Prepare Your Home for the Best Possible Photos

Key suggestions to preparing your home for professional listing photos.

Choosing to have a professional photographer take pictures of your home is a wise decision. When buyers start searching online, they view the photos first. Therefore, the images of your home should grab their attention and entice them to learn more. Professional photographers are skilled in knowing how to capture the appeal of homes. A home best prepared will yield impressive results.

If possible, consider hiring someone to stage your home beforehand. A professional stager will place furniture and décor in a way that makes the most of each room, as well as give you suggestions on do-it-yourself improvements. However, if you prefer to prepare your home yourself, keep in mind that simple and generic is strongly recommended for furnishings and décor. 

Below are some helpful suggestions on readying your home for the photographer.

#1 Consider the Viewpoint: Whether viewing the front of your house, entering the front door of your home, or standing in the doorway of a room, the first view is at the point of entry. Photos will be taken from this standpoint, so take time to view each area of your home from the doorway and consider the furniture placement and the overall feel of the room.

#2 Give It An Open Atmosphere: The phrase “less is more” holds true for home listings. If rooms are overcrowded with furniture, knick-knacks, or magazines, remove them for the photo shoot. An open feel will make small rooms feel bigger and viewers will be attracted to the features of the rooms rather than personal items they see.

#3 De-personalize and De-clutter: When a potential homebuyer is viewing photos of your home, you want them to visualize it as their own, so remove personal items and items that clutter an area.

Walls – Remove family photos, personalized nameplates, and artwork that may not appeal to everyone from walls, shelving, etc. General artwork such as nature scenes is fine.
Countertops and Other Surfaces – From the kitchen and bathroom countertops, to the bedroom dresser and bookshelves, the clearer the surfaces are, the better. This includes refrigerator magnets, multiple small appliances, kitchen towels, cooking utensils, bathroom toiletries and towels, kids schoolwork items, craft projects, etc.

#4 Clean and Detail: Depicting a clean home will be appealing to viewers and convey that you take pride in your home. Devote time to thoroughly clean all rooms, dust, and vacuum and add small appealing touches of detail. 

Put away clothes, clean dishes, pet beds, toys, food/water bowls, and hide trash cans. 
Make beds, fluff pillows, fold accent blankets and straighten the bed skirts.  
Remove all towels from the bathroom and only hang guest towels.
Place a few vases of fresh cut flowers in the kitchen, bathrooms, and/or dining room.
The dining room will seem inviting by putting out your prettiest dinnerware setting.
Check that all lights work and replace light bulbs as needed.
Toilet lids should be down, showers with glass doors should be emptied.

#5 Exterior: When buyers are viewing the front and back yards, they’ll begin visually planning how they’ll utilize the space. 

The Front Yard: The front view of the home’s exterior is frequently the first photo viewers will see in your listing. Curb appeal is important to most everyone, so be sure your home is portrayed as beautifully as possible. Close window blinds and the garage door and if twilight photos will be taken, verify lights are working properly.
The Backyard: Likewise, the backyard is significant too because it is where we enjoy privacy, relax, and entertain. Clear toys, bicycles, garden hoses and empty planters from the yard. Mow the lawn and remove the weeds. If during the winter season, clear the walkways and put away the shovels. 
Front Entryway: This is the welcome into your home, so remove dust, cobwebs, and consider a few accent plants by the door. 

#6 Don’t Date the Photos: Seasonal or holiday decorations inside or out have a tendency to date the photos; therefore consider removing them ahead of time.


Taking time to clean your home and add the final touches that are sure to be seen in the photos will help you make the most of your photography investment and enable the photographer to do her best work. The photos in home listings are the ‘first impression’ and key marketing tool to getting your home sold. Home listings that use professional photos sell faster and for higher prices according to the National Association of Realtors.