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Prepare For The Photo Shoot

Which of These Two Homes Would You Be More Likely To Pay Top Dollar For?


Messy homes repel buyers  


Certainly the photos have made our point. Clean, bright, uncluttered and neat is the best way to present your home—both in photos and at showings. Buyers can be fussy, and be easily distracted from attractive features of your home if you don’t showcase the home correctly.

Here are tips on presenting your home in the best light—both in photos and during showings. We hope that you will take a pro-active approach to showcasing your home the best way possible. It will likely make your home sell more quickly and for more money.

Prepare The House For The Photo Shoot

It’s in your best interests to prepare the property prior to the photo shoot. Completing this checklist will ensure that the property is as marketable as possible. You don’t want to waste the photographer’s time or impede their ability to fully capture all the positive aspects of your property.

Lighting:Bright updated kitchens attract buyers

  • Turn on ALL interior and exterior lights, including floor lamps, table lamps, under-cabinet lighting, stove-top lighting, bedside reading lamps, ceiling fan lights, and other secondary light sources.
  • Potential buyers want to see a bright and clean home. Make sure that that’s what they see when they take time to view your home.
  • Ensure that all light bulbs work.

Great kitchens attract buyersKitchen:

  • Remove all non-decorative items from countertops (dish soap, paper towels. phones, cleaning supplies, etc.). Just put them in a box and stash in a cabinet or closet. This will help you be able to live your life normally, but also be able to quickly prepare the home for a showing.
  • Remove fridge magnets.
  • Put out attractive, clean linens.

Bathrooms:Updated bathrooms sell homes

  • Lower all toilet seats.
  • Clear countertops of non-decorative items.
  • Keep decorative items to a minimum. If you use decorative items, they should be understated.
  • Remove all toiletries from bath and shower area. Again, put them in a box and stash away. This makes it easy for you to quickly allow a showing without a lot of prior notice. It also minimizes the inconvenience when all you have to do is pull out your box for your personal use once the showing is over.
  • Make sure everything is clean. You don’t want your home looking dirty in the photos—or even worse—in a showing.


  • Please ensure all mirrors are streak free. They are likely to look really nasty in photos if you don't prep them in advance. Think "sparkle" before photo shot and every showing.
  • Water spots and streaks are likely to show up in the images. This makes your home look as if it’s poorly maintained.

Front and Back Yards:

Inviting yards make people want to buy
  • Be sure your lawn is freshly cut.
  • Get rid of all weeds and debris.
  • Trim bushes and shrubs so your yard looks well maintained.
  • Take down flags and banners as they distract attention from your home
  • Put hoses and other equipment away in sheds.
  • Organize patio/deck furniture in an appealing way that would make potential buyers want to sit out and enjoy the setting.
  • Pick up pet waste.
  • Put away garbage bins so they are not in the photos.
  • Generally clean up.


  • Keep all pets out of the way during the shoot (In the backyard, garage or unfinished basement for example).
  • Also put away pet supplies, including food/water bowls, crates, toys, etc.
  • You need to have a plan for dealing with your pets during showings. Not everyone is a pet lover, and you don't want potential buyers to have any distraction from the benefits of your home.

Window Treatments:

  • Open curtains/blinds all the way in every room.
  • Blinds should be twisted open, not pulled up.

Vehicles:A clean driveway attracts buyers

  • Ensure that no vehicles are in the driveway or in front of the home on the street. You want the photographer to be able to take an inviting shot of the front of your home.
  • Be sure that garage doors are closed and everything is neat and tidy around garage.


  • Let the next door neighbors on both sides know about the scheduled shoot and ask that their yards are clean (when they are likely to show in the photos).
  • When possible, ask them not to have cars in the driveway, and to close their garage doors during the time of the shoot.


  • Turn ceiling fans off.
  • Put all personal Items put away.
  • Remove any religious symbols from view. You simply don't want the possibility of a viewer being distracted from your home by your religious affiliations.


  • If available, place unobtrusive decorative items on counters and table. Examples include fresh flowers, bowls of fresh fruit, pottery, vases, and new candles. Think about what might enhance the appearance of each room in photos.
  • Don’t over decorate or use items that might distract from the objective of showcasing your home.

Holiday Decor:

  • Remove all holiday décor.
  • Examples include pumpkins, Christmas trees, menorahs, Christmas lights, and a holiday wreath on the front door. You don’t want to “date” the photos as this will be a disadvantage on the market.

What We Shoot

What We Will Likely Shoot

  • Both front and rear exterior facades
  • Patios, decks, balconies, yards, grounds, and landscaped areas
  • Views if available and weather is clear
  • All interior common areas, including front entry, dining room, living room, family room, kitchen, breakfast nook, and office
  • Finished basement
  • Master bedroom and bathroom
  • Laundry room if it's finished to a high level of quality

We Are Unlikely To Shoot:

  • Unfinished basements
  • Storage areas
  • Laundry rooms if unfinished, partially finished, or finished to a low level of quality
  • Utility rooms
  • Walk-in closets
  • Garage Interiors

Inclement weather may cancel the photo shootA Last Few Items About Photo Shoot

Inclement Weather

We will shoot your property no matter what the weather conditions are at the time of the shoot. In most cases, the photographer will be able to adjust to the lighting conditions and still capture your home at its best. If you’re concerned that your home needs certain lighting conditions, please notify us as soon as possible to discuss this.

We May Need To Move or Hide Objects

Note: If you don’t take the steps listed here, it’s likely that they won’t happen. In some cases, my assistant may move some of the objects in your home to present the most appealing appearance (you really don’t want your personal items and clutter in photos).

Please know that some of these objects may not be returned to exactly where they were. Hopefully, you will understand the importance of our taking such action on your behalf and forgive them in advance.

Take home an extra suitcase of money by preparing your home for saleDownload TOP DOLLAR—Checklist To Prepare Your Home For Photo Shoot and For Showings Here

Here you can download the tips for preparing your home for the photo shoot. Download the document and use it as a checklist for all showings.

Want To Talk About Making Your Home Beautiful In Photos

If you want to sell a Silicon Valley home, let's talk about how you can prepare your home for photos that get you maximum interest, traffic and offers.

Let's Talk! Click Here


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