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General Guidelines

The more prepared you are the before the photographer arrives, the better the photos are going to look. Keep in mind the photographer is hired to take photos of your home; it’s not their job to clean up the mess.

Less is More

It is always best to clear the clutter out of every room, because a clean space is more appealing. Get rid of anything that is cluttering the room. The goal is to create a stylish, generic room in which the buyer can picture themselves living in. If you include too many personal effects, such as photos and knickknacks, then it makes it more difficult for the buyer to imagine their own things in the room. So, get rid of the distractions and eliminate any clutter that may be present.

Exterior Preparation

Curb appeal matters, because buyers want their new home to look good on both the outside and inside. The exteriors (front and back) of the home is one of the first things that a person will look at when they are viewing the listing, so it is important that you clean up around the house to make it look good.

Exterior tasks should include:

• Pull weeds

• Rake up the leaves

• Wrap up garden hoses and put them away in the garage or shed

• Pick up any items that may be laying around the yard, such as garden tools, garbage cans, toys, empty pots or pots with dead plants

• Remove all garbage and recycling bins

• Move cars out of the driveway

Interior Preparation

Before the photographer arrives, you should make sure that you open up the blinds and curtains, and turn on every light in your home. All lamps and surface lights should be on. If any light bulbs are burned out, make sure to replace them.


As with other areas in the house, declutter is the key. Ensure that kitchen counters are as open as possible. Get rid of extra small appliances that are sitting around. Clear the school notices, crayon drawings, and magnets off of the fridge. Any dish racks, cutting boards, tea towels, hand and dish soap bottles, cleaning products, mops, brooms and garbage cans should be removed.

Living Room

As the formal sitting room in the house, it is especially important to arrange things neatly. Pillows should be fluffed up and set up properly. Throw blankets should be folded up properly. Remotes should be stored away.


Beds should be made. You want the bed to look beautiful and inviting. Use a nice bedspread and big, fluffy pillows that are neatly arranged at the head of the bed. If anything is sitting on the nightstand, get rid of it!


In the bathroom, everything should be moved off the counter, including makeup, razors, soap, toothbrushes, and any other beauty products. In the shower and tub, remove the shampoo, soaps, washcloths, and baby toys. The garbage cans, bathmats, laundry baskets, extra toilet paper, the toilet brush, and scales should also be moved out of the room.