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Home Selling Tips – How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day

Reblogger Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Managing Real Estate Broker with Compass Realty Solutions 990300265

Picture day is a very big deal and can make your listing something special.  Think of a dating app where people are swiping left or right.  I have had buyers want to buy the house just looking at the pictures before they have a chance to get inside.

When the photographer will arrive, I arrive earlier.  I can easily set up "plants" and flowers for dead corners and plain areas in the home,  While I am an advocate for keeping areas clean sometimes a small vase of flowers is like icing on the cake.

I use really good photographers that know my style in helping stage rooms and know how important certain angles are inside and outside.

Original content by Amanda S. Davidson 0225221517

Home Selling Tips – How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day

Pictures can make or break a home sale. The first place potential buyers are going to see your home is online, gone are the days that the first impression is when they pull up for a tour. I’d even venture to argue that the first showing for your home occurs online. If buyers don’t like what they see online they’re not going to come to see a home in person. You want to make sure your home is staged and ready for picture day. Below are tips about how to prepare your home for photos.

 Home To Prepare Your Home For Picutre Day

Interior Tips For Picture Day



Rooms that are packed with furniture will not only appear small in photos they’ll also appear small for showings. Less is more, work with your agent or your stager to determine which pieces should stay and which pieces should be removed. Anything you remove for picture day should stay out of the house for showings as well.



Countertops photograph best when they’re clear. For the kitchen, this means small appliances, paper towel holders, cutting boards, and knife blocks need to be removed. In the bathroom take the toothbrushes, soap, makeup, lotion, and any other personal items off the top of the vanity and put them out of sight. The same goes for nightstands and dressers – have their surfaces clear.



No magnets, photos, artwork, or calendars allowed. Have the exterior of your fridge completely clear. It should stay this way the entire time your home is on the market as well. While it doesn’t have to be done for picture day don’t forget that when it’s time for showings the inside of your refrigerator needs to be organized and clean.



Make sure the exterior of all the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are clean. Wipe them down as needed prior to the photographer arriving. Pay close attention to spills, drips, and dried toothpaste.


Showers and Bathtubs

Shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap, razors, and anything else inside the shower or tub need to be removed. Showers and bathtubs should be completely clear including anything hanging on the wall. If you have glass shower doors wipe them down and remove any soap scum or water spots.

Home Selling Tips - How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day 


Go through your entire house and replace any burned out lightbulbs. Consider replacing bulbs that don’t put off bright light to achieve better lighting the day of photos. On picture day turn on every light in your home. Lights on ceiling fans should be on too but, the fan itself should be off.


Throw Rugs

Entryway, hallway, and bathroom rugs need to be removed for picture day. Having them on the floor causes rooms to look small and cluttered.


Loose Wires

Lamp, TV, and electronic device wires should all be concealed. If that’s not possible at the very least they need to be wrapped neatly and zip tied to avoid being an eyesore in photographs.



Every bed needs to be made, not just your every day make your bed routine. Take time to make sure the sheets and blanket aren’t showing from under the comforter. Smooth the comforter out and ensure it’s even on all sides. Add a throw to the end of the bed for an added touch. Fluff and arrange all of the pillows. Getting a bed ready for photos isn’t a quick task, allow plenty of time the morning of photos.

How To Prepare Your Home For Photos When Selling 

Toilet Seats

This one is a pet peeve of mine anytime I see it in photographs of a home for sale. Make sure they are all down. If you have a professional photographer they’ll likely put them down or if your agent arrives prior to photos commencing to walk through your house they probably will too but, regardless of who takes care of it just make sure it gets done.


Trash Cans

All trash cans need to be hidden and that includes the kitchen trash can. Your home is the product you are selling, not trash cans.



It goes without saying to remove your pet the day of photos but, don’t forget to remove your pet's belongings too. Beds, bowls, and food storage should not be photographed nor should they be present for showings either. Some buyers do not want to purchase a home if its apparent pets live there.

Home Selling Tips Preparing For Photos 

Exterior Tips For Picture Day

Don’t forget the exterior when preparing for picture day. It’s equally as important as the interior.

Tips For Preparing Your Home For Photos When Selling 

Front Door

Place an attractive flower pot leading up the walkway or on a pedestal by the front door. Something with an inviting color that doesn’t overwhelm the space. Adding something by or near the front door gives a welcoming vibe in photos.



Trim trees and bushes, pull weeds, mulch flower beds, and mow the yard. If the weather hasn’t warmed up enough for the grass to grow and there are bare spots with dirt showing in the yard have sod put down.



Remove cars from the driveway and garage. If you have any sports equipment in the driveway or in front of the garage it should be removed as well.

Home Selling Tips 

Trash Cans

Even the trash cans on the exterior of your home need to be removed for pictures too. Buyers aren’t interested in photographs with trash cans in them under any circumstances.



If you have pets make sure the yard is free of any calling cards they’ve left. If you have children remove their toys – there shouldn’t be any random items left out in the yard on picture day. Garden hoses are an item that is often overlooked and they should be put away if they’re lying on the ground.



All the windows in your home should be closed for picture day – blinds, however, should be open. Don’t forget to clean them prior to the photographer coming.

How To Prepare Your Home For Pictures 

Preparing your home for picture day takes a lot of attention to detail. I make it a point to arrive 45 minutes to an hour ahead of the photographer so that I can go through each room of the home and make any final adjustments. It’s easy to overlook little things when you don’t prepare a home for photos every day and it’s a costly mistake to make. Think of the photos you’d share if you were creating an online dating profile, they’d only be your absolute best. The same mentality applies to your home. Take the time to go room by room and get it ready to shine on picture day!


Getting Your Home Ready For A Spring Sale via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

What Updates/Repairs Should We Do Before Listing via Joan Cox Broker-Owner House To Home in Denver Colorado





Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group





Amanda Davidson

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

Broker - Owner
Licensed in VA and DC

5680 King Centre Drive #600
Alexandria, VA 22315

Cell: 703.431.3755
Fax: 703.562.7057


John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Susan McCall, Listing and Buyer Agent very valuable tips on preparing a home for selling.

Mar 22, 2019 07:55 PM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions

Thanks for commenting and even if one uses part of the information it will enhance the experience.

Mar 23, 2019 12:28 PM
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTAcondos.com
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good evening 

Thank you for sharing your information with us Susan McCall, Listing and Buyer Agent 

Have a great day.

March 22, 2019. 

Mar 22, 2019 08:32 PM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

Learning never stops and sharing info makes it more interesting.

Mar 23, 2019 12:26 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope 2019 is a great year for you.

Mar 25, 2019 05:57 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Susan, great post, and wonderful advice.  Some homeowners have an idea of what they need to do, but do not look at a room to see how it would show with photos.

Aug 13, 2020 09:48 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

You're so right - photos are a very big deal, Susan! Thank you for sharing Amanda S. Davidson's post!

Oct 28, 2020 07:56 PM