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How to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photos

Use these tips to prepare your home for photos that will attract buyer attention and help sell your home. You and your real estate agent are responsible for ensuring your home is beautifully portrayed in real estate listings and marketing initiatives. Your realtor will hire a photographer and coordinate the best time to shoot your home, according to your schedule and selling timeline.


Your home needs to be ready to be photographed when the photographer arrives, based on the following. Note that the photographer is not responsible for moving items in your home or staging rooms. It is important to have your home in "show-ready" condition.

Inside Your Home

All Rooms

  • Declutter every room. Put away toys, clothing, dishes, towels, papers, magazines, toothbrushes, etc.

  • Replace burned out light bulbs.

  • Remove photos of family and children.

  • Put away seasonal/holiday decorations.

  • Hide trash cans.

  • Remove small area rugs and mats.

  • Hide pet food/water bowls, pet beds, and pet toys.

  • Hide children's toys and items

  • Open all drapes and blinds

  • Remove/hide moving boxes and equipment



  • Make beds, fluff pillows, smooth spreads, and ensure bed skirts hang properly.

  • Clear bedside tables and dressers of clutter.

  • Hide laundry baskets.



  • Put toilet seats and lids down.

  • Clear bathroom counter tops.

  • Put away personal items, products, soaps, combs and brushes, and toothbrushes.

  • Remove all products from the shower.

  • Hide washcloths and bath towels. Replace with guest towels, if available.



  • Clean kitchen sink and put away all dishes.

  • Clean and clear kitchen counter tops.

  • Remove countertop appliances, such as toasters, can openers, blenders, and coffee pots.

  • Remove magnets and decorations from the refrigerator.


Outside the Home


  • See below about removing vehicles from driveway and front of home.

  • Hide garbage cans, hoses, garden tools, toys, bikes etc.

  • Remove clutter from porches and decks.

  • Have yard looking pristine.

  • If there is a pool, hot tub, or spa, take any security gate down, uncover, and clean.

  • When in season, uncover grills.

  • Remove seasonal/holiday decorations.


Right Before Photo Session


  • Turn on ALL interior lights – including under-cabinet lights and lights in furniture cabinets.

  • Turn OFF all ceiling fans.

  • Open all blinds, shades, and curtains.

  • Remove all cars and vehicles from the driveway and the street in front of the home.

  • Secure animals in a safe location, away from all rooms being photographed.




Bob Sowder


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