Preparing Your House for a Photo Shoot Checklist

The photography of your house will be vital for the marketing process. Having a good set of professional photos is one of the most important components of an online listing, and in most cases, it will be the determining factor as to whether or not a buyer or renter will decide to visit the house in person. It is critical to make the proper preparations before the photo shoot.

Preparing Your House for a Photo Shoot Checklist

Photos will look best when there is nothing to detract from the layout. You should follow the steps below to ensure your house will be as ready as possible when the photographer arrives to take pictures.

NOTE: It is usually best to take photos during the daylight hours.


  • Ensure the grass is cut, shrubs are trimmed, and mulch beds are free of weeds.
  • Put on a fresh coat of mulch.
  • Move cars out of sight. Close garage doors.
  • Remove trash cans, gardening tools, etc. from sight.
  • Put away children’s and pets’ toys.
  • Coil hoses, open patio umbrellas, and set out cushions.
  • Uncover the BBQs grills
  • Open the pools and spas (if the season is right) 


  • Replace all burned out lightbulbs and turn on all the lights.
  • Turn off all the ceiling fans.
  • Clean thoroughly and de-clutter.
  • Remove standalone trash cans.
  • Store valuables and medications out of sight or locked up.
  • Open window coverings (unless they are concealing a less than desirable view).
  • Remove most, if not all personal photographs.
  • Clear kitchen countertops of almost everything, with the exception of one or two decorative items.
  • Remove or conceal garbage containers (trashcans).
  • Remove everything from the top and sides of the refrigerator (photos, kids’ art, magnets, etc.).
  • Remove non-essential throw rugs (foyer, baths, kitchen, hallways).
  • Clear the bathroom countertops of ALL toiletries. Leave only a few decorative items or a floral or plant arrangement. Put out best towels.
  • Empty the shower of shampoos and soaps, put toilet seats down, clean mirrors.
  • Remove all signs of pets (bowls, rugs, pillows, etc.).
  • Remove any table coverings.
  • Ensure all beds are made neatly and bedrooms, including tops of dressers, are free of clutter.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel.

It is important that the house is in a “photograph-ready” condition prior to the photo shoot.

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