How to Prepare a Home for Professional Real Estate Photography

When it comes to real estate photography, you need to ensure that everything is prepped and ready for your photographer to shoot. These photos are not only to sell your home, but to sell you and your service as an agent. Real estate photos can be leveraged as tools for the duration of your career (depending on the licensing rights of the photos). Some photographers will give you 100% licensing rights to your photos while others will charge you an additional fee to continue to use their photos they took of your listing.

With these photos, you can create some crazy awesome content that can range from inspirational quotes on instagram to design ideas on pinterest. Using photos in this way will not only give you content to put out on the web, but they’ll also point back or link back to your lead capture page, business page, or other directories that have your contact information.

These photos can be taken with a point-and-shoot camera or camera phone; but there’s something about having a professional that can add the “missing element”, if you will, to bring the home and photos to life.

In order to get things prepped for your photographer and get the best photos of your new listing, here’re some things you should consider and encourage your seller to do. Granted, there are exceptions to this where it may not be ideal, but still go through these steps so you can maximize the photographer’s time. Also, you’d be surprised by how many photos there are of the home. Don’t think of just rooms and space, but think Pinterest or Instagram worthy shots that you can leverage down the road.

(I’m gonna tell you right now, you’ll probably want to bookmark this page for future reference)


Preparing Inside the Home for Real Estate Photography

I don’t have to tell you how important the inside of a home is, but what I can say is that you should look for areas of the home that would be great to capture for social media content. Often times, interior photos are seen as only for the sell of the home—however, this is a time that you can really show off the finer features that give the home some character. Get close up shots of the granite, hardwood floors, intricate ceiling fan, remodeled bathroom, etc. These photos can come in really handy when engaging your social media following.

  1. Declutter, declutter, declutter—did I mention to declutter
  2. Remove holiday and seasonal decorations
  3. Replace all missing or burned out lightbulbs.
  4. Depersonalized everything—removed family photos, religious photos, etc
  5. Dust and vacuum places you’ve haven’t reached in the last year
  6. Make all beds, check bed skirts, and fluff the pillows
  7. Kitchen countertops should be cleared and small appliances should be removed—just for the shoot
  8. Clean the kitchen, put away the dishes, clear out the sink—don’t forget the oven
  9. Remove everything off of your dining table. A plant is allowed, but no one wants to see a set table
  10. Clear all bathroom countertops and all personal toiletries
  11. Any branded containers in the shower/bathtub should be hidden or removed
  12. Remove and hide any bathroom mats
  13. Remove all towels from the racks
  14. Close all toilet lids and remove any decoration from the toilets
  15. Take out the trash in the bathroom—make it easy for the trash can to be removed for the shoot
  16. Clear the refrigerator from magnets, photos, drawings, decorations, etc
  17. If you have pets, hide food/water bowls, toys, and beds

Pre-Shoot Preparation

The seller needs to do these things just before the photographer arrives to the shooting location.

The photographer could technically do these things, but if you’re in a time crunch or don’t want to be too invasive, you can get these things ready for your real estate photographer.

  1. Turn on ALL inside lights—some lights will take a while to warm up before getting to its maximum brightness
  2. Turn off all ceiling fans—the photographer will most likely be shooting multiple shots for one photo and ceiling fans will look horrible if moving.
  3. If you have pets, make sure they are secure and free from distracting the photographer.
  4. Open all blinds and curtains
  5. Clear the cars from the driveway—park ACROSS the street because the aerial photography will see the cars if they’re parked right in front
  6. Light the fireplace—only if this makes sense



Preparing a home for real estate photography is no easy task. It’s highly suggested that you keep the home in this way as much as possible for future showings. The last thing people want to see is how cluttered the home can get then they’ll want something larger than your home (or cleaner). Getting a home prepped for real estate photos or even drone photos can make a differences in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for the seller and future listings for the agent. You ARE worth your 3% and by following these basic guidelines is how.

If there is anything else that might be useful, please share and link back to your page below.

I hope this list is something that might be useful for you and your future sales. Feel free to bookmark this page for future reference.