How to Prepare Every Room for Real Estate Photography

Preparing the Home

1. Clean Thoroughly

Start with a deep clean of the entire house. Vacuum carpets, mop hard floors, clean countertops, and ensure windows are spotless. A clean home not only looks better but also photographs better.

2. Lighting is Key

Turn on all overhead lights and lamps. Replace any burned-out light bulbs, ensuring they are all of the same temperature (either all incandescent or all compact fluorescent) to create uniform lighting throughout the house.

3. Ceiling Fans and Electronics

Turn off all ceiling fans, TVs, and computer screens. This minimizes distractions in the photos.

4. Natural Light

Open blinds and window treatments to let in natural light. Natural light can make spaces feel more inviting and airy.

5. Personalization

Remove personal photographs from walls or replace them with general landscape or object photographs. This allows potential buyers to envision themselves in the space.

6. Flooring

Remove small floor rugs to showcase the actual flooring. Clean under furniture to ensure no clutter is visible in the shots.


7. Fridge and Counters

Clear the top and doors of the refrigerator of magnets, business cards, and photos. Wipe down and clear the countertops for a clean and inviting look.

8. Hide Cleaning Supplies

Conceal dish soaps, sponges, and paper towels. You want a clean and clutter-free appearance.

9. Dining Area

Set up the kitchen or dining table with a nice set of dishes. Consider adding a bowl of fruit or a bouquet of flowers for an appealing touch.

Master Bedroom

10. Make the Bed

Make the bed, including decorative pillows and shams if available. Ensure that bed linens and bed skirts are pressed for a neat appearance.

11. Clear Nightstands

Clear nightstands of all personal items, including phone and tablet charging cables.

12. Dressers and Floors

Remove all clutter from the top of dressers. Store away shoes, clothes, hats, and any other items. Clean under the bed to eliminate any visible items.


13. Remove Personalization

Remove personalized names, wall stickers, posters, and any items that make the room too specific.

14. Under-Bed Clutter

Clean under the bed, removing any items that may show in the photos.


15. Tidy Up

Put down toilet lids and hide toiletries in the shower or bath, as well as on the counter.

16. Mirrors and Towels

Clean mirrors and any glass surfaces. Replace old towels with a new set that coordinates with the paint or tiles. A flower or plant can add a nice touch to some bathrooms.

Front Exterior

17. Curb Appeal

Close garage doors and remove cars from the driveway and front of the home. Clean up the landscaping by mowing, trimming shrubs, and clearing leaves. Remove empty planters and use a broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames.

18. Yard Cleanup

Remove toys, sports equipment, and any clutter from the yard. Ensure the space looks neat and inviting.

Back Yard

19. Porch and Outdoor Furniture

Clean the porch and tidy up outdoor tables and chairs. Ensure that pillows and cushions are fresh and not faded.

20. Kid's Toys

Clear out any kid's toys, balls, frisbees, and other items from the backyard.

21. Pool Area

If you have a pool, clean it thoroughly. Remove the pool vacuum/cleaner hose and hide pool cleaning supplies. Turn on pool fountains or water features if applicable.

22. Conceal Water Hoses and Trash Cans

Remove visible water hoses and hide trash cans to keep the space looking tidy.


23. Pet Supplies

Place food and water bowls in a pantry or closet. Store pet beds and toys out of sight.

24. Remove Pet Hair

Use a lint roller on furniture to remove any pet hair.

25. Pet Waste

Clear the backyard of any pet waste or toys.

Please be advised that your photographer will NOT:

  • Move or re-arrange furniture
  • Make beds, clean, dust or de-clutter
  • Pick up toys or yard items
  • Touch personal bathroom supplies (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels)

By following these detailed guidelines, you'll be well-prepared to capture stunning real estate photos that showcase each room's full potential. Remember, the goal is to present a clean, inviting, and neutral canvas for potential buyers to envision their future home.