Customarily, this is one of the easiest rooms to make ready. Many homeowners or agents like the thought of putting a centerpiece of fresh cut flowers on the table. Great idea. Be sure to keep your centerpiece small and simple. If it is too large and ornate, it may block vital components of the shot or serve as an unwelcome distraction. In this case your photographer may ask you to move it, and that is disappointing.
Make certain that your light fixtures are dusted and that crown molding and tray ceilings look their best. For a videographer, these can be great details to capture...but only if they show well.
With few exceptions, it is best to take any and all items (magnets, grocery lists, paintings by your favorite child) off the face of your refrigerator. Be mindful of too many appliances on the countertops. Blenders, food processors and the like should go into cabinets.
As obvious as it sounds, wipe down the face of your microwave, stove, refrigerator, (and cabinets if necessary). This is especially vital if you have stainless steel or glass appliances. Finger prints, streaks and grease stains become beacons when a camera arrives on the scene.
Remove your pet's toys, bowls, and bed from the kitchen or any other living areas. Nothing detracts from a shot of a gourmet chef's kitchen like doggy dishes center stage.
Avoid setting too many magazines on your coffee table. The same applies to other surfaces including mantles and book shelves. Keep them clutter free.
Give the whole room a once over and double check that all of the lamp shades and picture frames are level to the eye.
This may be the area that the family relaxes in, but it should not look like they were there 5 minutes earlier. A pool table or other large piece of recreational furniture is fine. But doll houses, bins of toys stacked on top of one another, and other accessories should not be stacked along the walls. Take any of those items and store them in closets, or the garage.
DVD's, CD's, video games along with gaming systems should be put in your entertainment center or stored out of sight.</p>
Most owners and agents are very attentive here. A few reminders are to close hampers, de-clutter night stands, (and empty all trash cans in the master bath). Don't waste too much time focusing on your closets, even spacious walk-in closets are usually not worth photographing. (Remember, these tips are for a photo shoot. Home stagers and good agents will tell you that you need your closets and cabinets to be well organized when you show the home to the public.)
Be certain to put away toiletry items in the master bath. Medications, toothpaste and hair dryers should be out of sight. Drop shampoos, soap, and other bath products into plastic bags and stow them away. A steam shower or jacuzzi tub can show well, but noone wants to see a used luffa pad in the shot.
Foyers & Hallways
If you have coat rack mounted to the wall in your foyer, remove any umbrellas, hats or jackets hanging on it. Large hanging fixtures should be cleaned, (once again, this may be a nice detail shot). It is likely that hallways will not be a focal point of the shoot, but they will be seen in the background of some shots. De-clutter them as you would any of the rooms mentioned above.
Good photos or video of your luxury listing can be a feast for the eyes. But as with any great meal, presentation is vital. If you are a homeowner, take the time to get things ready for the professional. If you are an agent, get these tips in the hands of the seller. Do whatever is necessary to help them prepare, because in the end your guidance is what will bring them success.