It’s very important for your home to be photo-ready before the photographer arrives.  Please do not plan on moving things from room to room as the photographer is working.  It wastes much time.  Below are tips for preparing your home in the hours/days/months before your photographer arrives.

Weeks (Months) before listing

  • Consult with your trusted agent about repairs/updates that may help you sell your home for the most money.
  • Start packing and decluttering.  Remove those boxes or place in the storage area of the basement
  • Your agent may suggest removing furniture if it makes the room look smaller, through the camera this will be even more dramatic – definitely remove those oversized items as suggested (especially in a small baby’s room)
  • Work on the detailed landscaping many weeks before photos
  • Deep cleaning that is normally only done 1-2 times a year
  • Repaint as needed
  • Power wash exterior if needed

General Tips

  • Clean the entire house from top to bottom, don’t forget ceiling fans, corners, baseboards, doors and door jams
  • Remove small rugs to reveal the floor
  • Clean all mirrors and windows (inside and out)
  • Declutter – remove 50% of everything that is sitting out and then repeat 1-2 times more
  • Replace burned out light bulbs (making them all the same color temperature)
  • Remove most personal items and photographs (ask agent about which items are okay)
  • Remove magnets, papers, photos etc from the refrigerator
  • Remove kids toys and large plastic play areas from the backyard
  • Remove cobwebs from eaves and outdoor doors and porch corners
  • Mow the lawn, weed whip and blow the clippings a couple of days before the shoot
  • Need more help?  Consider a professional stager


  • Open curtains & window blinds (down and parallel to the floor is preferred)
  • Turn on all lights (we will turn off any that needs to be off)
  • Tuck away everyday items: jackets, shoes, remote controls, tissue boxes, pet bowls, pet beds, toothbrushes and other bathroom items, chargers/cords, most kitchen items that sit on the counter
  • Make beds neatly, putting extra blankets/stuffed toys/baby stuff away in a closet
  • Turn off TVs and Computer screens.  Tuck wires or unplug to minimize the mess if visible.
  • Turn OFF Ceiling fans!!
  • Remove childproofing from cabinets if visible
  • Consider adding fresh-cut flowers or fresh fruit as decoration
  • Hide trash cans
  • All dirty dishes out of view
  • Remove child booster seats and hide in a closet
  • Toilet seats DOWN
  • Remove all items from the shower if they are visible
  • Hide all packing boxes in the garage or unfinished basement area
  • Remove cars from the driveway and in front of the house
  • Open outdoor patio umbrellas and consider setting the outdoor table
  • Sweep or use a leaf blower for both the front porch and back patio/deck

Need to book a shoot?  Click here for information on booking your real estate photo shoot.