How to prep a property for a successful Real Estate Photo session

Updated: Apr 2

Putting a house up for sale requires exhausting work and can end up being a lengthy process. An essential task to having a successful real estate sale is to photograph your property with the highest quality images to attract more buyers and higher offers. To ensure your photoshoot runs smoothly and you receive perfect results, here are the different ways you should prep your home before your scheduled shoot!

General Prep

Be prepared beforehand for the photography shoot by clearing everything away. Your photographer will not be moving large furniture pieces around for you, so ensure you set you the staging yourself. Remove your pets from the premises as well as their beds, dish bowls, and toys. You can use your garage space for storage, as it is typically not photographed.

Outside Prep

The outside prep is crucial for your real estate sale. Curb appeal can easily be the deciding factor in closing a deal. Ensure there are no cars in the driveway or front street to provide as clear a view of your home as possible. Turn off your sprinklers at least 24 hours before your photoshoot and hide all hoses from view. You don’t want to have any puddles of water staining your pavement and ruining your photos.

To achieve a beautiful outside shot, mow and clean your yard beforehand. Double-check that there are no toys or tools left out, or--even worse--dog poop. To hide your trash cans from sight, place them on the side of your property or in your garage. Remove the for-sale sign from your yard, if possible. Visible signs violate Multiple Listing Service (MLS) photo rules because they reveal contact or company information and might confuse potential buyers and clients.

If you have a pool and spa, take the time to clean them properly and provide instructions to your realtor on how to turn it on. Any other kinds of water features, such as fountains and waterfalls, should be thoroughly cleaned and functional. Your patio furniture will also require a once-over. On the day of the shoot, dust and wipe down all outdoor furniture. Avoid hosing anything down, or else you might create puddles.

Inside Prep

When prepping inside the home, remember that less is better. Focus on decluttering the kitchen and bathrooms and removing all personal items. These rooms should appear clean and appropriately staged--decorative pieces like soaps and flowers are preferred. Hide all trash cans and portable fans from view. Either stick them in the closet or garage as they tend to distract and give off the wrong impression.

Although you might not be able to hide all of your electrical cords, you should remove television remotes, game consoles, and wires as best as you can. The fewer electrical cables you have in your photograph, the more presentable your space will appear. Clear your entryway from any shoes, bags, or jackets, and open up the blinds on any windows that have a view. Keep them closed where the window looks onto a neighbor or similar unattractive view. Turn on every interior light, making sure to replace any burned-out bulbs, and turn off all ceiling fans.

Twilight Prep

If you have scheduled a twilight photoshoot, you will have a tight schedule to follow, as the photographer has only a short time frame to get the best light. Prepare everything beforehand so they can get started quickly.

Turn on all the lights throughout your property--both interior and exterior. Remove the covers from your pool and spa, and turn on those lights as well. Turn on all water features before your realtor and photographer arrive.

Run through this quick prep list as you prepare for your upcoming photoshoot to check if you have forgotten anything. Prioritize a clean and organized space, setting everything up at least 24-hours before your scheduled shoot.

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to provide Real Estate photography insights to help you understand how our side of the industry works. We will provide useful content, always.

Tomas Caballero

Art Director - Photographer


Denver, Colorado

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