The majority of home buyers start their search online, looking at pictures. Therefore it is important to make the first impression count! Follow the tips in this blog to help you prepare your home for the best real estate photos possible.


  • If your home is cluttered, (when you have too much stuff) rent a storage unit. The cost of the unit is nothing compared to the potential profit on your home.
  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard wood and tile floors, clean countertops, clean windows and window sills
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps OFF
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs (I may decide to turn them all on)
  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all TVs OFF
  • Turn all computer screens OFF
  • OPEN all blinds and window treatments to let in outside light
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
  • Place all shoes, jackets ect. in closets


  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean driveway
  • Trim up landscaping
  • Remove empty planters
  •  Remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
  • Remove or clean up visible water hoses
  • Remember, the front exterior is usually the first picture seen on the web


  • Clean patio, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Outdoor umbrellas should be in the down position for better view pictures
  • If you have a pool, be sure it is clean and then remove pool vacuum, cleaner hose and all cleaning supplies
  • If you have a water feature in working condition, turn it on
  • Remove or clean up visible water hoses
  • Remove trash cans


  • Clear countertops  No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc. but one or two small appliances are ok ( example, coffee maker and toaster)
  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher
  • Remove cleaning supplies like dish soap, dish clothes and dish towels


  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  • Feature one neutral center piece such as a fresh bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly


  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc. from end tables or coffee tables
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel (no more than 3 items, including art)
  • Clean interior of fireplace if needed
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows



  • Make bed, neat and tidy with no wrinkles
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers, allow a maximum of 3 items
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos


  • Make bed, neat and tidy with no wrinkles
  • Remove personalized items
  • Remove clutter from top of dressers, allow a maximum of 3 items
  • Put shoes, slippers, robes etc. out of sight
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos


  • Remove personalized items from walls
  • Turn all computers OFF
  • Remove personal items from your desk
  • Declutter (makes the room it’s true size in photos)


  • Clear countertops completelyNo soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
  • Put toilet seats and covers down
  • Close closet doors
  • Remove everything from  showers and tubs
  • Remove dirty towels (both bath and hand),  leave out only clean towels
  • Remove floor mats


  • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
  • Place pet beds and toys in pantry or closet
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • Take pets with you when possible
  • Clear back yard of pet waste and pet toys

Last But Not Least

  • Whatever you choose to do on this list, you are doing to maximize  the sale of your home.
  • As a Real Estate Photographer, I will photograph either “picture ready homes” or homes that are less than picture ready. Either way, I am happy to be of service to you.
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