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Real Estate Photography Prep

How to prepare your home for real estate photography.

staging your home for real estate photography

Staging a home for photography is a daunting task for most sellers. This is due to the fact that at the end of the staging process, it must look as no one really “lives” in the home – similar to a magazine layout. In most cases, a minimalistic approach to staging is best for real estate photography. I have compiled a list of tips along with items that, when removed, create a better photo. Removal of these items in advance of your photo shoot will help your Realtor and photographer have a clearer conceptualization of the space and what, if any, larger items need moving, etc.

Sweep and clear the front porch as well. It’s nice to have a variety of foyer photos, some with the door open. It gives a feel of welcome to the beginning of your gallery of photos.

Items to Remove
– Coat Rack with Coats, Hats, etc.
– Small Entry Rug

The Kitchen can sometimes be a high-traffic cluttered area. Since the Kitchen is such an important selling feature in a home, a ‘less is more’ approach is best for the photos.

Items to Remove
– Trash Can
– Plastic Soap Bottle, Sponge
– Refrigerator Magnets
– Hanging Dish Towels / Pot Holders (on oven or wall)
– Cereal Boxes and/or Other Labeled Food Items on Counters / Refrigerator Tops
– Sun Catcher in Window
– Counter Appliances that don’t match Major Appliances
– Paper Towel Holder
– Napkin Holder

Dining Room
I recommend setting the Dining Room table with a traditional place setting.

Items to Remove
– Napkin Holders

Due to the typically small nature of a Bathroom space, removal of everything from the counter is recommended so the potential buyer can focus on the counter itself along with light fixtures, tiling and/or tub detail of note.

Items to Remove
– Plastic Hand Soap Bottle
– Toothbrush / Toothpaste
– Soap Dish with used Soap
– Toilet Brush
– Shampoo / Conditioner bottles from Shower or Counter
– Remove Hanging Towels / Robes from Rear of Door
– Bathroom Rugs

Living Room
Items to Remove
– Magazines
– Spread out Coasters
– TV Remote(s)
– Throws on Back of Couch/Chair

Office / Study
Items to Remove
– Papers / Bills / Bins with Papers sticking out
– Turn Computers off / Close Laptops

Tip: Pay close attention to how your mattress and box spring are viewed from different angles in the room. Can you see items under the bed?

Items to Remove
– Tissue Box
– Pill / Vitamin Containers
– Laundry Hamper
– Clothing / Towels on Rear of Door

Child’s Room / Nursery
Although buyers are aware that children’s spaces are typically more whimsical in nature than other areas of the home, it is important to minimalize the items in these rooms by removing an excess of toys or placing in baskets or bins.

Items to Remove
– Trash Can / Diaper Bin

Tip: A fresh cut lawn and manicured landscaping show best. Seasonally, fresh mulch should be applied to flowerbeds.
– Kid’s Toys
– Adult bicycles
– Hose
– Trash Can
– Vehicles from Driveway
– In Season, have Pool or Hot Tub Open and Clean

Overall, remove the clutter – everything should have a “home” within your home: pens, bills, utensils, etc. Think about flipping through the pages of a home style magazine. What don’t you see? What do you see? I recommend a balance in home staging that reflects a personal style while allowing a potential buyer to visualize their items in the space. This may mean removal of deeply personal items such as an abundance of family photos or artwork.

Shoot Day
On photo shoot day, I will walk the home with the Realtor and/or Owner upon arrival. I ask that all lights be turned on, blinds be opened and ceiling fans turned off. At that time, room layouts are discussed and final item removal takes place.