top of page

Seller Prep List - Real Estate Photography

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

We compiled a general guide to getting your property not only photo ready, but market ready prior to the photographer arriving. To expediate the entire process and help you sell faster.

Why Prep for Photos

Its all about making a great first impression. With the majority of home buyers starting online, mainly perusing the listing photos. The images they see have really become the properties first showing. And like in life, first impressions are everything, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Buyer agents too utilize the listing photos, usually setting up showings based on the photos they see. Properties with higher quality photos get many more showings and sell over 32% faster. It also expediates the process for the photographer. The less the photographer has to move, the better and drastically lessens the time they have to spend at the property.

General Tips - For All Areas of the Property

A simple system for getting your property not only photo ready, but market ready is to follow in what many call the 3 D's: Deep Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize

  • Thoroughly Clean property (Vacuum carpet, Mop floors, Dust surfaces, Clean Counters and windows)

  • Turn on ALL overhead lights

  • Replace any burnt out lightbulbs (try to use bulbs with same temperature, try to use ALL softer temp incandescent or LED bulbs)

  • Turn off ALL TV's and Ceiling fans in each room (any appliances that have movement)

  • Open ALL Window blinds and curtains to let in lots of natural light

  • Depersonalize by removing some personal photos (you can replace with general landscapes/object pictures)


  • Limit any holiday decorations (this can date the photos)

  • Remove any small floor mats or rugs to reveal actual flooring

  • Note: Put most of your effort into decluttering the best you can, rather than cleaning (when it comes to photos, clutter shows up more than dirt and dust)

Front Exterior

Usually first image buyers will see, So its all about creating that first great impression

  • Close garage doors

  • Remove vehicles from driveway (cars, trucks, trailers, campers, RVs, and boats)

  • If you rented a dumpster or storage container - make sure its removed

  • Clean Up Landscaping (Mow Lawn, Trim shrubs, clear dead leaves)

  • Remove any empty planters or flower pots

  • Put down fresh mulch in garden beds

  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames

  • Hide away any water hoses, sports equipment, balls, and trash cans.

Back Exterior

Creating that vision for a relaxing oasis, that potential buyers can enjoy

  • Clean Porch, Deck, or Patio

  • Tidy up and straighten any outdoor furniture

  • Outdoor pillows and cushions should be reasonably fresh and not faded

  • Hide away any kids toys, sports equipment, and trash cans

  • If Property has Pool (Hide away pool vacuum, hoses, and cleaning supplies)


Kitchens are the heart of the home and the room most buyers look the closest at. So bring extra attention to this space

  • Clear off countertops (No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc...)

  • Leave out a max of one small appliance or item on each surface (Ex: Coffee maker)

  • Its very important to completely clear off outside of Fridge (papers, magnets, photos, etc...)

  • Hide trash can in pantry or closet

  • Remove any dirty dishes from sink (hide or put away)

Dining Room / Table

Allow potential buyers to envision themselves there, enjoying a nice family meal

  • Clear table and dust/polish table top

  • Use decorative place settings (if available)

  • Feature one modest center piece (if available) such as a bouquet of flowers

  • Straighten and space chairs evening around table

  • Remove any child seats or booster chairs

Living Room / Family Room

Create that vision of a comfortable and relaxing space to enjoy quality family time

  • De-Clutter fireplace mantle/hearth (no more than about 5 items)

  • Arrange furniture to create a good flow and make room seam larger

  • Fluff and arrange any decorative pillows

  • Remove or hide any kids toys

  • Remove or hide any stacks of mail, magazines, papers, etc...

Master Bedroom

Create that vision of a relaxing retreat. A good nights rest to recharge the body and mind.

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams (if available)

  • Clear nightstands of any personal items

  • Hide away any charging cables and wires

  • Depersonalize by replacing personal photos from walls and surfaces

  • Remove and hide away any personal items or clutter from tops of dressers

  • Clean under bed (if visible)

  • De-clutter and organize closets, especially if you have a photo worthy closet with built-ins. Remove any out of season clothing, to make space seem larger.

  • Hide away dirty clothes hamper


This space really helps sell the property. So create that vision of a spa like atmosphere

  • Clear countertops completely (Hide away soaps, toothbrushes, Medications, deodorants, cleaning products, etc...

  • Make sure toilet seat is lowered

  • Remove shampoos, soaps, body washes, loofahs, toys, razors, etc... from tubs and showers

  • Remove or hide away any dirty or used towels - Leave out nicely folded or decorative towels

  • Remove any floor rugs or mats to show off true flooring

Guest / Kids Bedrooms

Don't forget about these spaces, but don't go crazy. Buyers dont look too hard at these rooms

  • Make bed - Clean under bed (if visible)

  • Organize or hide away kids toys

  • Remove or replace any personalized names from wall

  • Remove or replace any wall stickers and posters

  • Hide away diaper bin

  • Hide away dirty clothes hamper


Pets are truly loving and a big part of the family. But you really want to minimize their presence during the selling process. Not every buyer is a pet person and can turn them off from potentially buying the property.

  • Hide away food and water bowls

  • Hide away dog beds, cat posts, and toys

  • Utilize lint roller or vacuum on furniture to remove pet hair

  • Contain pets in garage, crate, or backyard while photographer (we love pets, but they tend to photo bomb)

  • Clear yard of pet toys and waste

1,303 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page