

  • Talking with people who attend open houses that your real estate agent organizes without interviewing the potential home buyers
  • Removing family photos and personal decorative items out of staging rooms
  • Staying away from contradicting your real estate agent when she answers a potential home buyer’s question
  • Leaving your home during a home staging or open house
  • Spending personal money on furniture and other home staging products

If you’reselling your house through a real estate agent, ask the agent if there’s anything that she needs your help with regarding staging your home. Costs of staging your home might be included in your real estate agent’s fee.

Should you still find it difficult to step aside and let your agent interact with potential buyers, discuss your concerns with your real estate agent. She may have had similar experiences with previous home sellers and might be able to offer tips on how you can better transition through the home sale process.

Another action that you can take is to focus more on shopping for your new house. This way, you won’t feel as if you’re losing by letting go of your home. Visit neighborhoods that you’re interested in moving to. Check out videos of new houses online. Start talking to people who live in communities you want to become a part of.

If you’ve lived in your house for several years, it may be challenging at first. But, you can adjust to leaving your current home and moving into a new house. To enjoy a successful home sale, accept the idea that other people are going to live in your house, making it their home. You’ll do the same as well when you move into a new house that matches your family’s needs.

Your outdoor lighting is perhaps one neglected area of your home. For both safety and beauty, the outdoors deserve a certain amount of attention when it comes to lighting. There are plenty of ways that you can make your outdoor lighting both welcoming and practical.

Layer It

Just as you would inside your home, you should try to layer your lighting. To do this, you should include many different kinds of lighting especially lighting that brightens the outside walls of the home, highlights landscaping elements, and even some overhead lighting.

Use Decorative Lighting

Decorative lanterns and lamps are an easy way to add lighting to your outdoor spaces. You can let them stand on their own, spread them out, or you can group them and line them up in certain areas like a wall or a table. Candles are also a great way to multi-purpose practical lighting with decorative lighting. 

Light Your Steps

It’s important to provide adequate lighting on stairs and decks. Anywhere that people can trip is a place that needs adequate lighting. Solar powered lights are perfect for these uses.

Use String Lights

String lighting hung overhead can be perfect for courtyards, decks, roofs, or even trees and shrubbery. If you don’t have anything to hang string lights from, you can always get creative using posts and planters. This is a great non-permanent solution for you to have some pretty lighting available.

Don’t Draw Too Much Attention To Your Property

While you want adequate lighting on the outside of your property, you also don’t want to draw attention to an area of your yard. The whole neighborhood doesn’t need to know that you’re out on your deck, hanging out. Choose lighting that provides an inviting glow without an overpowering brightness.            

Use Table Lamps

You may have thought that table lamps are only for the indoors, but think again. Your outdoor setup can be the same as your indoor setup. Put table lamps down on your outdoor tables for adequate illumination. Be sure that the lamps you’re using are rated for the outdoors. 

If you use the right techniques and always be sure that you’re following safety protocols,  you can find success with your outdoor lighting scheme. When your home is properly lit, the best part is that you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors of your home much more thoroughly during seasonable times. You’ll also have an increased sense of security and comfort in and around your home. It’s well known that burglars are deterred from intruding on well-lit properties. Set up your outdoor lighting right and get the outdoor season off on the right foot.