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Real Estate Photography - Preparations Checklist

Here's a checklist to help you get the best photos possible of your home.
The key idea here is "MINIMIZE".  It's hard for a potential buyer to imagine a home as theirs if it has the seller's signature all over it.  Good luck!

Click here for the .pdf file.

Item # Item Done?
  Exterior - General  
1 View curb appeal from the street and remove unsightly items - garden hoses, ladders, lumber, leaf piles, contractor equipment, and decorations that distract like sports team logos, bird feeders and "cute" items.  
2 Remove cars from the driveway and street front.  
3 Make the grass and landscaping neat and trim, including potted plants.  Remove large fallen branches.  Remove grass from sidewalk and driveway cracks.  Blow/sweep leaves from walkways.  
4 Garbage and bins should be out of sight.  Place them on the side of the house or in the garage.  
5 Hide away toys, cornhole sets, landscape equipment & tools, pool toys, pool gadgets, etc.  
6 Clear patio clutter (tiki torches, etc.) and turn patio lights on and ceiling fans off.  
7 Make firepits neat and cover or remove BBQs.
8 Close shed doors and stack wood piles neatly.  
9 Ensure sprinklers won't come on during the shoot (thank you!)  
10 Remove unsightly oil stains from the driveway if possible and allow the area to dry.
11 Clean or stow away welcome mats.  
  Interior - General
12 Look for a clean appearance with minimal furniture, art, photos and floor mats/runners.  
13 Use neutral wall paint and staging colors if possible (tan, gray, brown, white/cream, etc.)  
14 Turn all CEILING FANS OFF and all LIGHTS ON including inside cabinets, under cabinets, lamps and floor lamps.  Keep remote controls for lights and fans easily accessible.  
15 Replace burned out light bulbs.  Try not to have different types of bulbs mixed within the same light fixture (cool white mixed with warm white, etc.)  
16 Clean windows inside and out.  Remove streaks.  
17 Tilt blinds fully open but do not draw the blinds.  The photographer will draw them fully open if necessary.  
18 Turn off televisions and computers.  
19 Remove family photos and memorabilia.  
20 Indoor plants should look trim and healthy.  
21 Remove robot floor cleaners, mops and brooms from sight.  
22 Remove ALL evidence of pets to include beds, bowls, cat towers, cages/kennels and toys.  Many people have allergies and will immediately shun a home that shows evidence of pets.  
23 De-clutter key holders, wallet trays, wall coat hangers, floor shoe holders and note boards.  
24 Typical closets are usually not photographed but walk-in closets are.  Talk with your realtor about your closets.  
25 Your photographer is a professional, but it's always best to store away valuables like cash, jewelry and weapons to avoid any confusing conflicts.  
26 Make beds and put dirty clothes and hampers away.  
27 Stow away personal items like vanity bottles, make-up, tissue boxes, clothing, posters, toys, slippers, etc.  
28 Close dressers and clean the tops.  Clean mirrors and double-check for streaks.  
39 Stand at the door and look for general cleanliness.  Minimize towels, bath mats, scales, toiletries, shower items, soaps and belongings.  Store them inside cabinets.  
30 Clean sinks, counters and mirrors thoroughly.  Double-check for mirror streaks.  Remove as many water stains as possible.  
31 Keep shower doors and curtains closed.  The photographer will open them as needed.  
32 Close toilet lids.  
  Living Rooms  
33 Ensure the room is neat and presentable with minimal furniture, seats and foot stools.  
34 Store away blankets, throws, baskets, excessive pillows, coasters and remote controls.  
35 Clean floors and align stools.  
36 Turn off TVs and computers.  Tuck away electrical cords.  
37 De-clutter fireplace and mantel.  
  Dining Rooms  
38 Ensure the room is neat and presentable with minimal furniture and seats.  
39 Keep staged dinnerware and flowers to a minimum (if at all).  
40 Keep chairs under the table and aligned.  
41 Stand at the door and ensure the room is clean and minimal.  
42 Store away pots, pans, utensils, oven mitts and towels, dish drying trays and cleaning products to include dish soaps, cleaning sponges, paper towels and napkins.   
43 Empty and clean sinks and counter tops.  
44 Put away coffee makers and mixers.  
45 Remove all kitchen magnets.  
46 Remove floor mats.  
47 Clean appliances to include stove tops and oven/microwave/refrigerator doors.  Double-check for handprints and streaks.  
48 Stow away visible garbage cans.  
  Study / Work Rooms  
49 Ensure the room is neat, clean and presentable.  
50 De-clutter desks of paper and office supplies.   
51 Turn off computers and tuck away electronic cords.  
52 Empty garbage and stow away cans.  
  Laundry Rooms  
53 Stand in doorway and ensure the room is neat in appearance.  
54 Stack laundry soaps, etc.  and move to the least-visible spot (often in a hall closet or on a high shelf near the door.)  
55 Remove laundry baskets and cat litter boxes.  
56 Most of the time the garage won't be photographed unless it's completely empty or has unusual or desirable features.  Ask your realtor about your garage.  If it won't be photographed it's a great place to store or hide items.  If it will be photographed, remove oil stains from the concrete if possible.  
57 Be prepared to reschedule if necessary, especially for bad weather.  
58 It's best to leave the premises during the shoot if possible so the photographer can focus fully on the job of taking photos, video, etc.  Plan on a 2-hour shoot to be safe.  
  Courtesy of Alluring Images, LLC.  http://www.alluringimagesllc.com  

Providing professional, pleasant, and timely photography and video services for the Emerald Coast (Florida) and surrounding communities.