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Sellers Guide to Prepare Your House for Your Photoshoot

Why Prep Your House For Photos?

The majority of home buyers start their search online, so it’s important to make the first impression count!  When you choose to work with AWRE, we pay for a luxury photographer to help make the sell of your house easy and quick. The photos below are great examples of AWRE houses that have sold to use as a guide. Follow these tips to prepare your home for the best real estate photos possible.



– tips for all areas of the time –

  • 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 (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets


– online curb appeal –

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  • Pressure wash driveway, wash windows & remove screens if possible.
  • Remove security stickers on windows.
  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs and trees, clear leaves) and add fresh mulch to the garden beds; we prefer black because of the contrast.
  • Remove empty planters
  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.


– backyard oasis –

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  • Clean pool and remove the pool cleaners from the pool.
  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
  • Hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove trash cans
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves) and add fresh mulch to the garden beds; we prefer black because of the contrast.


– sometimes the focal point, the kitchen deserves attention to detail –

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  • Clear countertops except for a few decorative items. 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
  • Clear table, dust and polish the dining table top
  • Use decorative place setting on dining table if available
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs


– the space to enjoy conversation and spend quality time with family –

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photo10 (1) photo17 (1)

  • All fans need to be turned OFF.
  • All light bulbs and lamps need to be turned on and replace any bulbs that are needed.
  • Let in natural light, open all window blinds.
  • 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


– rest for you and your guests –

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  • Remove all personal items such as jewelry, technology & hygiene items from counters.
  • Remove all items from night stands except lamps.
  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Press bed linens and bed skirts
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos



– to be spa-like, the bathroom must be clear of all personal items –

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  • Remove all items from counters and showers (shampoo, razors, soap, etc).
  • Remove all dirty towels, hand towels, and rugs – leave out only new, unused towels
  • Put toilet seats down
  • Close closet doors


– an added bonus for buyers –

photo6 (2) photo2

  • Keep decorations to a minimum to highlight the size of the room.
  • Remove personalized names from walls
  • Remove wall stickers/posters
  • Store stuffed animals, dolls and other toys normally kept out in the bedroom in a closet.
  • Remove any small décor touches like a pirate-themed light switch or princess ceiling fan pull.
  • Remove any toys, video game systems or play sets from the room.
  • Clean any marker, paint or other stains from the flooring or walls.


– pets are loving, but their presence should be minimized –


  • 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
  • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
  • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys



Remember; first impressions matter! Clean out all clutter in and around the house, the house needs to appear as if it is staged for buyers. Please realize this is just for the day of the photoshoot and you can go back to living comfortably after the pictures have been taken. 

We thank you in advance & if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!

– The AWRE Group

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