89% of homebuyers who shop online notice photos first

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois

34 Tips to Prepare a Home For-Sale for Professional Photography!

As you review the tips below please note some key words like De-Clutter, Remove, Clean, Clear, Hide, Replace, Open, and Light, are simple words giving a clue to what it takes to successfully sell a home. 

According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors®, 89% of homebuyers who shop online notice photos first when looking for a home. Therefore, it is important to either having a critical eye looking through the camera lens to insure realistic, appealing photos, or hire a professional photographer to ensure your cherished home makes a good first impression.

Your photos are going to be seen by any number of online consumers, so making your home stand out is my imperative goal, Ensuring I promote your sale in the best light possible by planning ahead of time for professional and/or professional looking photography.

Here is a list of ideas and tips on how to help you get your home ready for a professional photo shoot.

Inside the Home

  1. De-clutter as much as possible. Put away toys, clothing, dishes, towels, shoes etc. It’s a lot cheaper to put these things away before the photo shoot than to pay to have the photos “photoshopped”.
  2. Depersonalized to a certain degree. Photos of young children and any potentially offensive art (believe me, I’ve seen it all!) should be put away.
  3. Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations that can quickly outdate your photos.
  4. Dust and vacuum.
  5. Make all the beds, fluff all the pillows, and check the bed skirts.
  6. Clean the kitchen sink and put away all the dishes.
  7. Clear all kitchen counter tops and put away toasters, can openers, etc.
  8. Clear all bathroom counter tops and put away all personal items.
  9. Remove all shampoos, conditioners, body-washes, etc. from the shower.
  10. Put out the guest towels and hide all the others.
  11. Hide all trash cans.
  12. Remove all magnets and decorations from the refrigerator.
  13. If there are pets, hide all food/water bowls, pet beds, and pet toys.
  14. Put all toilet seats and lids down.
  15. Replace all burned out light bulbs.
  16. Consider decorating the tables with your prettiest place settings.
  17. Consider putting out vases of fresh flowers.

Outside the Home

  1. Have the lawn trimmed, leaves raked, bushes and trees pruned.
  2. Clean up after any animal
  3. Put away all garbage cans, hoses, garden tools, toys, bikes etc.
  4. Hide any “cute” yard decorations.
  5. In snowy climates, shovel snow from walkways, driveways, patios, decks when necessary.
  6. If there is a pool, hot tub, or spa, take any security gate down, uncover, and clean.
  7. If there will be any twilight photos taken, replace any broken lighting on the home, around the landscape, and in the pool.
  8. Open the umbrellas on any patio sets.
  9. When in season, uncover grills.
  10. Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations.
  11. Consider adding splashes of bright colored flowers to the landscape and in pots.

Right Before the Photographer Arrives

  1. Turn on ALL interior lights – even lights in furniture cabinets.
  2. Turn OFF all ceiling fans.
  3. Light fireplaces and candles.
  4. Open all blinds, shades, and curtains.
  5. Clear all cars and vehicles from the driveway and the street in front of the home.
  6. Please secure any potentially aggressive animals in a safe location, away from all rooms being photographed.

There is one more thing I want to bring to your attention.  Please place all valuables in a secure location.  There will potentially be many people walking through their home, and valuables should be out of site and secure. Safe deposit boxes and wall safes are great for this.

Be sure to bookmark this list, and share it with anyone you know who are potential sellers.  Referrals are so appreciated!  And if you can think of anything that would be a nice addition to this list, please comment below!





I got help from Marci James, Director of Social Media and Marketing for Obeo.


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89 of homebuyers who shop online notice photos first

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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Dale, as suggested, bookmarked the list and will make this a part of my presentation to the sellers. Thanks for sharing this great list.

Sep 21, 2012 03:45 PM #2
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Dale, this is one of the best lists that I have seen.  Great job!  Like Praful, I'm bookmarking the page.

Sep 21, 2012 03:54 PM #3
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

Dale:   Great list and some very good Info,  keep up the good job,  and good luck with your business.  E

Sep 21, 2012 07:32 PM #4
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Your comments and encouragement is so appreciated.  Wishing you all a very productive week ahead.  Thanks!

Sep 22, 2012 07:01 AM #5
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Dale Taylor

Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos
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