Images play a major role in your home’s first impressions. If buyers like what they see when they look at your images, they’ll likely want to see more in person. That’s why it’s so important to put your best foot forward when it comes to preparing your home for a photo shoot. Here are some basic guidelines to help you prepare.

General tips:

  • Keep the floors clean. Show off any hardwood or tile flooring and hide your hallway rugs.
  • Have all the surfaces clean. Counter tops, mirrors, tables, etc.
  • Ensure light bulbs throughout the house work and have matching bulb ratings. This helps create consistent lighting.
  • Tuck away power cords, phone chargers, remote controls, etc.
  • Keep trash cans out of sight.
  • Put your personal items away (reading glasses, books, magazines, laptop).
  • Limit personal pictures. You want buyers to envision this as their own home.
  • Clean windows and have blinds pulled down, but leave them open to let in light.
  • Turn off all ceiling fans.


  • Mow, edge, trim, rake, etc. Clean up dirt and remove debris from driveway, sidewalks, patios, decks, etc.
  • Hide all trash cans, yard signs, toys, and equipment (mower, hoses, sprinklers, bicycles, etc.)
  • Set the scene with your outdoor furniture. Put on cushions, clean table surfaces, leave wood stacks in the fire pit.
  • Fill bird feeders, turn on fountains, place accent pieces or flowers.
  • Clear your pool of debris and make sure the cover is off.
  • Make sure there are no vehicles parked in the driveway or in front of the house.

Kitchen and Dining Areas:

  • Ensure all dishes are clean and put away.
  • Remove small appliances such as blenders, coffee makers, toasters, etc. from the counter tops.
  • Have all surfaces clean (counter tops, back splash, oven tops, sink, etc.).
  • Hide your pet’s bowls and food.
  • Show off your major appliances. Remove any notes, pictures, magnets, etc.
  • Tidy up your table surface. Use place mats or a small center piece to accentuate. Only cover it completely if your table really needs it.


  • Neatly make the beds.
  • Fold, hang, or stow your cloths away.
  • Remove personal items (watches, change, letters, pictures, etc…) from dressers and night stands.
  • Remove drawings, posters, and anything else on the walls that are pinned, taped, or tacked up. Only framed items should remain.


  • Make sure all surfaces, mirrors, windows, showers, & glass doors are clean.
  • Make sure toilet is clean and seat/lid is down. Hide away toilet scrubbers, cleaners, and plunger.
  • Hide all personal hygiene items from sink and shower/tub areas.
  • Hang fresh, folded towels and washcloths in the appropriate places.

The day of the shoot – before the photographer arrives:

  • If you have pets, take them off site or put them in a room that will not be photographed.
  • Have all the lights turned on and ceiling fans turned off.
  • Open all curtains and shades, and keep all window blinds down but open.
  • Turn off all your TV screens and electronic devices.

For more great tips, check out our seller’s checklist here.