Preparing Your Home For Photos

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Real Estate

General Tips

Clean the whole house (vacuum carpet, sweep hard floors or mop if needed, clean countertops, etc).
Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON. (Only if you are home - Please don’t leave them on all day)
Replace all burned-out light bulbs & use bulbs of the same temperature - this can greatly affect color balance. (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent).
Turn all ceiling fans OFF.
Have all TVs and computer screens OFF.
Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light.
Remove large personal photographs. Roughly 8x10 or smaller is fine.
Make all of the beds.
Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring.
Place all shoes and jackets in closets.
Remove Holiday decorations. Inside and out.


Remove cars from driveway and front of home & close the garage doors.
Yard maintained (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves) and remove empty planters.
Roll up or remove visible water hoses.
Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.
Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions.
Turn on any water features.
Pools should be cleaned, remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose, and hide the cleaning supplies.


Clear counter tops of any clutter and remove any unnecessary small appliances. The coffee maker can stay, but hide the toaster, knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
Clear the outside of refrigerator of large magnets, papers, photos, etc.
Hide the garbage cans in a pantry or closet.
Remove any dishes from the sink, place in dishwasher.

Living Room

Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth.
Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed.
Fluff and arrange furniture pillows.
Remove kid's toys.

Dining Room

Clear and clean the table top.
Use decorative place settings if available.
Choose carefully if you have a center decoration. 
Straighten the chairs and space them evenly.
Remove child seats or booster chairs.

Master Suite

Make the bed, including decorative pillows and shams if available.
Clear nightstands of unnecessary personal items and store away phone/tablet charging cables.
Remove clutter from top of dressers.
Remove any large family photos from walls.
Organize large walk-in closets (Usually we won’t take photos inside but the door may be partially open).
Clean the bathroom - put the toothbrushes in the holder, hide the toothpaste and razors, clean the mirror, toilet seat down, clean the glass shower door or replace with a fresh curtain liner, etc.

Other Bedrooms/Guest Rooms

Make the bed.
If possible, remove personal names from the walls.
Remove wall stickers or posters that may not be as appreciated or admired by others.
Put away toys and other personal belongings.
Straighten up shelves, tops of dressers, and desks.


Clear and tidy up the countertops.
Put toilet seats down.
Close any closet and cupboard doors.
Clean the mirror and glass shower doors.
Remove shampoo and loofahs from showers and tubs.
Remove any dirty towels. Re-stock towel shelves or racks.


Hide the food and water bowls in a pantry or closet.
Place pet beds and toys in pantry or closet
Use a lint roller on furniture to remove any sightly pet hair.
Try not to have the pets roaming around during photos. Have them in a kennel or outside.
Clear the yard of any pet waste or toys.