11 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Real Estate Photos

Published On: August 9th, 2021Categories: Real Estate Marketing, Tips & TricksLast Updated: November 15th, 202215.5 min read

About the Author: Alex Schnell

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image of a staged front porch to a home to show the steps to preparing for real estate photos

The photos attached to the listing of your home are what can seal the deal for potential buyers. They will want to get a closer look when they see your brightly lit living spaces and cozy bedrooms. So how do you go about preparing for real estate photos to ensure you get the best results? Here are 11 things you can do, starting today. 

#1 Turn on All Lights

Before your photographer arrives, spend a minute turning on all the lights inside the house. This is important at any time of day. Turn on overhead lights as well as lamps and other task lighting. 

#2 Turn off Electronics

For the best photos, turn off all other household electronics. Turn off the TV, computers, fans, or anything else that can cause a disturbance or look strange in photos. 

#3 Make the Beds

Don’t forget to make your bed and straighten the duvet, quilt, or comforter. Be sure to fluff the pillows.  Smooth your linens to keep them even and wrinkle-free.  These small details will stand out in photos!


#4 Adjust Towels and Curtains

You also want to put out fresh towels and beautifully arrange them. Straighten all curtains as well, so everything looks polished and put together. Something as minor as a wrinkly towel can be distracting in a photo. You’d be surprised how many people forget these small details when preparing for their real estate photos!

#5 Dust and Wipe Down Everything

It’s surprising how dust is noticeable in photographs. Even the smallest amount can appear in the final product. Spend some time wiping down surfaces with a duster or damp cloth. The camera will also pick up any smudges on reflective surfaces like mirrors, windows, and appliances. Use the right kind of cleaner to get everything streak-free. 

#6 Keep Pets Away

If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be elsewhere during the photography process. You can keep them in a room that’s not being photographed or take them to a park or a friend’s house. 

kitchen image white cabinets updated#7 Hide Unsightly Things

It’s easy to let some things fall through the cracks. Be sure to hide things like: 

  • Trashcans
  • Clutter 
  • Paperwork
  • Small appliances
  • Toys
  • Bathroom products
  • Broken items
  • Power strips, cords, and cables

It’s also a good idea to use this time to neutralize your house so buyers can imagine their décor in the home. Remove any religious or political items or particularly distracting decorations.  

#8 Park Down the Street

One tip you may not have thought of is to move your car out of the garage, driveway, or street. Take a drive while the photographers are there, or park a few houses down the road until they’re done. The exterior photos will look best without any vehicles in the way.

#9 Maintain Your Lawn

Before the photographer arrives, take time to mow and edge your lawn so it’s freshly cut. It’s also a good idea to weed. You can even plant flowers to add something extra. A pop of color is always a good idea! For more ideas on maintaining the exterior of your home, check out How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home and Inspect Your Landscaping.

drone photo of house#10 Clean and Sweep Outdoor Surfaces

Make sure your driveway is clean of any debris or stains. The same is true for other outdoor spaces, including your porch or deck. Investing in power washing your driveway and other outdoor surfaces could make a huge difference on the overall appearance of the outside of your home!

#11 Hide Outdoor Items

Hide any outdoor items that might read as dirty in photos. These include: 

  • Lawn equipment
  • Trashcans
  • Children’s toys

And be sure to clean your pool and outdoor furniture. 

Bonus Tip

As a final note, any professional photographer will use a wide angle lens to take photos of your home. This helps spaces look more open and gets more of the room in the frame of a single shot. Because of this, there may be things you don’t realize will be caught on camera. Some examples include items under the bed, broken fixtures, damage to walls, and more. Preparing for real estate photos can seem like an overwhelming to-do list, but start small and start early to get ahead. You’ll be able to take care of all the nooks, crannies, and forgotten corners with time to spare!

Do you want to know more about getting your home ready for listing photos? Square Foot Photography can provide a complete checklist and talk to you about what to expect during the photography process.

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