preparing home for real estate listing

Preparing a Home for Real Estate Listing

It is important to hire a professional photographer for your real estate listing because your photos are going to be seen by any number of online consumers and listings with professional photos sell 32% faster and for more than other listings. To ensure that you promote your sale in the best light possible, you will need to plan ahead of time for professional photography. I have provided a list below of tips to help you prepare your clients homes to get ready for a professional real estate photography shoot.

Inside the Home

  1. De-clutter as much as possible. Put away toys, clothing, dishes, towels, shoes etc. It’s a lot cheaper to put these things away before the photo shoot than to pay to have the photos “photoshopped”.

  2. Depersonalized to a certain degree. Photos of young children and any potentially offensive art (believe me, I’ve seen it all!) should be put away.

  3. Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations that can quickly outdate your photos.

  4. Dust and vacuum.

  5. Make all the beds, fluff all the pillows, and check the bed skirts.

  6. Clean the kitchen sink and put away all the dishes.

  7. Clear all kitchen counter tops and put away toasters, can openers, etc.

  8. Clear all bathroom counter tops and put away all personal items.

  9. Remove all shampoos, conditioners, body-washes, etc. from the shower.

  10. Put out the guest towels and hide all the others.

  11. Hide all trash cans.

  12. Remove all magnets and decorations from the refrigerator.

  13. If there are pets, hide all food/water bowls, pet beds, and pet toys.

  14. Put all toilet seats and lids down.

  15. Replace all burned out light bulbs.

  16. Consider decorating the tables with your prettiest place settings. 

  17. Consider putting out vases of fresh flowers.


Outside the Home

  1. Have the lawn trimmed, leaves raked, bushes and trees pruned.

  2. Clean up after any animal

  3. Put away all garbage cans, hoses, garden tools, toys, bikes etc.

  4. Hide any “cute” yard decorations.

  5. In snowy climates, shovel snow from walkways, driveways, patios, decks when necessary.

  6. If there is a pool, hot tub, or spa, take any security gate down, uncover, and clean.

  7. If there will be any twilight photos taken, replace any broken lighting on the home, around the landscape, and in the pool.

  8. Open the umbrellas on any patio sets.

  9. When in season, uncover grills.

  10. Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations.

  11. Consider adding splashes of bright colored flowers to the landscape and in pots.

Right Before the Photographer Arrives

  1. Turn OFF all ceiling fans.

  2. Light fireplaces and candles.

  3. Open all blinds, shades, and curtains.

  4. Clear all cars and vehicles from the driveway and the street in front of the home.

  5. Please secure any potentially aggressive animals in a safe location, away from all rooms being photographed.

Don’t forget to have your homeowners place all valuables in a secure location. There will potentially be many people walking through their home and their valuables should be out of site and secure. Safe deposit boxes and wall safes are great for this.

Be sure to bookmark this list, and share it with your sellers. If you can think of anything that should be added to this list, please comment below or send me a message! You can also download this as a PDF checklist to save and send to clients as well.