According to the National Association of Realtors, well over 90% of home buyers look on the
internet for homes. So, setting the stage in photos and making sure they are of good quality is
an important point in selling your home.
Think of the photos you see in magazines like Better Homes and Gardens. The displays of
photos in these magazines have simple style with clear horizontal surfaces with just a few
decorative items placed sparsely. As you see that image in your mind, now look around your
home to find what needs to be done. Less “stuff” in the photos will make the rooms look bigger.
Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops, especially bright colored items.
Don’t forget the paper towels, soap dispenser, hand towels. Clear family photos, children’s
drawings and magnets from the refrigerator, and stacks of “out of reach” items from the top.
In the bathrooms, clear objects such as cosmetics and soap dispensers. Tip: group daily
toiletries in Rubbermaid containers for each family member so you can move them to a closet.
This will also help with showings.
Remove personal photos, flowers and statues from walls, mantles and tabletops. Remove
small mirrors to minimize flash reflections. Keep rooms neat and organize toys, magazines, and
books. Remove any blankets off furniture.
Check all bulbs and replace any that are burned out because a burned out bulb will likely be
noticed in the photo. Also, with the new types of bulbs it is sometimes hard to gauge light output
so do not use mismatched bulbs and make sure they are not too bright. Research shows that
buyers feel that lighting adds “warmth” to the photographs.
If you are not able to be present at the photo session, turn on all lights or at least those that
have switches that might be hard to find and turn off all ceiling fans because they might be
blurred in the photos but leave the ceiling fan lights on.
Make sure that pet bedding, bowels and cages are out of the open areas. MLS rules prohibit
showing pets in the photos, so please cage or remove them from the premises on the day of the
That first photo of the front exterior shot is perhaps the most important shot out of the whole
series of photos. It’s the primary photo that a buyer looking at their search results online may
use to decide whether to click or not to click to open and see the details of your home. So, take
a walk around the perimeter, remove any trash containers and other items like hoses. Also, tell
your agent when the sun hits the front of your home (morning or afternoon) so the pictures can
be taken with minimal shadows.
The photographer cannot take the responsibility for moving your personal items. It is up to you
to get your home ready. Remember that the photos will be displayed on the Internet on multiple
websites, so remove everything that you do not want the public to see.