Online is where buyers start

The majority of home buyers start their search online, so it is important to make the first impression count! Follow these tips to prepare your home for the best real estate photos possible.


General – Tips for all areas of the home

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertop)
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs
  • Try to use bulbs of the same temperature if you can (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all TVs OFF
  • Turn all computer screens OFF
  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
  • Make all beds
  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets
  • The more organized and de-cluttered the home looks the better. These general tips are a great start, but if you can do more please read on for more tips.

Exterior of Home & Backyard

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
  • Shovel driveway and sidewalks
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.
  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove trash cans

Kitchen and Dining Room

  • Clear countertops completely. No baking supplies, mail, etc.
  • Leave out max of two small appliance (ex. coffee maker)
  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher
  • Clear table, dust the table top
  • Use decorative place setting (if available)
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

Living Room and Family Room

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove kid’s toys

Master Bedroom

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Clear nightstands of personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos


  • Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
  • Put toilet seats down
  • Close closet doors
  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs – basically any clutter
  • Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels or no towels.


  • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
  • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • Contain pets in hidden crate, a room in the house or outside (so they aren’t accidently in a photo)
  • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

I hope these tips help you. If you are doing this yourself please do your best as it will help sell your home. Just to note as the photographer I do not touch or move your personal items.

Happy selling!


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