Picture Perfect Presentation

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 92% of homebuyers begin their home search online. Online photos provide potential buyers with an idea of the size, layout, and condition of a house without them having to set foot inside. Professional and attractive photos increase the likelihood that a potential buyer will decide to schedule an appointment to tour a home in person.

If you are getting ready to sell your home, preparing for real estate photos will take some work, so give yourself enough time to get your home picture perfect. Below are some general preparation guidelines and room specific tips to help jumpstart your efforts.

General Guidelines For Real Estate Photos

The key take-away when prepping for real estate photos is that less is more. It is always best to clear the clutter out of every room because a clean space makes rooms look larger. In addition, it may be hard for a buyer to picture himself or herself living in your home if too many personal photos and knick-knacks are on display. The goal is to create generic, but pleasing rooms that a potential buyer will find attractive and inviting.

You also want to get rid of the grime. It’s important that all areas are thoroughly cleaned in order to remove hard water build-up, dirt or anything else that might be visible. You want to make sure that windows are spotless; they should be washed to get rid of fingerprints or other marks.

Last, you want to let in the light! Prior to the photo session, you want to turn on all the lights and make sure that all light bulbs, both inside and outside, are in working order. You should also raise all window shades/blinds and hang them at the same length and in the same direction.

Room Specific Guidelines


Clear as much as possible off counters including food, dish racks, cutting boards, and small appliances

Put away any dishes in the sink

Remove fridge magnets and other items off the fridge

Remove dish liquids, dish towels, and cleaning products as well as garbage bins, brooms, and mops

If possible, put out a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table or countertop


Clear off the countertops including toothbrushes, soaps, razors, lotions, and beauty products

Remove garbage cans, bath mats, scales, spare toilet rolls, and toilet brushes

Remove shampoo and other products from the shower/tub area

Clean tub area and leave the show curtain open

Close toilet lid

Put out fresh towels neatly folded on towel bars


Clear away clothes, shoes, laundry baskets, and make sure that nothing shows under the bed

Remove items from bedside tables, including books, magazines, and jewelry

Put away stuffed animals and excess toys

Remove portable fans, heaters, and waste baskets

Make the bed with a nice bedspread and fluffy pillows at the head of the bed

Dining Room

Arrange chairs neatly around the table

Add a nice centerpiece such as a bowl of fresh fruit or a floral arrangement

Living/Family Rooms

Remove piles of newspapers and magazines

Put away all TV/stereo remotes

Remove excess knick-knacks and clutter

Conceal all electric cords as best you can


Keep lawn mowed and trim trees/overgrown shrubs

Rake up any leaves

Sweep porch and sidewalks

Remove all garden tools including hoses and sprinklers and store them neatly in garage or storage area

Put away children’s bikes and toys

Move garbage and recycling bins out of sight

If you have outdoor furniture, wipe it down and make sure that cushions look clean and nice

Final Touches

Make sure light bulbs are the same throughout the entire home. Ideally LED Soft White give the best light for photography. Avoid fluorescent bulbs at all costs. The light they emit is poor quality and casts a murky greenish haze that is very unflattering. LEDs cast a cleaner, more flattering glow.

  • Turn on all lights and lamps
  • Replace burned out light bulbs
  • Turn off ceiling fans
  • Bathrooms – put away toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, shampoo, soap
  • Kitchen – remove dishes and clutter from counter, trash cans, magnets from refrigerator, and pet bowls
  • Remove clutter throughout the house
  • Put away high chair, booster seats, toys
  • Make sure items stored under beds are not visible
  • Put pets and pet items away, out of photography areas
  • Have the yard mowed
  • Trim trees
  • Make sure leaves are blown
  • Put away all outside trash cans, recycle bins, water hoses, security signs
  • If there is a security fence around pool and you do not want it seen in photo, please remove security fence before photo shoot
  • Remove pool equipment from pool
  • If homeowner does not want child’s name or personal photos shown, please remove before photoshoot
  • Remove seasonal/holiday items so photos are not dated
  • Make sure vehicles are not parked in driveway or in front of house
  • For dusk shoot, please make sure there is a water hose at the property


Taking the time to prep your house for photos will go a long way. If you can do the tasks noted on this list, you are going to get much better images and a lot more views by potential buyers. This, in turn, will hopefully get your home sold quicker and for more money.

If you have any questions on prepping your home for photos, please contact us. Once the home is ready, our professional photographer will take high-resolution HDR photos for online use and in printed materials.