Prepping your home for photographs


So, you’ve decided to sell your home, congratulations!  With most home buyers starting their search online and 87% of home buyers finding photos of a property especially useful (per NARs 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report), it’s crucial to have great photos. If people like what they see online, chances are that they will come by for a showing. Our mission is to make your home stand out from the crowd and for us that starts with photography. Here are our go-to tips to ensure that your home is picture-perfect and ready for its photo shoot!

De-cluttering is absolutely imperative. A super job of de-cluttering can result in thousands more in your home’s final sales price. We highly suggest going room to room and looking at it from a buyer’s point of view. Stand in the doorway of each room and carefully evaluate whether anything needs to be put away or moved. We are happy to do this walk-thru with our clients. We want buyers to concentrate on the space in your home…not the things.

Prepare home exterior for photos

We’ll start with the exterior.

  1. Have a car in your driveway or parked right in front of your home? Please move it to another location so it isn’t in the shots. You can wait to do this until we arrive if you’d like.
  2. Stand at the edge of your property and see if there is anything that doesn’t belong. Trash cans, recycle bins, hoses, gardening tools…these all need to be put away.
  3. Make sure your lawn is cut and landscaped as best as you can. Depending on the time of year, put a few plants in pots on your front stoop.
  4. If there is a tree blocking the view of your house, or a shrub blocking the front door or stairs, get it trimmed. If it’s too high, or you don’t have the time, we can certainly recommend some good folks that can take care of it for you.
  5. Do you have furniture out on your deck or patio? If there are cushions, please get those out and arrange them on your furniture. It adds good cheer and looks like you use the space.
  6. Have a shiny new grill? Or maybe a pool or spa? Depending on the time of year, we’ll want those uncovered and on display.


Next, lets head inside.

preparing home for interior photos

All interior rooms

  1. Turn on all the lights (yes, including lamps) and open the blinds to get as much light into the rooms as possible.
  2. Have any burned out light bulbs? Please replace those as it will really make a difference in the photos. If need be, we can use a light bulb from a lamp in another room and then put it back. Tip: don’t use the bulbs that take a while to light up. On an overcast/dreary day buyers won’t stick around while the bulbs “warm up”…they’ll just think that it seems dark in that room.
  3. Make sure all the clutter is removed. Think of things like small trash cans, toys, cell phone chargers, stacks of mail, or anything else that might distract from the room itself.
  4. Hide/remove electrical wires as needed.
  5. Ensure that all wall hangings are aligned properly.
  6. If you would prefer that personal photos not be on display, please put them away.
  7. Turn off your ceiling fans.
  8. Arrange your furniture so it shows the room at its best, and adjust pillows and throw blankets accordingly.
  9. Of course a clean house is a happy house in photos!



  1. Have shower curtains open or closed, as you would like displayed.
  2. Remove excess shampoo bottles and soap.
  3. Clean your mirrors
  4. Remove all items from your countertops
  5. Please put your toilet seats down…no one likes looking straight down into a toilet bowl!



  1. Please make sure your beds are made and pillows are arranged properly.
  2. Clothes and personal items should be put away.



  1. Remove magnets or any other items from your refrigerator or other appliances.
  2. Make sure appliances and countertops have been cleaned.
  3. Remove any excess items from the counters, including small appliances.


Prepare home for photos


Please contact us at 703-822-0207 or tomandcindy@hellovirginia.com if we can help you with your real estate needs; whether you are selling, buying or renting, we would love to assist you!