How to prepare your home for real estate photography and attract the attention of buyers looking at your property online.

Pre-Shoot Checklist

Following this pre-shoot checklist will help ensure that your home is photographed quickly, efficiently, and with the best possible results.   


  • Remove vehicles from driveway and away from the front of the home.
  • Place trash cans and anything that is not attached to the home out of site.
  • Cut, rake, water grass, and remove any unsightly weeds or vegetation.
  • Clean windows.
  • Organize deck furniture, uncover grill, open patio umbrella, etc.
  • Sweep or pressure wash driveway if necessary.
  • Make sure yard is free of kid’s toys, evidence of pets, unnecessary clutter etc.



  • Replace any burnt lightbulbs and ensure all bulbs are the same color temperature.
  • Remove as much clutter as possible; especially personal belongings that are not included in the sale. Decluttered and tidy makes a bigger difference than “spotless”.
  • Put away unsightly door mats and remove area rugs that might be hiding nice flooring like hardwood or tile. 
  • Remove all evidence of pets.
  • Open up blinds and remove any fixed window coverings that block natural light.
  • Turn off all TVs, computer screens, and ceiling fans.
  • Conceal power cords; unplug them if necessary (except lights).
  • Put all shoes away.
  • Make sure there are no clothes in the machines or hanging in the laundry room.
  • Make beds, straighten picture frames/artwork, organize pillows, etc.
  • Avoid hiding items under beds or furniture.
  • Remove any personal information that you wouldn’t want visible online.


  • Clear all counter tops – A few small appliances, fruit bowls, plants etc. are ok, but avoid anything tall that might be distracting or block the view.
  • Clear the fridge completely – Remove all magnets, photos, lists, etc.
  • Clean appliances – Be sure to remove all fingerprints, smudges, etc.
  • Put trash can away.
  • Make sure sink is clean and free of dishes.
  • Put away dish soap, cloths, etc.
  • Remove calendars as they can date a listing.
  • Straighten bar stools and table chairs.


  • Put toilet lids down.
  • Clear counter of all personal belongings.
  • Clean mirrors.
  • Open shower curtains – remove all bottles, razers, soap, etc.
  • Place a fresh roll of toilet paper on the holder.
  • Remove toilet brush and trash can.

Best Practices to Consider

  • Feel free to do a walkthrough with the photographer upon arrival but avoid following them around during the shoot.
  • If you have limited space, consider designating a secondary room for temporary storage ahead of time rather than trying to move items from room to room while the photographer is on site.
  • Make sure pets are out of the home or kenneled.
  • Photographers will not be staging your home so please make arrangements with your Realtor or stager prior to the shoot.
  • Don’t rush your photographer – Great images are critical when marketing a home for sale, so it is in your best interest to be patient and let your photographer do their thing.