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Prep Guide for Photos

Make The First Impression Count

The majority of homebuyers start their search online, so it is important to make the first impression count! Follow these tips to prepare your home for the best real estate photos possible.

GENERAL

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all TVs OFF
  • Turn all computer screens OFF
  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
  • Remove personal photographs
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets

FRONT EXTERIOR

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
  • Remove empty planters
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

TERRACE

  • The Terrace should be an oasis to relax
  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls etc.
  • Clean pool
  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
  • Hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove trash cans

KITCHEN

  • Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
  • Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)
  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

DINING ROOM

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  • Use decorative place setting if available
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats

LIVING ROOM

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove kid’s toys

MASTER BEDROOM

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows if available
  • Press bed linens and bed skirts
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

KID/GUEST BEDROOM

  • Remove personalized names from walls
  • Remove wall stickers/posters
  • Remove diaper genies
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

BATHROOMS

  • Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
  • Put toilet seats down
  • Close closet doors
  • Remove shampoo, soap etc. from showers and tubs
  • Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
  • Remove floor mats

PETS

  • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
  • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • Pets in hidden crate or outside
  • Clear terrace of pet waste/toys

Selling your home is like selling a product, it must be marketed correctly to reach a specific buyer. Although your furnishings and decor are great for your lifestyle, it’s important to optimize your home for the future buyer.