Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photography

Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photography

Living room with bright natural light

Preparing to sell a home can be an exciting but stressful process for everyone involved. The days are too short, and the to-do lists are too long. Realtors and homeowners alike ask the same question: how do we prepare for real estate photography on top of juggling everything else? We put together a detailed guide to take the guesswork out of real estate photography preparation. Read on to learn about the most productive steps, big and small.

The Big Stuff

Start here!

The goal is to create a home that feels (and is!) neat, spacious, and bright – three things that everyone has on their list of must-haves. Ahead of time, get an idea of what should be highlighted and what needs to be hidden away. With that in mind, it’s much easier to prioritize tasks.

Touch up paint, replace lightbulbs, and thoroughly clean your windows in every room. Check out that boost in natural light! If you’re anything like us, you’ll think, “Oh man, I didn’t realize my windows were that dirty!”

Highlight and Hide

Living room with couch and colorful pillows

Most importantly, do your best to declutter as much as possible and leave behind only a few small decorations. It pulls at the heartstrings, but any personal photos and knickknacks should be hidden. Have fun with some pops of color and freshen up the space with houseplants. These details will help highlight the positives! When decor is pared down, people can better envision themselves in the home.

The next step: put away pet products. It’s our least favorite because a house isn’t a home without a furry friend. Some people disagree with us, so it’s important to hide every squeaky toy and litter box that might send a negative message (think lingering odors and floor scratches). We hate to admit it, but pets have a lasting impact on a home, and any sign of them can cause second thoughts.  

The Small Stuff

White bathroom vanity and shower

It’s easy to miss things after doting over such a huge undertaking as selling a home. The iPhone charger dangling by the couch, old mail hiding on the desk, and forgotten toiletries in the bathroom are a few examples. Our homes are well-loved and lived in – it’s nearly impossible to pretend they aren’t. It’s helpful to take your time, go room-by-room, and think of this as an opportunity to jumpstart packing.

Get help!

There is a time (more like a time crunch) when you need to stop and ask for help. Hiring professionals to tackle larger projects like landscaping or junk removal will save time and Tylenol in the long run. Decide which projects are worth outsourcing: is it technically difficult or time-consuming? Will you throw out your back? Save yourself the headache and delegate!

Ideally, with a little help, your to-do list (and stress levels) will shrink. As the photoshoot approaches, enlist an extra pair of eyes to help catch anything you might have missed. Real estate photography takes a team! We do one final pass around the home before we start snapping pictures, just in case.

It’s Picture Time

On the day of photography, make sure all window shades are equally drawn, barstools aligned, and throw pillows in place. It might seem small, but repetition and symmetry are pleasing to the eye. This attention to detail goes a long way to attract interest. Pop on all the lights, hide any vehicles out of sight, straighten the throw pillows, and we’re good to go!

As photographers, we appreciate photographing homes that are loved and cared for. We know potential buyers take notice! With hard work and maybe a couple of strong cocktails, you’ll come away with a powerful marketing tool to sell your home. Though the tips mentioned here aren’t exhaustive, this is a great start. We happily offer the full real estate photography checklist to our Realtor clients, and everyone is equally happy with the results when it’s put to good use!

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