Lasting First Impressions Photography | How to Prep

Preparing Your Property for the Photo Shoot

~When Image Matters~

Majority of property searches begin online, so creating a positive first impression is very important! Follow these prep suggestions & tips to prepare your property for the beset real estate photography session possible.

General  – For ALL areas of the house

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (i.e. vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (i.e. ALL incandescent OR ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all computer screens OFF
  • Turn all TV OFF
  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets

Exterior – Making your “curb appeal” POP on and offline!

Front Exterior – This is usually the first photo buyers see – make it count!

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway & front of home
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, replace mulch, clear leaves)
  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves & door frames
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove empty planters
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball hoops, soccer goals, etc.
  • Put garbage cans in the garage or out of sight

Backyard – This area should exude relaxation & a “get away” feel

  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Clear out kids’ toys, balls, Frisbees, etc.
  • Clean pool & stow away pool toys from view
  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
  • Hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Remove grill covers & raise any/all umbrellas
  • Arrange patio furniture as if you were expecting guests
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove trashcans, ashtrays, etc.

Interior – Where the “home” comes to life!

Kitchen – Many memories made here – details ARE important

  • Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
  • Leave out max of one small appliance (i.e. coffee maker)
  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Remove dishes & sponges from sink, place in dishwasher

Den/Living/Family Room – This is a place of comfort, clear of clutter

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove any kid toys, cables, electronic devices (i.e. tablets)

Bedrooms – Where the family & guests can relax

Master – Show how great of a night’s rest will be had in this room

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Press bed linens and bed skirts
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet/laptop charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Store clothing out of view
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

Kids/Guest Rooms – Extra rooms/space are important selling features

  • Remove personalized names from walls
  • Remove wall stickers/posters
  • Remove diaper pails
  • Store clothing out of view
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

Bathrooms – Portray a spa-like experience

  • Clear countertops completely. NO soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
  • Put toilet seats down
  • Close closet doors
  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc., from showers & tubs
  • Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
  • Remove floor mats
  • Remove dirty clothes

Pets – While Fido might be important to your family, please minimize his/her presence

  • Place food & water bowls in pantry or closet
  • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
  • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

Overwhelmed or just looking for expert advice?

Staging can often help to provide top dollar and a quicker sale turnaround.  You can find a professional stager in your area through RESA.

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