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How to Prep Your Home for Photos

“Buyers shop online first when buying a home. The first thing they look at is your photos. They either keep looking or move on. Photos are that important.”

It’s no secret that we should probably tidy up a little bit prior to a photo shoot of our home. But what exactly should we focus on? What is important? What makes for a smooth photo shoot and beautiful photos we can be proud of?

Well, here is our Photo Ready Checklist for you to consider when prepping your home or listing for photos. As a media company that photographs homes every day, this the checklist that we work from. We look at all of these things to ensure a great story is delivered.


  • Clear vehicles from the driveway. We need a clear view of your garage and front elevation.
  • Remove equipment, toys, hoses, and debris from the yard. A nice clean lawn is what we are going for.
  • Sweep/blow off patios and driveway. Grass clippings, leaves, and other debris stands out on a concrete surface.
  • Hide trash toters. We have yet to meet a sexy trash toter. Let’s stash those in the garage.
  • Tidy patio furniture. Simply straightening cushions and pillows makes a big difference.
  • If applicable, hide pool accessories.


  • Fresh landscaping such as a mowed lawn and adding some flowers can really improve the curb appeal.
  • Removing covers such as pools, hot tubs, grills, etc is listed here as optional. Why? Because depending on what kind of shape these items are in will determine if we want to show them.
  • Wash windows. This can be quite an expense and a lot of work and not make a ton of difference in photos, however, to a buyer walking through the home they can be an eye sore.


  • Turn on all lights. Even lamps and accent lighting. Let the photographer adjust as they see fit.
  • Open all blinds. Again, the photographer will adjust based on what the lighting needs are.
  • Turn off all fans.
  • Declutter surfaces. When it comes to kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, and end tables, minimal decor is best.
  • Hide pet accessories such as toys, crates, and feed/water bowls.
  • Hide remotes for electronics such as the tv, stereo, fans, etc.
  • Replace missing bulbs and ensure all lamps are plugged in and working.
  • Tidy bathroom towels and remove bathmats.
  • Clean mirrors and picture frames.
  • Hide trash cans in closets or pantry.
  • Put away all personal items such as hygiene items in bathrooms, clothing, electronics, etc.
  • Remove anything that could be offensive. Always best to present a safe, neutral space.


  • Professional staging can be expensive, however, it is worth looking into for vacant homes, or spaces with outdated furniture.
  • Professional cleaning is worth considering to give your home a good deep clean, along with a fresh clean smell.

Buyers shop online first when buying a home. The first thing they look at is your photos. They either keep looking or move on. Photos are that important. It is necessary to take the extra day to get your home photo ready rather than rushing to get it listed.