Prep For Photography

Preparing A Property For Pro Photography

Staging could be one of the most important tasks that you do to successfully sell your property for the highest amount.  Staging has been described as the opposite of decorating.  Decorating and interior design is all about you personalizing your space, making it your own home, while staging is all about de-personalizing the space to allow the potential buyer to imagine what it could be like for themselves. Once you decide to sell your house, try to think of it as “not our home anymore” and try to turn it into a show home that will entice buyers.  Remember to keep it that way until you have it sold!  The effort will pay off big time!

Try to thin out as much of your household belongings as you can.  You are going to have to pack for the big move anyway, so you might as well get a head start.  Not only will it make it easier when the big move comes, but you will also make your kitchen, closets, bookshelves and kids rooms look more spacious.  Start packing with the out of season clothes, books, toys, etc., the more you can remove from the home, the larger the spaces will look.

Preparing Your Home For A Professional Photo Shoot

General Guidelines

As soon as the professional photographer arrives, they will begin work, so everything should be ready to go. They will be photographing both the interior and exterior of the home. The photographer is there to shoot the home, not to move or arrange furniture or personal items, so it is very important that this is all done before their arrival.  Turn on all of the lights in the home, everything, any burned out lights replace.

You can make a big difference on how well your home will look in the photos by following these guidelines.

Clean well and De-clutter.

  • De-clutter rooms which may be excessively furnished as they do not photograph well.  Consider storing some of the furnishings in the garage.
  • Throw rugs and runners in entryways, kitchens and bathrooms should be removed.  The buyers will be able to see the flooring better. Hide ALL of the large and small trash cans throughout the home
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs in fixtures and lamps.  Be sure to have extra lights….you never know
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel and any other areas that attract clutter (photos, figurines, etc.)
  • Remove, replace or repaint anything that you would spend more time to clean than paint.
  • One of the biggest impacts to enhance your curb appeal is a freshly painted front door.

The Home Exterior


  • Remove all vehicles from driveways and do not park directly in front of the house. If you need to, park in front of you home to prevent others from parking there, then move when the photographer arrives.
  • Move garbage cans out of sight.
  • Remove all garden tools including hoses.
  • Remove all children’s toys, bikes, balls, etc.
  • If you have a pool, remove the Kid Fence around the pool, toys, pool cleaning equipment and store out of site.
  • Turn on all pool water falls and fountain features.
  • Mow and rake yard, spread new mulch around
    in the flower beds….nothing like a new garden smell.
  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and patios.
  • Open patio umbrellas and set out cushions.
  • Uncover barbecues (Clean), pools, spas, and hide the covers

The Living & Family Room


  • Remove newspapers and most magazines.
  • Hide all TV/Stereo remotes.
  • Arrange the throw pillows
  • Consider removing some furniture to give space
  • Conceal all exposed cables as best possible.
    Wrap them up and secure with a rubber band
  • Remove any clutter, personal photos, from bookshelves, tables and cabinetsThe Kitchen
  • Counter space is prized so clear off counter tops of most but not all appliances. Wipe clean
  • Remove photos, notes and papers from the refrigerator and anything on top. Top = Nothing
  • Clean and polish the major appliances refrigerator, oven and range hood
  • Remove any garbage containers

The Dining Room


  • Set the table as if you were giving a diner party.
  • Set a colorful centerpiece of flowers or candles.
  • Consider taking away a couple of the chairs to give more room around the table.

The Bedrooms

  • Make all beds and tidy bedrooms.
  • No clothes visible, put away and closets clean
  • Remove items from bedside tables – books, magazines, pictures, water bottles, etc.

The Bathrooms

  • Clear off the counter tops – toothbrushes, shavers, soap dishes, tissue and lotion dispensers, makeup mirrors, etc. should all be cleared away.
  • Remove shampoo and other products from the shower/tub area.  Get a plastic shoe box to store the items when you are away.
  • All toilet seats should be down and lid closed.
  • Mirrors should be clean. No trash cans


The Photo Shoot

  • Contain pets in the garage or out of sight
  • Turn on all lights, including table lamps, under the counter lights, and exterior lights.
  • Turn OFF all fans
  • Remove the cars from in front of the property
  • Turn on all pool and fountain water features.
  • The photographer is there to photograph the property, not move or arrange furniture or personal items, so it is very important that this is all done before their arrival.
  • The photographer has other appointments so their time is limited. For best results be sure that all details are taken care of before their arrival. Stay out of the way when they arrive, they know what to do.
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