Home Selling Tips – Prepare Your House for Photos

Since so many people start their home search on the internet, it’s critical that you work with real estate agents who are internet-savvy and who can make sure your home stands out. Very often, that includes having a professional photographer take photos to put online. When you prepare your house for photos, they work well as the biggest factor in motivating buyers to schedule a showing. To get the most from your exposure online, make sure you prepare your home to look its best.

If you’re adding your home to the list of Davie homes for sale, you can do many things to get your home ready to sell. You can check out our home seller guidelines to get more home selling tips. If you’re considering doing some renovations or updates, review what homebuyers really want before you make any major changes.

General Tips

When you prepare your house for photos, start with a general cleaning. Dust, vacuum, wash windows, and generally make sure your home sparkles. You may not realize it, but dust, smudges on the refrigerator, and water spots on a mirror in the bathroom will show in a photo.

Prepare Your House for PhotosBefore the photographer arrives, complete this checklist:

  • Turn on all overhead lights and lamps – if you find a burned out bulb, replace it
  • Turn off your ceiling fans – you don’t want the photos marred by spinning fans
  • Turn off all televisions and computer screens
  • Open blinds and curtains – if you have horizontal blinds, tilt them slightly toward the ceiling to direct reflected light toward the ceiling
  • Remove small rugs to make the flooring the star of the room
  • If you have hooks for jackets or trays for boots and shoes, put them in a closet

Outside Your Home

People looking at shots of your home’s exterior should be able to focus on the house itself. Prepar your house for photos by removing anything that will distract their attention.

  • Don’t leave any type of vehicles where they can get in the photos of your home’s exteriors, including cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, and even bicycles.
  • Remove anything that isn’t part of the house or the landscaping, including trash cans, water hoses, toys, and pet waste.
  • If you have a grill, take the cover off and clean it up to look inviting.
  • Sweep walkways and decks.
  • If your patio furniture cushions have seen better days, put them away.
  • Make sure your pool looks clean and inviting.

Living Areas

You don’t want these rooms to look too sterile, but you want people to imagine themselves living there without a lot of clutter.

  • Remove all newspapers, magazines, books and other things that aren’t strictly decorative.
  • Simplify shelves by reducing the number of things that you display if you’re a collector.
  • Straighten the couch and chair cushions, and fluff the pillows.
  • If you have a home office, clear the desktop, even if you need to dump everything into a box for sorting later.


Again, you’re looking for a kitchen that looks organized and inviting.

  • Clear the counters of appliances and gadgets; leave things that are decorative.
  • Clear the refrigerator doors and sides; you love your children’s artwork, but to a buyer, a refrigerator full of notes and magnets just looks messy.
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink and hide all the dishcloths and sponges.

Dining Room

After a thorough cleaning, you might want to set the dining room table with pretty dinnerware and napkins. At a minimum, add a centerpiece to give the room a homey feel. If you have a china cabinet, make sure everything visible is arranged neatly.

Prepare Your House for PhotosBedrooms

Make sure everyone is up and out of the house before the photographer arrives. That may sound silly, but there have been bedroom photos with a suspicious lump in the bed.

  • Make all the beds neatly with straight sides on spreads or comforters.
  • Double check to make sure any clothes and shoes are safely hidden away in a closet.
  • Remove clutter from bedside tables, and make sure the kids toys aren’t peeking out from under the bed in kids’ rooms.


Bathrooms are important rooms in any house, so make sure yours aren’t overwhelmed with bath accessories and toiletries.

  • Clear countertops of all the bathroom odds and ends, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair spray, makeup, and the list goes on.
  • Fold towels neatly and make sure they’re hanging straight down.
  • Close the lids on the toilets.
  • Make sure mirrors and shower doors are free of anything that looks remotely like soap scum.


After you’ve done whatever you can to prepare your house for photos, it’s best if you, your family, and your pets leave the house during a photo shoot. Let the photographer do the work in peace and quiet.

Think about anything in your home that you don’t want to be displayed on the internet and remove it from sight. For example, you may not want to advertise the original Van Gogh you have hanging in the living room. If your children have their names on their doors or in their rooms, consider removing them if they will show in the photos. If you want to see some examples of what makes listing photos look good, check out this article.

If you want to hire Realtors in Broward County, please consider the Teri Arbogast Real Estate Team. Take a look at our Google reviews, and you’ll see that our clients have lots of good things to say. We’re very proud of our five-star ratings on Google, Zillow, and other real estate review websites. We’d love to make you our next successful client!  Call us at 954-242-8030 or send an email today.


Davie Real Estate Arbogast Team


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