Filtering Real Estate Photos

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Filtering Real Estate Photos

Whether you’re just starting out or MLS obsessed, there is no denying the draw of virtual property shopping.

Surfing the Internet for a sneak peek into a home for sale is a little bit like socially sanctioned snooping – without leaving your seat.  Serious house hunters spend a significant amount time sifting through potential new homes online, so the importance of real estate photography should not be understated.

While there is a wealth of information available to savvy shoppers – from aerial maps and 360°street views to demographic and neighborhood profiles – many home buyers make snap judgments based solely how pretty a house looks in a picture.  Ask any home stager and they’ll agree – a home that looks good in photos sells better.

But are home buyers filtering properties out too fast by relying so heavily on what shows up on their screens?

Maybe there is more than one way to look at it!

There is no doubt professionally staged and photographed homes are beautiful to peruse.  They offer well-lit, wide-angled, clutter-free interior views, often enhanced by fresh neutral paint and colour- coordinated decor.  These spaces are easy on the eye, and entice buyers to visit the property in person. The care and attention that has been taken to showcase the home signals that a seller and their Realtor are serious about marketing.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are homes listed with just a few amateur photos to accompany the property details, where it seems the seller may not have agreed to much in the way of decorating or de-cluttering.  Sometimes, these photos expose awkward layouts, outdated finishes and overgrown gardens – all reasonable deterrents for an average house hunter on a budget – but sometimes, they just don’t do a home justice.   Despite less than dazzling marketing, amateur photos of an un-staged home can really reveal a lot about how a home actually functions.

So what is a smart home buyer supposed to do?

They key is to look for livability.  Spotting pitfalls or discovering potential has very little to do with the photography – whether it has been digitally re-touched or captured with a point-and-shoot.   Instead, it’s best to assess property based on its features – and flow – by seeing past the decor and focusing more directly on design.

By Katharine Cornfield,  Housters & Co.

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Housters & Co. is a boutique consultancy dedicated to helping everyday people locate and create livable, life-enhancing homes.

Kiersten’s Trends this Fall

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Fall Trends

Summer is coming to a close.  Gone are flip flops and frozen drinks…making way for cozy throws and nights spent by the (electric!) fireplace.  Here are some tips on how to incorporate fall into your home this season!

1. Accessories inspired by nature!  Pussy willow branches in a vase, a bowl filled with acorns or wooden pumpkins add warmth and charm to any room.

2. Cozy textures and warm colours!  A chunky knit throw on the sofa and pillows in shades of fawn, herbal greens and spicy coral add interest and colour in the season’s must-have shades.

3. Mix and match styles!  Acrylic chairs against a farmhouse-style wood table create a unique look that is both contemporary and retro.

4. Add warmth and style!  Electric fireplaces are easy to set up and no gaselines are needed! Plug in and you’re set. (Visit or contact a CHI rep for more info).

5. Try grey if you haven’t already!  Forget drab and depressing; achieve a chic, sophisticated fall look by using grey as your backdrop to allow brighter accessories to pop. Tip: try C2’s “Pavement”, a warm, cement tone.

6. Geometric patterns galore!  Fabrics, vases and area rugs are showing up in these eye-catching prints.  Make a statement with drapes in a striking fabric from Robert Allen’s “Dwell Studio” Collection (our pick: Gate in “Charcoal”)

7. Influence of the French!  Soft upholstery, bare wood, neutral linens and embroidery are all popular and will bring a certain “je ne sais quoi” to your home! (watch HGTV’s trends video here for more great tips!

Here’s some pictures to inspire:

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Happy fall decorating!

-Kiersten Lowden (