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.




The photo shoot will take anywhere from 1/2 hour to 1 hour, depending on the size of your home.


Our photographers shoot several homes a day with an allotted time scheduled for each home, so it is important to have your home ready before the photographer arrives.


We will be photographing all of the major rooms in your home, including bathrooms.  We do not normally shoot  unfinished spaces, including basements, utility rooms, laundry rooms, storage areas, as well as the inside of storage sheds.  We do not normally shoot inside closets, walk-in closets, linen closets or pantries unless an iGuide Tour has been ordered. 


Make sure everything is neat and tidy indoors and outdoors.  Declutter tips include putting away personal items like cell phones, shoes, remotes, newspapers, etc.    Place children’s toys, highchairs and playpens out of the way or in a basement storage area.  Move trash cans or kleenex boxes out of site.


Please turn all of the lights on if you are planning on being home.  Straighten pillows, pictures/paintings on walls and curtains.  Close toilet lids in bathrooms.


Try to avoid being in the room where the photographer will be shooting to avoid being in the photos.


Creative iGuide Tours


An additional 45 minutes to 1 hour will be required when shooting an iGuide Tour.  When specifically shooting an iGuide Tour, it is recommended that no one be present, including pets, on the entire level of the home as it is being photographed.  iGuide Tours are shot in sequence, 1) Main Level, 2) Second Level 3) Third or Additional Levels and lastly, 4) Finished Basement.


Below are some tips to help get your home ready:




  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)

  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs

  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent – cool/warm)

  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF

  • Turn all TVs OFF

  • Turn all computer screens OFF

  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)

  • Make all beds

  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring

  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets

  • Make sure dirty dishes are out of the sink and put away

  • Remove dish racks  from kitchen counters

  • Clean any clutter from the counters (kleenex boxes, mail, medications, soap dishes,paper towel rolls, newspapers, etc)

  • Remove items off the fridge (fridge magnets, photos, etc)

  • Clean the mirrors and any highly reflective glass surfaces in the bathrooms

  • Hang towels neatly in the bathrooms 

  • Remove toiletry items from the bathroom, including toothbrushes, razors,

    shampoo, etc (put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored away)




The front photo is usually the first photo that buyers will see


  • Close garage doors

  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home

  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

  • Remove empty planters

  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames

  • Remove visible water hoses

  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

  • Mow/rake the lawn prior to shoot

  • Keep driveway clear of snow in the winter




  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions

  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded

  • Remove garden tools

  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.

  • Clean pool

  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose

  • Hide pool cleaning supplies

  • Turn on pool fountains/water features

  • Remove visible water hoses

  • Remove trash cans

  • Mow/rake the lawn prior to shoot




Pets are lovely, but their presence should be minimized


  • 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 or outside

  • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys


 The photographer cannot:


  • Move furniture or large objects

  • Pick up/move/remove clutter (dishes, pet beds, water bottles, dog toys, toys, etc)

  • Clean, sweep or dust

  • Move/Remove garbage



* Please feel free to forward this handy checklist to your seller(s) prior to photos being taken


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