How to Get Your House Ready for Listing Photos

In today’s competitive market, getting your house ready with professional real estate photography is a must. While some realtors still take photos with their cell phones before listing, many are hiring professional real estate photographers to keep up with the competition.

With elevated costs of borrowing shrinking the homebuyer pool, homes need to show well to merit their price. Professionally shot pictures are well-lit and expertly framed, showing a home listing in its best possible light — showing off its maximum value.

Whether you’re in the process of selling your home or if you’re simply looking to refresh your surroundings, here’s a peek into what you can do to maximize your real estate listing’s “ooh, ahh” potential.

Ways to Get Your House Ready for Professional Listing Photos

Preparing your home for a professional photo shoot takes some time, but it’s worth it. Hiring a professional photographer can get a serious edge in your real estate photos, presenting high-quality images to potential homebuyers. Here are a few ways to get your home ready for professional photography.

1. Enhance Your Curb Appeal

Your home’s immediate surroundings are its welcome mat, giving potential buyers that all-important first impression. Make sure you pay close attention to the exterior since it will give buyers their first impression.

For starters, landscaping is a must. Mow your lawn, trim all shrubs, hedges, and bushes around the house, and clear away any weeds. Plant fresh flowers add little pops of color in the front lawn. Lay down mulch or straw over any empty plant beds. Roll up garden hoses and make sure that all outdoor furniture is wiped down and arranged neatly.

Power wash the driveway, deck, and sidings, and make sure all windows are free of dirt and grime both inside and out. Keep garbage and recycle bins out of view and move cars out of the driveway so that the photographer can get a clear shot of your home’s exterior. Gorgeous!

2. Declutter the Main Living Areas

Before placing a home up for sale or rent, our team asks our homeowners to declutter their home before the photographer arrives. A home without clutter can present itself as low-maintenance, breezy, and a place where you can easily relax after a long day. Plus, a clutter-free space leaves more room to show off the nuances and details that ultimately make a buyer or renter fall in love and make their move.

Decluttering reveals your home’s true beauty. Think of it like removing makeup at the end of the day so your skin can breathe. The same concept can apply to your home! This frees your home of most personal items so that high-traffic places like the living room look ultra-functional: a key to excellent real estate marketing.

How to Declutter

Start about one to two weeks out from your scheduled home photography session. Pare your accessories and decor down to a max of five items per surface. Move anything that isn’t designated for the room that it’s currently in (like that treadmill in your bedroom you’ve been meaning to use), and take down artwork or papers that might be taped to the walls or fridge.

Put away pet food bowls, toys, and litter boxes. Store away any small appliances on countertops and floors, such as humidifiers, space heaters, toasters, and coffee makers. Don’t forget to look up! Give ceiling fans and light fixtures a quick wipe-down and replace any burnt-out lightbulbs!

Expert Tip: Most photographers won’t photograph the insides of closets, pantries, and garages unless these happen to be key selling features of your home. These spaces can serve as temporary storage to keep items out of sight until after the photographer completes your home’s photo session.

3. Let in the Sunshine!

Studies say that about 42% of the U.S. population is deficient in Vitamin D. As the summer months roll in, you’ll want to open up those curtains and blinds and let in some sunshine, which can also serve as excellent natural lighting for your home’s photographs. As far as rooms that don’t necessarily have windows, make sure you have the lights switched on when your photographer arrives.

  • Expert Tip: Many professional real estate photographers will bring their own lighting to set up in your space, but some will prefer going the natural route. They will choose the right time of day to come to your home for optimal natural light. The result? Interior photos that make your home look bright, warm, and inviting.


4. Spruce up Your Bath and Kitchen Areas

Let’s talk about high-traffic areas like your kitchen and bathroom. According to our Marketing Concierge team, photos of these spaces can make or break your listing. Here are some quick tips:

  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom counters clean.
  • Make sure all appliances are wiped down. No grease spots here!
  • Dust and wipe down accessories like countertop blenders and trash cans. These details matter!
  • Mop the floors until they shine.
  • Wipe down backsplashes to get rid of all grease and grime.
  • Replace towels with fresh ones that match the surrounding decor.
  • Wipe down mirrors.
  • Polish faucets and fixtures.

Remember that three-to-five-item rule from earlier? Try to stick to the same rules here. Empty your kitchen counter of clutter, free the sink of dirty dishes, and put away toiletries in the bath and shower areas, including bottles of shampoo and body wash.

5. Stage Your Home Professionally or Virtually

To go the extra mile, you can get a professional home stager to take your home’s appeal to the next level. They can fix everything-from your dining room’s design to your front yard’s layout- so that you get the most out of the upcoming photos. They can even place temporary rented items in your home, like furniture, decorative pillows, bookshelves, tablecloths, and floormats in your home to boost its design for photos.

  • Hot Take: Need to empty your home or have no time for actual staging, Marketplace Homes can virtually stage your home. The results are fast, fantastic, and super-efficient.


Get Your House Ready for Listing Photos

Remember, these aren’t the be-all-end-all of getting your home ready for photos, but we hope these tips are helpful. If you’re currently in the process of listing your home for sale or rent with Marketplace Homes, your Marketing Concierge representative is a valuable resource. Keep their contact information on hand for additional questions, or simply call us at 800-331-0646.

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