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Prepare Your Home for a Real Estate Photographer

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Getting professional images is just one step of listing your home for sale. Before a photography session or open home, I recommend taking the time to prepare the property inside and out. To get the best response from potential buyers the home should be well-presented. With images representing the home at it’s best, there is a better chance to achieve a higher sale price. Following is a list of preparations to go through to ensure the home is represented at it’s highest potential.

This prep list is to help you get your home ready for a Real Estate photography session and to achieve the highest quality of images for your home.



– Tips for all spaces of the home –


  1. Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpets, mop hardwood floors, clean countertops, clean windows)

  2. Replace all burned out light bulbs

  3. Minimize personal photographs

  4. Place all shoes/jackets in closets

  5. Pickup all children/pet toys and store them in a closet, pantry, or playroom

  6. Hide all remotes

  7. Conceal all exposed cables as best as possible

  8. Shut all closet doors

  9. Store seasonal décor (if possible)

  10. Place pet food and water bowls in pantry or closet

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– Spruce up curb appeal –


  1. Close garage doors

  2. Remove cars from driveway and front of home

  3. Spruce up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves, pull weeds) and clear yard of pet waste

  4. Sweep driveway, sidewalks, and patios

  5. Remove toys, sports balls, goals, tools, etc. (if possible)

  6. Move trash/yard waste/recycle bins, empty planters, hoses, etc. in garage

  7. Clear porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions

  8. Uncover barbecues, pools, spas, and hide the covers

If applicable:

  1. Clean pool, remove pool vacuum/hoses

  2. Hide cleaning supplies

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– One of the main the focal points, the kitchen deserves the most attention to detail –


  1. Remove from surfaces (countertop, top of refrigerator, etc.) completely (NO knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.)

  2. Leave out max of two small appliances (ex. coffee maker)

  3. Scrub and polish the major appliances refrigerator, oven and range hood

  4. Clear outside of refrigerator (NO magnets, papers, photos, etc.)

  5. Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

  6. Remove dishes from sink (place in dishwasher)


Dining Room

– Allow buyers to imagine a nice family meal –


  1. Wipe table, dust and polish table top and use decorative place settings (if available)

  2. Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers

  3. Straighten all chairs, make sure they are spaced evenly and remove children seats/booster chairs


Living/Family Room

– The space to enjoy conversation and spend quality time with family –


  1. Remove stacks of magazine, papers, mail, etc.

  2. De-clutter fireplace mantel

  3. Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

  4. Consider removing some furniture to give space



– Rest for you and guests –


  1. Make all beds (including decorative pillows if available)

  2. Declutter nightstands and dressers and store away charging cables

  3. Tidy under bed (items will be seen in the photographs)

  4. Remove personalized names (for safety), wall stickers, and posters from wall



– To be spa-like, the bathroom must be clear of all personal items –


  1. Free countertops completely (NO soaps, toothbrushes, medicines, deodorant, etc.)

  2. Set toilet seats down

  3. Put away shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs

  4. Remove dirty towels – leave out only new/unused towels

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The day of the shoot

– A few minor details –


  1. Contain pets in garage or out of site

  2. Turn all ceiling fans OFF

  3. Turn all TVs and computer screens OFF

  4. Turn ON all lights (overhead, lamps, under cabinet, and exterior)

  5. Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light

  6. Turn ON pool fountains/water features

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What to Expect

– Expectation During the Photo Shoot –


I look forward to photographing your home and to achieve the highest quality as possible. In order to do this, at the top most level of professionalism, I ask two things. Please know that it is my policy not move/arrange furniture or personal items, it is very important that his is done prior to my arrival. Secondly, although I enjoy meeting and conversing with people, I need to focus on creating the best images possible. To do this, I ask if possible, please be in a separate room than the current room I am photographing.

Thank you, Christian J Anderson

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