Real Estate Photography Preparation Tips

For Homeowners and Real Estate Agents

Online Marketing

Real estate photography is a key component when marketing a property online. The majority of home buyers start their search online, so it is important to make the first impression count!

Please read through the entire page and follow the tips below that are applicable. This will prepare the home for the best real estate photos possible.

We require that the home is walked thru by the agent or owner prior to the scheduled shoot so the home is photo ready before the photographer arrives. The shoot may be subject to a reschedule fee if the home is not photo ready when we arrive.

* Electricity must be available throughout the entire home during the shoot.

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General Tips

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (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 (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all TVs OFF and hide electronic cords – unplug if necessary
  • Turn all computer screens 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

Front Exterior

Online “curb appeal” – the front exterior is usually the first photo buyers see

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Sweep the walkway leading up to the front door
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
  • Remove empty planters
  • Remove cluttering objects
  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

Back Yard

The back yard should be an oasis to relax

  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
  • Clean pool
  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
  • Hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove trash bins and temporarily store them in an area that will not be photographed such as the garage

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Kitchen

Sometimes the focal point, the kitchen deserves attention to detail

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

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Dining Area

Allow buyers to imagine a nice family meal

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  • Use decorative place setting if available
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

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Living / Family Room

The space to enjoy conversation and spend quality time with family

  • 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 kid’s toys

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Bedrooms

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

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Bathrooms

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

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

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Pets

Pets are loving, but their presence should be minimized

  • Place food and 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

What to Expect During the Photo Shoot

The house should be shoot-ready when we arrive

Hi I’m Sheryl Thomas, owner and photographer of PlusCorp Photography. Thank you for considering PlusCorp. My team and I look forward to taking photos of your home or listing!

We truly want the photos to be the best they can be. This requires teamwork and cooperation that will result in an outstanding online presence when the home goes live on the market.

Seek a home staging consultant if you need assistance with the style and interior decor of the home. There are also house cleaning services available to assist. I emphasize that all staging and cleaning be done prior to the photographer’s arrival. Our rate and time estimate does not include these duties. To efficiently maintain our busy schedule and deliver the level of service our clients expect, we can not spend unnecessary time at the home waiting for it to be cleaned, dusted, de-cluttered, etc.

Please review the previous sections for tips on preparing the home for real estate photography. Also note that we are not responsible and will not partake in any of the following duties while photographing the home:

We Do Not:

  • Move or re-arrange furniture
  • Make beds, clean, dust or de-clutter
  • Pick up toys or yard items
  • “Photoshop” vehicles, walls, damaged walls, power lines, wall pictures, cords, etc.
  • Touch personal bathroom supplies (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels)

Schedule Your Photo Shoot Today!