Hiring a professional photographer to photograph your home when you are selling it can be a great investment.  With so many potential home buyers starting their search on then internet eye catching professional photographs can make your home stand out in a crowded market.  To help make your investment go further there are several things you can do to help prepare your home for a professional photo shoot.  Download a printable home photography preparation check list.

Keep these things in mind as you prepare the home for photography:

  • This list looks daunting, but the better the home shows in photographs to potential buyers the more likely they will want to view it and buy it.
  • You are trying to show off the home’s best features; a lot of stuff can distract from those features and you want them to be seen.
  • We are not photographing your home, we are photographing the potential new home of prospective buyers.  Do not take the process personally, it is part of the business of selling the house.
  • High quality photography will show the home exactly as it is.  Some minor flaws and dirt can be corrected in post-processing, but if you can see it the camera will show it in the photographs.

General Prep Work:

  • Remove excess furnishings and knick-knacks from rooms.  Large amounts of furniture and decorations do not generally photograph well and can distract from the homes features.
  • Pick up throw rugs and runners in entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms so that the floor can be clearly seen.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs both inside and outside the house.  Good lighting is key.

Home Exterior:

  • Remove all cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles etc. from the driveways and do not park directly in front of the house.
  • Move garbage and recycling cans out of sight.
  • Remove all garden tools, hoses, and clutter.
  • Pick up after your pets.  Yes, even that might show up in a photograph.
  • Remove all children’s toys, bikes, etc.
  • Mow the grass, rake up leaves and debris, pull weeds and remove any dead vegetation.
  • If you are feeling ambitious, plant some fresh flowers in empty planters and pots.
  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and patios.

Swimming Pools and Spas:

  • Make sure it is clean.  Sweep dirt off the bottom and skim off the debris floating on top.
  • Remove the pool sweep, floating chlorine dispenser and pool toys.
  • Straighten lounge chairs, put away cleaning tools, and set up the patio umbrella if you have.
  • Turn on pool lights, waterfalls and spa bubbles.
  • If you want to add that extra touch, roll up some colorful pool towels and place them on the chairs and set up a pitcher of lemonade with some glasses on a table.

Living & Family Room:

  • Remove newspapers and magazines and put away books.
  • Tuck the remote controls in a draw to get them out of sight.
  • Conceal exposed cables and cords as best that you can.
  • Remove clutter, personal photos, the kids toys etc. from bookshelves, tables and off the floor.
  • Dust and vacuum.  Dust can show in a photograph.
  • Wash any glass surfaces including table tops, cabinet doors and windows.  Smudges and dirt on glass will be noticable in the photographs.


  • Make the beds, but do it neatly, straighten the bed spread and pillows.
  • Tidy up, dust and vacuum.
  • Pick up and put away clothes and shoes.
  • Remove items from bedside tables  books, magazines, pictures, clock radios, etc.
  • In the kids rooms put excess toys out of sight, take posters and drawings off the walls, and straighten up overall.


  • Put small appliances, knife blocks and kitchen gadgets away and off the counters
  • Remove photos, notes, papers and magnets from the refrigerator.
  • Clean the major appliances  refrigerator, oven, stove top, range hood, and dishwasher.
  • Wipe down the counter tops.
  • Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink or sponges, dish towels, dish soap or the like near the sink.
  • Move trash cans out of site.

Dining Room:

  • Dust the furniture and vacuum the floors.
  • Setting the table with nice dinnerware, napkins and a centerpiece can give a homey feel.
  • If you have a China cabinet make sure things are straight and tidy inside.


  • Clear off the counter tops; toiletries, tissues, hair products, just about everything should be put away.
  • Remove all those products used in the shower and the rubber ducks the shower and tub.
  • Make sure towels are folded neatly and are straight on the towel bars.
  • Close the lid on the toilets..
  • Mirrors and shower doors should be clean.

Odds and Ends:

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

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