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Make The Most Out Of Your Real Estate Photographer: 68 Tips on Prepping Your Home for Eye-Catching Photos

67 Tips for prepping your home for a real estate photographer

You have roughly 7 seconds to make a great impression. With the majority of real estate searches beginning online, you want to make sure that your home catches the eyes of potential buyers. That means, having your home photographed and photographed well. A professional photographer can showcase your home in it’s best light. But being prepared for the photographer is key. More than likely your photographer won’t move your personal belongings or dust off your countertops, so it’s up to you to clean up and make your house shine. Below are a few tips and tricks that will help you prep your home for the real estate photographer.


By cleaning up and making your home welcoming, it allows potential buyers to envision themselves in the home.

General CleaningGeneral Cleaning Tips

  1. Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
  2. Turn on all overhead lights and lamps
  3. Replace all burned-out light bulbs
  4. Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  5. Turn off all ceiling fans
  6. Turn off all TVs/Computer Screens
  7. Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
  8. Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
  9. Make all beds
  10. Minimize use of small carpets
  11. Place all shoes/jackets in closets
  12. Arrange furniture to be welcoming
  13. Hide electronic cords
  14. Light fireplaces


  1. Clear off countertops completely.
  2. Leave out max of one small appliance
  3. Remove refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  4. Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  5. Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher
  6. Max one decorative towel





Dining AreDining Room

  1. Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  2. Consider a decorative centerpiece (fresh fruit or flower arrangement)
  3. Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  4. Remove child seats/booster chairs






Living Room or Family RoomLiving Room/Family Room

  1. Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  2. De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth
  3. Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
  4. Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  5. Remove kid's toys
  6. Make it feel warm and welcoming







  1. Press bed linens and bed skirts
  2. Tuck in bed sheet corners
  3. Clear nightstands of all personal items
  4. Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  5. Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  6. Remove family photos from walls
  7. Clean under bed or move items to the side of the bed nearest the wall        
  8. Remove wall art, i.e. personalized names, stickers, posters




  1. Clear & wipe down countertops. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
  2. Put toilet seats & lids down
  3. Close closet doors
  4. Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
  5. Remove dirty towels
  6. Remove floor mats
  7. Put out guest towels 
  8. Wipe off mirrors & lights
  9. Remove robes from back of door




  1. Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
  2. Remove pet hair on furniture (lint roller)
  3. Contain pets in hidden crate or outside or bring them to a friend/neighbors house
  4. Clear back yard of pet waste/toys






ExteriorIt’s the first things a potential buyer sees. Give the photographer something to work with by cleaning up around the outside of the home.

  1. Close garage doors
  2. Remove cars & boats from driveway and front of home
  3. Clean up landscaping, i.e. pull weeds, mow the lawn
  4. Add mulch or pine straw where needed
  5. Put away empty planters
  6. Remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
  7. Hide water hoses
  8. Remove kids toys, balls, sports equipment, etc.
  9. Wipe down tables/chairs/cushions
  10. Freshen up pillows & cushions
  11. Clean pool
  12. Hide pool cleaning supplies
  13. Turn on pool fountains/water features
  14. Remove trash cans
  15. Clean up the front door (it’s the first thing buyers are going to see)
  16. When in season, uncover grills
  17. Open umbrellas on patio sets

One important tip is to make sure to put all valuables in a safe space. There may be many people walking through your home so keeping your valuables safely put away will give you peace of mind during a home tour.

Following these tips will ensure that your home photographs its best all while increasing the likelihood of selling your home more quickly. When your real estate photographer arrives, having a clean and neat home will make the process easier and will result in amazing photos. If you happen to live elsewhere and the Crystal Coast is your second home, consider hiring a professional stager to take care of the tidying up.


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