Leon Cato Photography: Blog http://www.leoncato.com/blog en-us Leon Cato Photography info@leoncato.com (Leon Cato Photography) Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:12:00 GMT Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:12:00 GMT http://www.leoncato.com/img/s/v-5/u674109796-o368794466-50.jpg Leon Cato Photography: Blog http://www.leoncato.com/blog 116 120 The 5 Steps to Self-Staging When Selling Your Home http://www.leoncato.com/blog/2017/9/the-5-steps-to-self-staging-when-selling-your-home  

Interior for Home Sale - BrooklynInterior for Home Sale - Brooklyn

It is generally agreed that when selling your apartment or home, staging your space is absolutely critical to compete in the overly-competitive real estate market. A recent New York Times article states that  buyers have become accustomed to seeing fully-ready homes and can be turned off if a space seems drab or there is no attention to detail in preparing the home to be viewed. "The practice of home staging has long elicited strong reactions. Agents and professional...say staging can usually help a home sell faster, and for a higher price, offering a larger return on the investment."

So the real question is whether you hire a professional or embark on staging yourself. While there are many benefits to outsourcing to a professional stager, this article details tips for those who choose to go it alone. 

1) Give yourself time to plan
Schedule time to sit down and plan how you will prepare each room of your home. Its important not rush this stage of the project as this can be the most important step when presenting your home for sale.

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer and make decisions based on what would impress you upon viewing your space. There is no “not a big deal” room or detail so be generous when compiling your to-do list. (Now is the time to confront that old “favorite” couch!!) That little extra effort goes a long way in attracting the right buyer. Real Estate websites like Trulia and Zillow are great sources for tips and tricks - also be sure to check out New York Times Real Estate, Interior Design Magazine and Houzz.

2) Don't Skimp
You can assume that some damaged or unappealing areas of your home will appear in your listing photographs or be discovered by a potential buyer so take the time to fix kitchen and bathroom tiles, repair electrical sockets, replace old worn doors and don't be afraid to invest in repainting. Hiring professionals to polish your wood floors can be a great investment!

Clean and staged white bathroomSimply StatedA re-tiled bathroom with minor accents creates a classy presentation. Creativity with these kinds of spaces adds more to the asking price.



3) Replace / Re-purpose Old Furniture
You may not have to purchase entire new furniture sets but that old couch with the cat claw marks won't do. To save money, be creative and source classics from antique shops, Housing Works or Craigslist. TJ Maxx has really affordable furniture and fixings that are perfect for this purpose. You can also re-upholster and/or varnish/paint existing furniture to give it a newer look. For visual inspiration check out the Architectural Digest and the New York Spaces websites.

4) Double your prep time!
It is impossible to imagine how many knick-knacks you have collected over the years or how long it takes to actually mop the entire house so give yourself loads of time to prepare for photo shoots and open houses. For a 1 bedroom apartment allow yourself at least 2 full days to de-clutter, vacuum, mop and make your place picture perfect. Add about 1/2 a day per room so if you are shooting a 3 bedroom home with a dining room your best bet would be to schedule a full 4 days of preparation. This is all, of course, in ADDITION to any major work like painting or moving in furniture. Underestimate at you own peril!


Clean and clear dining and kitchen areaClean and ClearRemoving all personal items and decluttering all spaces give the buyers ideas about how they might create their own home and apply personal style.
5) Details! Details! Details!
Here is a quick list of guidelines when preparing your home to be photographed or for an open house.

Open any blinds or curtains to allow in natural light
Have the windows washed and clean any mirrors
Vacuum and/or mop the floors
Turn on all available lights
Organize or put away objects that clutter your space
Remove any valuables or items you do not want photographed
Organize or clear away cords and phone chargers if possible
Take out the trash

Remove all cars, boats, motorcycles, etc from the driveways and do not park directly in front of the house
Remove all garden tools, hoses and clutter
Mow the grass, rake up leaves and debris, pull weeds and remove any dead vegetation
Sweep driveways, sidewalks porches and patios

Make your bed look fit for a king or queen
Tidy up your desk
Put away any laundry

Clean all mirrors
Open the shower curtain, but close the toilet lid
Fold your towels

Put away extra dishes and food items
Clean every counter top
Remove personal photographs from the refrigerator


In the end, your guide should be “If I walked in here I would make an offer.” If that isn’t happening then spend more time making your home look extra special. Any additional money or time investment will only pay off to sell your home quickly and at the right price. 


