Tips on How to Prepare Your Property for Real Estate Photography

Preparing house for real estate photography

It’s certain that you want to sell your home quickly and at the highest price. To help make life a bit easier and less hectic, here are some great tips how to prepare your property for real estate photography that will help market your property with the best images possible.


Things to do in all rooms before the photographer arrives:

  • De-clutter everything by cleaning and clearing all of the “extra stuff” from every room. ┬áRemove family photos and other personal items to give your your space a model home like appearance.
  • It’s very important to check every light and replace burned out bulbs. More light means better pictures. Any missing or burned out lights will not only be visible in the photos but risk potential buyers perceiving an electrical problem. Be sure to have spare bulbs on hand just in case.
  • Be sure that all blinds are functioning properly. If there is a nice view outside, raise the blinds. If you see a neighboring home, just angle them to let in the light. Having problems with your plantation shutters? Here is a quick and easy fix: How to fix loose louvers on plantation shutters.
  • For ceiling fans, turn off the fan and turn on the light. If the blades are dusty, be sure to dust or vacuum them clean.
  • Clean and dust highly visible surfaces such as ceiling fans, light bulbs and fixtures, mirrors and windows, etc.
  • A paused image could look nice on a large TV or projection screen. This tip comes with a warning, however. Every TV and service combination is different. We’ve had experiences trying to accomplish this during an appointment and it can take 30 minutes just to figure out. So if this is something you’d like to see, please plan ahead and have it ready when we arrive.
  • If you are having cleaning, gardening or other maintenance services performed, it is extremely important to NOT have anyone else in the home during the photography session. Please schedule them before or after your photo day.

At the time of the photo shoot:

  • Turn on every single light on the inside and outside of the home. If any lights are on a timer please be sure to override them in order to ensure that the lights are on.
  • Open all of the blinds and curtains. Opening the blinds and curtains lets more natural light into the room. More light means better photos.
  • Turn off all ceiling fans (to avoid blurring from long exposures) but make sure that the light remains on.
  • Remove or hide from view all interior trash cans. and exterior trash cans.
  • Exterior trash cans must be out of sight. It’s best to have them in the garage or across the street if it is trash day.
  • All vehicles must be out of the driveway. If neighbors often park in front of your home, please park your vehicles in front so that they can be easily moved for the photos.
  • Yes, they are part of the family, but it is best to downplay any pets. Be sure to hide pet bowls, toys, beds, litter boxes and cat trees. While we are photographing the house, cats usually hide and are not a problem. Dogs are more curious, so we prefer that they are out for a walk or out of sight in the garage or side yard, etc.
  • If there is a pool, spa or fountain be sure to have everything turned on and running. Keep all pool cleaning equipment out of the water and out of sight.

Kitchen - real estate photography Orange County

Preparing The Kitchen For A Photo Shoot

  • Remove everything from the top and doors of the fridge. This includes magnets, business cards, photos, etc.
  • Clear and wipe off the counters. Clean counters look great in photos.
  • Hide dish soaps, sponges and paper towels.
  • Set up the kitchen or dining table with nice set of dishes.
  • A bowl of fruit or bouquet of flowers presents nice on the photos.

Bedroom - real estate photography Orange County

Preparing Bedrooms For A Photo Shoot

  • Make the beds
  • Hide personal items
  • Close the closets doors
  • If the insides of closets are going to be photographed, they need be uncluttered and organized. A good start is to pack up and relocate half of the items from the closet.

Preparing Bathrooms for Photo Shoot

  • Put down toilet lids.
  • Remove trash cans, toilet brushes, plungers, scales, toothbrushes, hampers…pretty much everything.
  • Remove everything that is in the shower or bath, although An attractive set shampoo/conditioner bottles can look nice.
  • Remove everything from the counters. A folded towel, some nice soap or an attractive nick-knack can be used here.
  • Clean mirrors and any glass surfaces.
  • Remove robes, clothing and old towels from doors, showers and bathtubs. Hang a new or fresh set of towels that coordinate with the room.
  • Depending on the space, a flower or plant on the counter can add a nice touch.
  • As a general rule, remove all floor rugs. If part of the overall decor, a new or fresh rug could look nice in front of the shower/tub.

Living Room - real estate photography Orange County

Preparing The Living and Family Room for Photo Shoot

  • An overly crowded living room does not allow buyers to properly visualize the space. Pack and remove any unnecessary items and furniture to create a much more open feeling.
  • Turn off the television and hide the remotes.
  • If there is a coffee table, place a low plant and a couple of books or magazines to add a nice touch.
  • Be sure the sofa looks nice and all accent pillows are clean and matching.

Preparing The Exterior For Photos

  • Clean porches and walkways. Put away bikes, hoses, trash cans, etc.
  • We will normally begin with the front exteriors. For a smooth start, please move any cars from the driveway or in front of your house before we arrive.
  • If it is a trash collection day, place the containers away from the front of the property or across the street.
  • It is very important to not use water outside before we arrive. This is to avoid having a patchy look of wet and dry spots. All hoses should be out of site, so it is best to move them the day before so any water left behind will dry.
  • Sometimes, people prefer the look of a wet driveway or sidewalk. On a hot or sunny day, this can be a lesson in futility because by the time you get the last section wet, the first section is dry. This becomes a viscous cycle so we always suggest to just keep everything nice and dry.
  • Any vacuum hoses should be removed from the pool. Once again, it is best to do this the day before to allow the water to dry.
  • Make sure the sprinkler system is turned off.
  • Make sure all outside lights are on and functioning. If we are photographing at twilight, this is especially important. Know how to override any timers and have the lights turned on before we are scheduled to arrive.
  • For RV parking areas, it is optimal to have the space open and free of any vehicles or equipment to best showcase the area.

For more information visit: http://www.linovaphotography.com