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Preparing Your Home for the Photo Shoot


Preparing Your Home for the Photo Shoot

You’ve signed your contract with your realtor and now moving on the the next step: Photos! Good quality photos can make or break a home sale, so we made a guide to help our sellers know how to prepare for their photo shoot so we can show off the best photos possible. Your realtor will work with you to make sure these are all taken care of.


Scheduling the photo shoot

Schedule the shoot at a time of day when the front of the home gets the most light.
If you’re a selfie-taker, you know that lighting is everything and can take a blah photo and make it a WOW photo. It’s the same for the home! The exterior is the first photo potential buyers will see. Make it well lit.

Schedule the shoot on a non-trash pickup day.
If you’re in the city, most trash pickup days have sidewalks littered with bins and wind-blown trash messes. If scheduling allows, pick one of the six days a week that aren’t a trash pickup day.

Give yourself plenty of time to clean and declutter.
Hey, we all live busy lives. Be honest with yourself and know how much time you’ll need to get your home ready for the photo shoot. We can use Photoshop for slight touch-ups, but photos are best when natural.

Give yourself enough time for the shoot.
Most home photo shoots take an average of 1-2 hours. Allow enough time for the photographer to take it slow to get the best angles. You can let your realtor know if you will be out of the home, or if you prefer to stay.


Curb Appeal

The exterior is the first impression and the first image a potential buyer will see. Here is a checklist to help you get the outside ready:

  • Remove trash cans & recycling bins.
  • Add flowers to flower pots & window boxes.
  • Paint the front door.
  • Sweep front stairs & sidewalk.
  • Clean the windows inside & out.
  • Remove cars from the driveway and street.
  • Mow your lawn 24-hours prior to the shoot.



Lighting is key. Here is a checklist to keep in mind before and during the shoot:

  • Turn on ALL lights in the home.
  • Replace dead bulbs.
  • Turn ON ceiling fan lights, but keep fan OFF.
  • Open all window curtains.
  • If windows have blinds, lower them but keep the slats open (ideally at 45 degrees facing upwards).
  • Turn OFF all TV & computer screens.
  • Any glass/window/mirror should be clean & streak-free.
  • Tuck cords away as much as possible.


Living Room

The space where everyone loves to spend most of their time. Get it ready to showcase:

  • Vacuum, sweep, & mop all floors.
  • Remove all clutter from surface areas.
  • This includes remotes, magazines, candles, & tissue boxes — less is more!
  • Dust & wipe surfaces.
  • Remove picture frames.
  • Fluff cushions & pillows, remove blankets.
  • Remove toys, mail clutter, weights, etc.
  • We’re showcasing the space, not the stuff in it.
  • Remove or rearrange furniture if needed.


Kitchen & Dining Room

The heart of the home & real estate money shot:

  • Clean off & wipe down counters.
  • Remove appliances from counters
    • ONE nice item can stay on the counter.
      i.e. Tea kettle or kitchen aid mixer.
  • Remove all items from the outside of refrigerator.
    • No magnets, photos, or items stored on top.
  • Wipe down appliances.
    • Stainless steel especially loves fingerprints.
  • Remove throw rugs, towels, paper towels.
  • Remove sponges, soap dishes, etc.
  • Hide garbage can.
  • Use a bowl of fruit or fresh flowers for color.
  • Use decorative place settings if possible.



Where we spend 1/3 of our entire lives:

  • Make beds, use decor pillows if possible.
  • Store away phones, charging cords, books, tissues, etc.
  • Remove all personal photos,
  • Remove clutter under the bed.
  • Tidy/Organize walk-in closets.
  • Dust all surfaces.
  • Clear off tops of dressers, desks, vanities, etc.



Follow this list or the photos will turn out……crappy. (sorry)

  • Replace old towels with new, clean ones.
  • Remove all bath mats from the floor.
  • Remove all counter clutter.
  • Includes tooth brushes, medications, soaps, cosmetics, etc.
  • Wipe counters and mirrors.
  • Remove shampoo & accessories from the shower/tub.


Rear Exterior

Buyers are going to be checking out the backside:

  • Hide all garbage cans, gardening tools, hoses, and toys.
  • Mow lawn, trim foliage, remove debris.
  • Power wash/scrub green mildew.
  • Remove grill cover and utensils.
  • Arrange outdoor furniture.
  • Open umbrella.
  • Plant flowers in empty pots.
  • Sweep sidewalks, patio, deck.
  • Remove flags, security signs, and ornaments.


Consider Staging

Staging is designed to reflect current interior trends and to showcase the space to its advantage. We can physically stage the home or stage it virtually. Both yield excellent results!

Furniture and decor is moved into the home by a staging company so the potential buyers can see the space in photos and in person as if there was furniture in the home.

Virtual Staging
Through the magic of technology and a designer’s eye, furniture and decor is placed in the photos of the home. This showcases the interior space of the home giving each room depth to potential buyers browsing homes online. It looks so real and costs a fraction of physical staging!

Compass Concierge
The Compass Concierge program takes care of all upfront costs and will be paid from your proceeds of the sale with no interest or fees! You can have your home staged, painted, and spruced up without paying at the time of service. Ask your realtor for more information.

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