Feel free to leave any of your own preparation tips in the comment section!

info@leoncato.com (Leon Cato Photography) architectural design estate home interior my nyc photography real sell staging your http://www.leoncato.com/blog/2017/9/the-5-steps-to-self-staging-when-selling-your-home Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:23:46 GMT
Home of Legends http://www.leoncato.com/blog/2017/4/home-of-legends I was living in London when the new Yankee stadium was completed in 2009. Although I had been to games at the old stadium I hadn't returned to see the new facility and surrounding area. Unexpectedly I was in the South Bronx yesterday and took a few minutes to take in the architecture just a few days after opening day of the 2017 season.

Designed by architectural firm Populous, construction of the new park occurred between 2006 and 2009. "Illustrated in glass, steel and limestone, the ballpark’s skin is highlighted by a four-story limestone and granite façade inspired by the 1923 Bronx Stadium." (Populous Website)

With the Bronx now becoming a destination for people looking for affordable and accessible places to live, it is expected that the area surrounding Yankee Stadium will soon benefit from upgraded infrastructure and more modern real estate and architecture.

Thoughts, comments? Let me know in the comments!



LCP_Blog_YankeeStadium-1LCP_Blog_YankeeStadium-1 LCP_Blog_YankeeStadium-3LCP_Blog_YankeeStadium-3 LCP_Blog_YankeeStadium-2LCP_Blog_YankeeStadium-2

info@leoncato.com (Leon Cato Photography) Architecture Bronx Building City Estate Exploration NYC New Observation Photography Real Yankees York sports http://www.leoncato.com/blog/2017/4/home-of-legends Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:22:04 GMT
Adapting, Growing and Moving Forward in Photography http://www.leoncato.com/blog/2017/3/adapting-growing-and-moving-forward-in-photography LCP_Homepage_Mar16_2017LCP_Homepage_Mar16_2017

When I moved to NYC from London unexpectedly in January 2012 there was no clear next-step in my photography journey. Back in NYC after 7 years abroad, I had to restart my business in a different country while managing a family crisis. Moments of pause and planning I had previously enjoyed felt like a distant past.  

Five years later I have travelled all around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut meeting incredible people from all walks of life and steadily growing an Architectural, Interior and Real Estate Photography business. The upheaval and craziness of re-settling, making new contacts, establishing trust and building a client base has calmed and I am fortunate to enjoy relationships with great clients who have been with me for the duration.

During the process of establishing the business in the US I have also witnessed the property industry in the New York Metropolitan area change at lighting speed with an increased appreciation for strong visual communication. As a result old and brand new architecture are benefiting from excellent photography and marketing (a visual treat for photographers) and the future looks bright for the adoption of innovative visual marketing technologies.

These prove to be exciting times. In order to ensure my business is ready, my new website not only displays my most current work, it reflects my vision as an artist and image marketing specialist in the Architecture, Interior Design and Real Estate photography industries. The portfolio is fully integrated with Facebook, Google+,Twitter and Pinterest so users can share images with team members or family and friends when brainstorming on creative ideas. There are also links to my Houzz profile where we can collaborate on upcoming projects or share concepts and ideas. Finally, creating an account on the site is simple and ensures that users are connected to new blog posts, projects and relevant news.

So far 2017 is proving to be exciting with new initiatives and opportunities on the horizon. I look forward to continuing my embrace of new technologies while honing in on client requirements and individual aesthetics - all while adding new relevant offerings that further guarantee exemplary customer service and delivery of effective imagery.

Follow my Instagram and Facebook and Twitter feeds for regular updates of new images, discussions and news. In the meantime, feel free to leave comments below, I would love to hear from you with any ideas or feedback.

Best Always,



info@leoncato.com (Leon Cato Photography) Architecture Design Estate Interior NYC New York Metropolitan Photographer Photography Real Real Estate Real Estate Photographer Space selling my house http://www.leoncato.com/blog/2017/3/adapting-growing-and-moving-forward-in-photography Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:16:08 GMT