Take a look around your home. Would you say that it is “camera-ready?” Unless you have a knack for interior design and superb cleaning and organization skills, there’s a good chance that a little prep work might be required before your home is ready to hit the market. In today’s digital world, 50% of home buyers find their homes online. With that said, exceptional real estate photography is an essential component of a successful home sale.
Your real estate agent will likely recommend a professional real estate photographer for the photo shoot. While a professional photographer can significantly impact the outcome of your photos, they can not fully prepare the home. That’s where you come in! Follow the tips below to ensure that you are getting the most out of the scheduled shoot.
Deep Clean Your Home
Before your listing photo appointment, schedule a deep clean of your home. A deep clean is going to be a bit more time-intensive than your standard weekday chore routine. Consider hiring a professional housekeeping team to focus on the details. Below are a few items to check off of your list before your listing photo appointment:
- Dust all surfaces
- Clean baseboards
- Wipe down/polish furniture
- Wash and put away all dishes
- Wipe down windows and mirrors
- Wash, fold and put away any laundry
- Organize all closets, cabinets, and pantries
- Clean floors – sweep, vacuum, and shampoo carpets if needed
- Prepare the beds – wash sheets, press linens, fluff pillows, make the beds neatly, etc.
Once your home is sparkling clean, there are a few finishing touches that can give your home’s interior a magazine-worthy look.
What’s a professional photo shoot without proper lighting? Before your photographer arrives:
- Turn all overhead lights and lamps on before the photo shoot, and replace any burned out bulbs.
- Open blinds to let in natural light
- Store small kitchen appliances
- Remove small throw rugs
- Clear countertops and center island
- Put away cutting boards or dish drying racks
- Store kitchen soap and sponges under the sink
- Throw away old mail, coupons, stacks of magazines, etc.
- Remove kitchen towels from the kitchen sink or oven handle
- Remove magnets, drawings, cards, or photos from the refrigerator
- Move your garbage can into the garage or another storage area
- Turn off TVs, fans, or computer monitors.
- Straighten tables and chairs
- Arrange cushions and pillows
- Put away personal items (i.e., family photographs)
- Remove pet toys, food/water bowls, dog begs, etc.
- Conceal cords (if possible) – also wrap up mobile device chargers
- Collect and store TV remotes, video game systems, DVDs, or any other cluttered electronic items
- Remove visible items from under the bed
- Clear away all laundry hampers and baskets
- Neatly organize shoes and clothes in the closets
- Clear nightstands and dressers of any personal items
- Close toilet seat lids
- Remove any dirty towels
- Remove bathroom floor mats
- Put away trash cans, laundry baskets, and scales
- Store away all personal items – toothbrushes, makeup, medication, etc.
- Take shampoo, soaps, loofahs, razors out of the shower and store away
- For a glamorous touch – fold the ends of your toilet paper into triangles
- Store garden hoses, tools, and toys
- Remove trashcans and recycle bins
- Put away seasonal decor
- Remove vehicles, scooters, bikes, etc. from the driveway
- Take your curb appeal to the next level – 5 Ways To Add Curb Appeal To Your Home
Pro Tip: If you need a place to store all of these items, the garage is not typically photographed and can serve as a temporary storage space.
If the checklists mentioned above seem overwhelming, the two most important points to remember are to ensure that your home is sparkling clean and put away anything and everything that may distract the potential buyer from your home’s best features.
Also, don’t hesitate to call in back up. Utilize your real estate agent’s expertise, hire a housekeeping team to make the home sparkle, or enlist the help of a home staging professional. We can also recommend some of our partners that specialize in the areas mentioned above.