Monday, February 26, 2024

Marty and Max: Rawhide real estate marketing

| December 8, 2023 1:00 AM

Real Estate images are a tremendous investment. For example, for homes that we list, our marketing investment (provided at no additional cost to the seller) is as little as $299 for a lot, and up to $5,000 for a high-end home on acreage with multiple buildings. If we have to re-shoot when the season changes, this increases. Preparing a home for photography is dramatically different than preparing a home for a showing or an open house. This is a stressful time, and you are working hard. You must prioritize. Metaphorically speaking, don't be the guy who is caught mowing the grass when his house is on fire. That guy is busy, but probably not what he should be doing at that time. 

When preparing your home do it the rawhide way. Remember the old country song from many Western movies including City Slickers? It goes something like… “Rollin, Rollin Rollin, Keep those dogies rollin', Head 'em up, Move ‘em out.”

Clear surfaces. Remove all dishes from the kitchen sink. Remove soaps, rags, toasters, utensils, dish racks, plants, and clutter. Remove everything from window sills, and most everything from the counters and tables. The old question, “does this dress make me look fat?” Well, does this vintage square grand piano make this room look small? Only your realtor knows for sure. 

Less is more. 

If you don’t absolutely have to have it, put it in the garage, shop, dishwasher, trash compactor, or storage unit. For that extra special touch, set a place setting at the table.

I know you love those appliance magnets, pictures, and calendars on the fridge from 1988, but no one else wants to see it. If the last time you changed your vent hood fan filter was during the Reagan or Carter administration, replace it. It will show and we can’t perfume that pig. In the bathrooms remove towels, rugs, toilet brushes, and trash cans. All toilet seats are down. The shower & tub should be completely free of everything! 

Ladies remove razors, brushes, footstones, loofah sponges, swimming caps, hot water bottles, shampoos, conditioners, goos and ointments. 

Guys, just remove your bar of soap.

Keep private things private. Remove anything “suggestive.” Remove any family photos or pictures that identify minors. Listing images are posted online for all to see. Regarding your yard, remove water hoses, toys (kids, husband, and dogs), rubbish, poop & trash cans. Do ya really want your photographer walking through poo in the yard and bringing that into your home? If you are unable to lift, contact a local team or youth club, make a donation, and have them do the heavy lifting. Win/Win.

Window Blinds. All shades should be at the same level. Do you have views? Perhaps clean the funky cheese off the windows. One of the smartest real estate tricks is to hire a window cleaner the day of or the day before the shoot. Make sure to finish an hour before your photographer is scheduled.

Things to avoid. If you are running short of time you cannot spend it organizing closets, cupboards, dressers, garage or cleaning ceiling fans and scrubbing baseboards. You don’t have to take the time to clean the toilets because the lids are closed. Don’t schedule other services on the same day however, the only exception is Window cleaners & don’t schedule on trash day or the day before trash day.  

Do you have an overly cluttered basement, or have sloppy tenants renting the space? When it's 4th and long, sometimes you just have to punt! Seahawks fans know this best. Ask for a digital floor plan to show the space without the clutter. Genius! Remove pet food & water bowls, crates, litter boxes, and beds. Dogs love to follow the drone…put Fido in the garage. 

You are the seller. Insist on the best package from the best Real Estate photographers and videographers in North Idaho. There are a few great ones out there. In our opinion, Charlotte’s Web and Media and Red Hog are perhaps the two best in North Idaho. Why pay full price for Cell Phone Sally? Make sure your drone pilot is licensed. It is against FAA regulations to use any drone images for any real estate from an unlicensed source.

 I know some of this may sound harsh, but your buyers need to be looking at your house and not your stuff. If they can envision their stuff in your space you have a better chance to make it their home. Yippee Ki Yay! 

For more information, contact Marty Walker at or go to This article was not written by and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Coeur d'Alene Regional REALTORS®

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