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Lights, Camera, Listing!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post (here), professional photography can mean the difference in getting buyers through your door or having them discard your home into their pile of “no’s.” But professional photography can only do so much. To ensure your home truly shows its best online and in marketing materials, you need to do the prep work!

Below, my checklist for getting your home picture perfect!

  1. Focus Your Efforts
    Photos of kitchens, master bedrooms, master bathrooms, and living rooms tend to be heavily featured in marketing materials and buyers specifically focus on these areas when browsing photos. These areas should be top priority when getting your home photo-ready!
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  3. Cut the Clutter
    The most important thing you can do to make your home show its very best is to clear away clutter. A clutter-free home helps buyers focus on the most positive aspects of the home (and not a big mess!) When starting your de-cluttering efforts, be sure to zero in on these areas:

    • Bookshelves, mantles, entryway tables, kitchen counters, garages and closets are always areas where clutter seems to accumulate. Keep all visible spaces completely cleared off (tuck items away in drawers and storage bins.) Closets should be kept as tidy as possible. How can a walk-in closet be a selling feature when a potential buyer can’t even see how large it is?
    • Home offices are major clutter culprits. Keep cords, stacks of paper, and knick knacks on desks or other surfaces out of sight. If possible, move items like printers and fax machines out of sight.
  4. Make Your Home Sparkle!
    • All surfaces should be cleared of clutter and wiped down. That includes kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, dining tables, nightstands, etc. Less is always more in this case. If we need to move around a vase, candle, books, etc. to get a great photo we can.
    • Remove electronics like alarm clocks and telephones from night stands. Place items like coffee makers, toasters, drying racks, etc. into cabinets or the pantry for the photos.
    • All mirrors should be wiped down.
    • All beds should be made and bathrooms cleaned.
    • Vacuum and clear away unnecessary objects from the floor.
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  6. Think Like a Stager

    Strategically accessorize your home to make it feel like a model home. Some of my simple staging tips are:

    • I love to have fresh flowers and fruit in the kitchen or on the dining room table. A simple bowl of lemons or limes (real or fake!) can help a boring breakfast bar feel sophisticated and the yellow always adds a pop of color to the photo.
    • Make bathrooms feel spa-like and serene with fresh flowers, towels, or candles. (Be sure to remove personal toiletry items like shampoo bottles, wash cloths, razors, toothbrushes and soaps from the shower and countertops.)
    • Consider adding a colorful throw or accent pillows to basic neutral bedding.
    • Add warmth to the living room by lighting the fireplace or placing candles in the room. A strategically placed blanket and some interesting coffee table books will add coziness too. And don’t forget to fluff the pillows!
    • To add some oomph to outdoor spaces, make sure patio umbrellas are opened and outdoor pillows are placed. I also like to add some interest to a patio table with a fun pitcher and glasses, or a bottle of wine and wine glasses.
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  8. Create Curb Appeal
    Don’t miss your chance to make a fabulous first impression! The front of your home gives a potential buyer a glimpse into what the interior is like.

    • The front door and porch should be swept clean and cobweb free.
    • Make sure your welcome mat is in good condition.
    • Garbage and recycling bins should be away from the front of the house.
    • Toys, bicycles, garden hoses, and tools should be out of sight.
    • All flower and plant beds should be weeded and tidy. Put fresh hanging or potted plants near the doorway. Throw out any dead plants on patios or decks.
    • The driveway should be clear (no cars parked in it!) the day of photos.


  9. Let in the light!

    To ensure the best possible photo, we need the home to be bright and sunny. The photographer will adjust the lighting if need be.

    • All curtains, blinds, draperies and plantation shutters should be open.
    • Ensure all light sockets (ceiling lights, ceiling fans, lamps, etc.) have a working light bulb.
  10. Miscellaneous reminders
    • All pets should be out of the home during the photo shoot. They are distracting to the photographer and we don’t need them photo-bombing the pictures!
    • All pet accessories should be out of sight. This includes dog beds, food bowls and litter boxes.
    • Make sure dish soap, sponges, towels, drying racks, dirty dishes, etc. are cleared away from around kitchen sink.

    Paying for professional photography is just one of the many services I offer my clients. If you’re considering selling your home, contact me at