Preparing a home to be photographed

The intent of professional real estate photography is to showcase your homes features and entice potential buyers to see it in person.

With that in mind here is a check list of things that can be done to produce the best possible photos to show off your buyers new home.

Must do's:

  • Turn on all the lights, inside and out.
  • Turn off the ceiling fans.
  • Open all blinds, shades and curtains.

The list below is a comprehensive prep list that if completed will ensure the home photographs its best, however it is a lot to do so at the very least complete the condensed version here.

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs inside and out
  • Hide the clutter
  • Remove nic-nacks from shelves and counters
  • Remove any throw rugs or runners (Large area rugs are ok)
  • Vacuum and mop
  • Wash Mirrors
  • Mow grass, pick up leaves, pick up dog droppings, and pull weeds

That was the condensed version, to make the home photograph its very best here is the full list.


  • Clear the driveways of all vehicles and do not park directly in front of the house.
  • Pick up after your pets.
  • Move garbage and recycling cans out of sight.
  • Mow the grass, rake up leaves and debris, pull weeds.
  • Roll up hoses and remove yard clutter.
  • If you would really like to spruce up the yard, plant some fresh flowers in empty planters and pots.
  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and patios.

Pools and Spas and water features: 

  • Turn On All pool lights (for twilight shoots), waterfalls and spa bubbles.
  • Remove the pool cover, any pool toys and floating chlorine dispenser.
  • Make sure they are clean. Vacuum dirt off the bottom and skim off the debris floating on top.
  • Set up any umbrellas, put away pool cleaning tools, and straighten lounge chairs

 Living & Family Room:

  • Pick up remotes, magazines and books from view.
  • Remove clutter and personal photos from shelves.
  • Dust and vacuum.
  • Try to tidy up or hide any cables as best you can.
  • Clean all glass surfaces, mirrors and windows. Especially Mirrors.


  • Pick up kids toys and remove any posters or drawings from the walls.
  • Vacuum, dust and tidy up the rooms.
  • Pick up any cloths on the floor.
  • Remove any shoes from view.
  • Make the beds neatly.
  • Remove items from bedside tablesbooks, magazines, pictures, clock radios, etc.


  • Clean off counters. Put away things like toasters, knife blocks, blender. Clean counters show off counter space.
  • Declutter outside of refrigerator. Remove Photos, magnets kids drawings.
  • Wipe down the counter tops.
  • Move trash cans out of site.
  • Clean the major appliancesrefrigerator, oven, stove top, range hood, and dishwasher.
  • Put away all dishes, make sure the sink is clear of all cleaning products as well.

 Dining Room:

  • Stage the table with nice plates and glasses and silverware.
  • Dust the furniture and vacuum the floors.


  • Clear off the counter tops; toiletries, tissues, hair products.
  • Mirrors and shower doors should be clean.
  • Make sure towels are folded neatly and are straight on the towel bars.
  • Close the lid on the toilets.
  • Remove personal care products and children's bath toys from the shower and tub.