Maximize Your Property Photo Potential

Make your property stand out and sell for top dollar.

That’s the goal right?  So you need to think like a buyer.  Buyers have dozens if not hundreds of comparable homes to view right at their fingertips.  How is your property going to stand out and get shown?  It’s a fair assumption the more foot traffic the quicker the sale and the higher the offer.  Here are tips to get your home ready for professional photos that will present your property the best way possible with the goal of getting more buyers viewing and competing to buy your property.

General – Tips for the entire home

Clean the whole house.  Vacuum, mop, dust, clean windows

Turn all lights and lamps on

Replace any burned out bulbs.  Use the same light bulbs throughout the house if possible.  If not possible, at the very least use the same color bulbs in any given room.

Turn all ceiling fans off

Turn all computers off

Turn all TVs off

Open blinds and window treatments. Make sure blinds are all the same height in any given room.

Remove personal photographs

Make all beds

Remove small floor rugs

Place all shoes and jackets in closest


Close garage doors

Remove cars from driveway and front of home

Clean up landscaping, cut the grass, remove leaves

Remove dead plants

Remove empty planters

Clean spiderwebs from eaves, door and window frames

Remove or hide visible water hoses

Remove toys, balls, basketballs hoops if portable

Clean up pet waste

Pressure wash dirty surfaces

Back Yard

Clean up porch

Neatly arrange deck furniture

Remove toys, bikes, balls, etc

Clean pool

Remove pool vacuum and cleaner hose

Turn on pool fountains or water features

Remove water hoses

Remove trash cans


Clean counter tops completely.  Remove knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

Remove small appliances. Leave one small appliance on the counter such as a coffee maker.

Clean the outside of the refrigerator.  Remove magnets, kids art, photos, etc.

Hide garbage cans

Remove dishes from the sink.

Dining Room / Table

Clear table, dust and polish table top

Use decorative place setting if possible

Place a center piece of flowers if possible

Straighten all chairs

Remove child seats and booster chairs

Living Room & Family Room

Remove magazines, newspapers, mail

De-clutter fireplace mantle. Leave a select few items

Clean fireplace area and repaint if needed

Light fireplace if possible

Fluff and arrange pillows

Remove kids toys, dog toys and personal items

Arrange your furniture in a way that makes the rooms seem larger. If necessary remove a few pieces and put them in storage.


Make bed, including decorative pillows / shams if available

Fluff pillows.  Add additional pillows to bed if available

Clear nightstand and dressers of clutter and personal items

Hide phone, charging cables

Remove personal photos

Clean under bed, remove or relocate items that may show in photos

Remove diaper pails

Remove wall posters


Clean counter tops and sinks completely.  No soaps, no personal items.

Put toilet seats down

Roll toilet paper up

Clean mirrors

Close closet doors

Remove shampoos, soaps, sponges, loofahs, etc from shower and tub

Remove any dirty towels.  Leave out new, unused towels.

Remove floor mats

Close shower curtain

Wipe water drops off all surfaces including shower doors and surrounds

Clean any stained grout


Place food and water bowls out of site

Place pet beds and toys out of site

Contain pets in hidden crate or closed room

Clear yard of waste and toys

Home Staging

See more home staging tips in this Home Staging Guide from Realtor Mag.

30 Can’t-Miss Home Staging Tips from HGTV

Essential home staging tips from NY Times

11 Frugal Ideas for Staging a Home for Sale from Parade