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Do you want to know how to prepare your home for real estate photography?

Over 90% of home buyers begin their search online. A strong online first impression matters greatly.

In this article, you’ll learn 5 sets of tips for preparing your home for stunning real estate photography.

But before we dig in deeper, let’s first talk about why high-quality photography is crucial to sell a home.

Why High-Quality Real Estate Photography Is Crucial?

Preparing your home for real estate photography

Online photos introduce potential buyers to your home, conveying the size, layout, and condition, all without them having to visit. 

Professional and appealing photos increase the chances that a potential buyer will decide to schedule an appointment to tour a home in person.

Getting high-quality photos that show your listing at its best will help quicken the sale and get the best price.

5 Sets of Tips for Preparing Your Home for Real Estate Photography

Clean and decluttered kitchen for real estate photography

To get the best results from your professional real estate photographer you’ll need to have the house entirely ready before the photoshoot.

This will require effort from the seller — but it will be worth it when they see the gorgeous photos that will help sell the house.

Here are 5 sets of tips to help you and your clients focus on photo prep efforts: 

1. Clean Everything

For the best results with real estate photography, all areas of the home must be thoroughly cleaned to remove dust, dirt, fingerprints, or anything else that might be visible.

Also, having closets, bookshelves, open shelves, and cabinets organized is important. 

Let’s go through some room by room guidelines to help you prepare:

General Cleaning 

  • Clean mirrors and windows
  • Vacuum carpets and wash and polish floors
  • Organize open shelves
  • Straighten furniture and check for stains or dirt

Children and Pets

  • Hide electrical cords and cables, and store children’s toys and video games
  • Organize children’s rooms and remove clutter
  • Plan for children and pets to be out of the way during the photoshoot

The Kitchen

  • Clean all of the appliances and countertops
  • Store draining racks and make sure there are no dishes in the sink
  • Organize and clean the inside of the refrigerator
  • Consider neatly arranging the inside of cabinets and drawers


  • Make the beds and remove wrinkles
  • Remove items under the bed if they are visible
  • Declutter bedside tables
  • Place and arrange decorative pillows

Closets and Laundry

  • Store clothing and shoes
  • Tidy master closets
  • Remove laundry and stow clothes hampers
  • Make sure all clothes are neatly hung 


  • Clean the tub, shower, sink, and toilet
  • Close toilet lids
  • Hide soaps, towels, cleaning items, etc.

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2. Maximize the Light

Let in the light when taking photos

Let in the light!

Home interiors look best bathed in light and the best real estate photography results rely on plenty of it.

Before the photo session, turn on all the lights and make sure that all light bulbs, both inside and outside, are working. 

You should also raise all window shades and blinds. Make sure they are hanging at the same length and in the same direction. 

Your real estate photographer can make any necessary lighting changes as the photo session takes place.

  • Check ahead of time to ensure every light fixture in the home turns on with a working light bulb
  • Check if lampshades or light coverings are dusty or dirty
  • Consider switching light bulbs to daylight or warm hues
  • Window treatments matter — make sure curtains and blinds are clean 

3. Declutter

How to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photography

A key takeaway when preparing for real estate photos is that less is more

It is best to clear out the clutter from every room because a clean and open space makes rooms look larger.

Here’s what you should do: 

  • Remove any unnecessary photos, appliances, or personal items from countertops
  • Remove excess furnishings, accessories, and knick-knacks from rooms
  • Set tables with simple place settings
  • Straighten inside closets so they don’t appear cramped

4. Don’t Forget Outside

Preparing the outsideyard for real estate photography

Your photographer will also take photos of the home’s exterior.

The front door, backyard, garden features,  pool — all these need to be included in the real estate marketing efforts.

So, here’s how to prepare to make them look their best:

  • Park the cars away from the house or in the garage
  • Freshen up the landscaping, mow and edge the lawn, remove dead branches, leaves, and any trash
  • Sweep (or hose down) outdoor walkways, decks, patios, and the driveway
  • Store garden hoses, outdoor tools, lawn equipment, and so on.  
  • Clean outdoor furniture and place colorful pillows, umbrellas, etc., 
  • Turn on the landscape, outdoor, and pool lighting

5. Remove Personal Items

Remove personal items before photography

Lastly, you want your buyers to be able to easily envision your seller’s home as their new home.

A buyer may have difficulty picturing himself or herself living in your home if too many personal photos and knick-knacks are on display in your photos. 

For the best real estate photography, you want to create generic, but pleasing rooms that a potential buyer will find attractive and appealing. 

Removing personal items from the home is one way to help:

  • Put away family photos and any items with your names on them 
  • Many families place children’s schoolwork, art, and other papers on the refrigerator with magnets — now is the time to remove these
  • Minimize items from family vacations

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Enhance Your Real Estate Photos With Virtual Staging

High-quality photography will dramatically impact buyers’ opinion of the house and your sales price.

It’s best to have the most professional results possible. 

Virtual staging creates the most polished, appealing, and professional online presence for any property. 

Having high-quality virtual staged photography can give you an edge over other sellers. 

PhotoUp specializes in photorealist, affordable virtual staging for real estate with fast turn-around times.

We also offer a full range of professional photo editing services to make each photo look stunning. 

Beyond Excellent Real Estate Photos

Real estate photo editing

If you have your client complete the tasks on this list, you are going to get much better images and a lot more views from potential buyers.

This, in turn, will hopefully get your listing sold faster and for more money.

And here’s a piece of good news!

Remind your clients that the time and effort they put into preparing the home for real estate photography aren’t wasted.

The home is now ready for showings, too!

So, sign up for a free account with PhotoUp today, and let our professional real estate photo editors help take your photography to the next level.

We hope this post helped you learn how to prepare your home for real estate photography. If you enjoyed reading this post, you may also want to check out the following resources: