Preparing Your Home For A Photo Shoot & To Market For Sale

Real estate photography tips for prepping your home for sale! Ready to sell? Call The Jennifer King Team @ 717-723-9080!

General Tips To Prep For Photos & Home Selling

person mopping floor

  • Thoroughly clean the entire house (vacuum carpets, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows, clean ceiling fan blades, doorknobs and light switch covers, clean exterior cabinet surfaces)
  • Turn on overhead lights and all lamps
  • Replace burned out light bulbs
  • Use bulbs of the same color shade/temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn TV’s OFF
  • Turn computer screens OFF
  • Open blinds/window treatments to allow as much natural lighting as possible
  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with non-personal decor)
  • Make beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to expose flooring

Front Exterior Tips

front door

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from the driveway and from the front of the home
  • Tidy the landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves, remove snow)
  • We recommend a fresh welcome mat and flowers / pots by the main entry door when possible
  • Clean all doors to the home and ensure that cobwebs are removed from the eaves and door frames

Back Yard Tips

patio outdoor seating

  • Clean porch &/or patio, ensuring that any furnishings look neat and orderly (Pillows/cushions should be vivid, not faded from outdoor exposure)
  • Turn on any water features (ponds, fountains, etc)
  • Remove trash cans

Kitchen Tips


  • Clear countertops completely. Less is more in this space!
  • Leave a max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker) on the counter
  • Remove all magnets, papers, photos, etc. from the refrigerator
  • Place garbage cans into a pantry or closet
  • Sink should be empty and clean

Dining Room / Table Tips

dining room table

  • Clear table and clean the tabletop (or ‘stage’ by setting it w/ pretty settings)
  • Feature one centerpiece (flowers, candle, something decorative)
  • Straighten the chairs and ensure even placement around the table
  • Remove child seats/highchairs

Living Room / Family Room Tips

family room living room with built-in bookcases

  • Remove papers – magazines, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter the fireplace mantel (We recommend a max of 3-5 items, including art)
  • Does the fireplace look neat and clean?
  • Fluff and/or freshen furniture pillows
  • Toys should be put away in their designated spaces.

Bedroom Tips

master bedroom

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Clear nightstands
  • No visible charging cables
  • Clear the top of dressers
  • Remove personal / “people” photos
  • Removing items stored under the bed that may appear in photos
  • Consider removing names, wall stickers/posters
  • Remove dirty diapers

Bathroom Tips

modern bathroom

  • Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc. (We recommend that you consider securing medications for all showings)
  • Toilet seats completely closed
  • Closet doors closed
  • Remove toilets from showers and bathtubs
  • Towels – only new, unused or like-new towels should be visible
  • Remove mats / rugs


dog and cat

  • Place food and water bowls in a closet
  • Place pet beds/toys in a closet
  • Use a lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • If pets can’t be removed, ensure that they are crated
  • Ensure floors are clean. (Pet drool, etc. can cause sticky floors and that’s NOT a great impression for potential buyers!)

It’s extremely important to remember that how you ‘live’ in your home – and how you ‘live’ when presenting your home for sale – are not one and the same. Clean, organized homes make potential buyers feel relaxed and relay the message that the home has been well loved and cared for! This can lead to a quicker sale, a better price and a better experience throughout the transaction!

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