HOME PREPARATION FOR A REAL ESTATE SHOOT

Why is it so important?

More than 90% of buyers start their home search online and photos are the first thing they see.

Fact: Listings with professional photographs sell 50% faster and 39% closer to the asking price.

You should know: to have the best possible photos, you will need to prepare your home prior to arrival of the photographer. Readying the home for the photo shoot might be the most important thing you will do in preparation to sell. The good news is that if you do this part well, you will be ready for your first showing and for moving day.

When you decide to sell your house, try to think of it as “not our home anymore” and try to turn it into a show home that will entice buyers. Remember to keep it that way until it’s sold!

We have prepared this guide to assist you in your efforts.


General

Tips for all areas in the home

• Thoroughly clean the whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows, shower doors, mirrors and anything that shows the dirt on it)
• Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
• Replace all burned out light bulbs (good lighting is key)
• Turn all lights, inside and outside, ON before your photographer comes
• Turn all ceiling fans, TVs, computer screens OFF
• Remove remote controls
• Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
• Remove seasonal decorations that might date the photographs
• Make all beds
• Move garbage cans, and other trash out of view
• Remove all pet-related items (e.g., food bowls, litter boxes, toys, cages, beds)
• Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
• Place all shoes/jackets in closets
• Remove toys, sports balls, bikes, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.


Exterior

Front Exterior
This is usually the first photo buyers see

• Close garage doors
• Remove cars from driveway and front of home
• Clean up landscaping (mow grass, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
• Sweep driveway, sidewalks, and power wash the driveway to remove stains or large oil spots
• Remove empty planters
• Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
• Remove visible water hoses
• Remove toys, sports balls, bikes, basketball goals, soccer goals, frisbees etc.
• Paint outside trim or spots that show wear


Backyard
The backyard should present a place to relax

• Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions (pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded)
• Remove any patio furniture, grills, etc., in disrepair
• Uncover outdoor kitchen items that may be photographed
• Remove any unattractive potted plants or hanging baskets
• Remove toys, sports balls, bikes, basketball goals, soccer goals, frisbees etc.
• Clean pool and remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
• Hide pool cleaning supplies and garden tools
• Turn on pool fountains/water features and lights
• Trim bushes and trees to maximize the view of your home
• Mow the grass, rake up leaves and debris, pull weeds, and remove dead vegetation
• If patio umbrellas block a nice view, they should be closed
• Remove trash cans
• Remove safety fence
• Remove yard signs (e.g., campaign signs, schools signs, sports signs)
• Sweep sidewalks and patios
• Do not have animals running around during shoot
• Paint outside trim or spots that show wear

If you are ambitious, plant some fresh flowers in empty planters or pots and use fresh mulch.

Kitchen

Generally a focal point, the kitchen deserves attention to detail

• Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc. and leave a maximum of one small appliance out (ex. coffee maker)
• Clear refrigerator doors of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
• Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
• Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher
• Unless decorative, remove all towels from view
• Bowls of fresh fruit or colorful decorations are a nice touch on the counters.

Dining Room / Table

Allow buyers to imagine a nice family meal

• Clear table, dust and polish the table top
• Use decorative plates and wine glasses if available
• Feature one center piece, such as a bouquet of flowers
• Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
• Remove child seats/booster chairs
• If you have a china cabinet, make sure items are straight and neat

Make it look like you’re going to have a dinner party.

Living / Family Room

A space to enjoy family and conversation

• Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
• De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
• Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
• Turn on or light the fireplace if you will be home during the shoot
• Fluff and arrange furniture pillows on sofas and chairs
• Remove kid's toys or animal toys
• Large empty walls do not look appealing to buyers. Buy decent frames for staging purposes
• Clear up any wires or cords if possible behind the TV, stereo, or other electronics

Bedrooms

A place of rest and tranquility

Master Bedroom
A good nights rest recharges the body and mind

• Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
• Press bed linens and bed skirts
• Clean under bed, make sure that items stored under beds do not show
• Clear nightstands of all personal items
• Remove phone/tablet charging cables
• Remove all clutter from top of dressers
• Remove family photos
• Open window curtains and tie them back if needed
• Store all clothing out of view
• If you have an exceptional walk-in closet that you’d like photographed, please arrange clothes neatly.


Kid / Guest Bedroom

• Remove personalized names from walls
• Remove wall stickers/posters
• Clean under bed, make sure that items stored under beds do not show

Bathrooms

Create a spa, inside your home

• 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
• Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused towels in one style
• Remove floor mats
• Clean mirrors and glass surfaces
• Remove robes, slippers, etc. from view

Pets

Pets are great, but their presence should be minimized

• Place food, water bowls, 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 home should be photoshoot-ready when our photographer/videographer arrives.

For the best photo results, teamwork and cooperation are necessary. Preparing for a real estate photo shoot will take some work and you will need enough time to get your home picture perfect. This should be done prior to the arrival of the photographer/videographer.
Although we would love to help you style/design your home, we unfortunately do not have the skill set required to do so. We are just photographers and videographers and we will not be able to move anything in your home.

Please check the previous sections and note that we are not responsible and will not partake in any of the following duties while photographing your home:

We Do Not:
• Move or re-arrange furniture
• Make beds, clean, dust or de-clutter
• Touch personal bathroom supplies (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels, etc.)
• Remove toys or yard items
• "Photoshop" vehicles, walls, damaged walls, power lines, wall pictures, cords, etc.