Selling your home? How to prepare it for the photographer

The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
Published on January 18, 2022

American homebuyers primarily shop for homes online before choosing a real estate agent. They crave lots of interior and exterior photos and many won’t read about a listing that doesn’t have them.

For example, a consumer wrote in a forum at “As I am looking at a listing, if there are no photos, I disregard the listing. . . and if the bedrooms and baths aren’t shown, I disregard the listing.”

There are reasons that a listing may not include photos of the home. These include:

  • The seller requests that no photos be published
  • The photos aren’t ready to be published yet
  • Often, homes in foreclosure don’t include photos of the interior

The reasons listed above are rare, but they do happen.

Since your home’s listing will include attractive, compelling photos, let’s talk about how to get the home ready for its moment in the spotlight.

Buyers notice more than you think they do

Cluttered kitchen and bathroom counters. The toilet seat left up. Dark walk-in closets. Dirty baseboards.

While you worry about the color of your living room in your listing photos, potential buyers are wondering if those nasty baseboards are an indication of a general lack of home maintenance

Is your car parked in the driveway a sign that the garage is overstuffed because there is little to no storage space in the home?

Cleaning the home, from top to bottom is the first task to accomplish. A thorough cleaning will help people perceive the home as well-maintained.

After that, it’s time to get rid of the clutter. With no strange faces peering at them from your family photos home shoppers are better able to imagine themselves living in the home, surrounded by their “stuff.”

They can’t imagine that with someone else’s toothbrushes on the bathroom counter. Stash personal items and leave only the decorative stuff on countertops.

Then, play up every room’s focal point. This is especially important in rooms viewed from the entryway. If you need some help with this, check out the tutorial at

Although the photographer will adjust each rooms’ lighting to his or her needs, ensure that there are adequate window coverings throughout the home. Often, a room may need to be photographed with the window coverings closed to avoid glare or the sun streaking on the floors.

Then, ensure that every light fixture and lamp in the home has a working bulb.

The photographer can only do so much

In fact, the experts at prepared a quick list for home sellers:

Photographers cannot do the following:

  • Move or re-arrange furniture
  • Make beds, clean, dust or declutter
  • Pick up toys or yard items
  • Photoshop vehicles, walls, damaged walls, power lines, wall pictures, cords, etc.
  • Touch personal bathroom supplies such as shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels, etc.”

The latter item, by the way is an important one to consider because “Bright, artificially-colored packaging, like on cereal boxes and shampoo bottles are also very distracting to the eye,” according to the pros at Eddy Photos, an El Monte, California photography studio.

You’ll find additional prep tips online at and

Exterior Photos

The exterior photos are important because they are digital depictions of your house’s curb appeal.

Before the photo shoot, walk around the yard and remove anything that might distract the viewer from the home: cars, garbage cans, kids’ toys and other clutter.

Wash down the driveway and sidewalk and ask the photographer to shoot the photos while they are wet to give a richer appearance.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about preparing for the photographer.

Want to know the value of your home?
Our agents will figure it out for you for free!
No, thanks I'm not interested

Let's Talk Real Estate!

Check out our New Constructions Homes!
See Open Homes!