24 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photos and Videos

Are you getting ready to put your home on the market? If so, you’ll want to make sure it looks its best in photos and videos. Real estate agents will often take photographs and videos of your home to use in online listings and marketing materials.

These photos and videos are your home’s first and sometimes only chance to make a good impression on potential buyers. In this article, we will give you 24 tips that will help you maximize photo and video potential and make your home look its best.

Prepare Your Home Interior

1. Make Necessary Repairs

Before taking photos of your home, it’s important to make any necessary repairs. This might include fixing any broken doorknobs or tiles, patching holes in walls, or fixing leaks. Not only will this make your home look better in photos, but it will also help to ensure that any obvious signs of disrepair do not turn potential buyers off.

2. Turn On All Lights Throughout the House

Lighting can make a big difference in real estate photos. Be sure to turn on all the lights in each room, even if it is during the daytime. Turning on the exterior lights will also help create a better visual appearance, especially if you take the photos in the late afternoon. This will help the photographer capture the best possible image of your home.

Turn On All Lights Throughout the House
Photo by Yunhao Qian on Unsplash

3. Hang Curtains or Blinds

If your windows are bare, consider hanging curtains or blinds before taking photos of your home. Curtains and blinds can add color, pattern, and texture to a room, making it look more inviting and stylish. One thing to consider is not overdoing it, and when choosing curtains or blinds, be sure to select ones that complement the overall décor of your home.

4. Let in Natural Light

One way to make your home look more inviting in real estate photos and videos is to let in as much natural light as possible. Open the curtains or blinds and turn on all the lights in the room before the photographer arrives. This will help brighten up the space and make it look more open and airy.

5. Arrange Furniture Strategically

Another tip for preparing your home for real estate photos and videos is to arrange your furniture strategically. This means placing furniture in a way that makes the most use of the space in each room. For example, you may want to push couches and chairs against walls to create more open space in the room. Additionally, try to avoid putting too much furniture in a room, as it can make the space look cluttered and small.

6. Get Rid of Unnecessary Furniture and Decorations

Besides arranging your furniture strategically, you should also remove any unnecessary pieces from the room. This includes things like excess throw pillows, blankets, knick-knacks, and photos. Too many of these items can make a space look cluttered and busy, which is not what you want potential buyers to see. When removing these items, apply the simple principle of “less is more”.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Furniture and Decorations
Photo by Thanos Pal on Unsplash

7. Remove Floor Mats, Carpets, and Runners

While floor mats, carpets, and runners can add a touch of color and style to your home, they can inadvertently make the room appear smaller by consuming valuable floor space.

Photographers often use a wide-angle lens when taking pictures and videos of interiors which have the effect of making rooms look larger than they actually are. However, using a wide-angle lens creates a noticeably skewed effect, with floor mats in place. To make your rooms look larger and more open, we recommend removing as many floor mats as possible.

8. Put All Shoes and Jackets in Closets

While it may tempt to leave a few pairs of shoes out in the open as part of your home’s décor, we recommend storing them away in closets prior to taking real estate photos. The same goes for any jackets or outerwear that may lie around. Not only will this help to declutter your home, but it will also give the impression of a more spacious home.

9. Tidy Up Closets and Storage Areas

When buyers are looking at real estate photos and videos, they often try to get a sense of the home’s storage potential. As such, it’s important to tidy up any closets or storage areas that may be captured in photos. This means taking out any items that are no longer needed and organizing what’s left in an attractive way. Just have in mind that real estate photos should show potential storage areas as being spacious and well-organized.

10. Turn Off All Fans, TVs, and Computer Screens

To avoid motion blur in your photos, pro photographers recommend turning off anything that moves before taking the shot. This is especially important for HDR photography, which takes multiple light exposures for each photo and combines them into one last shot. Go ahead and turn off your stand or ceiling fans, TVs, and computer screens and notice the difference it makes in your real estate photos.

Turn Off All Fans, TVs, and Computer Screens
Photo by Rick Jack on Unsplash

11. Clean Kitchen Sinks and Counters

When the kitchen sinks and counters are clean, it creates an open and inviting space. Buyers can imagine how they might use this area for cooking or entertaining guests. You should also remove small appliances and decorations from countertops to give the kitchen a more spacious feel. You can leave a few decorative items out, but be sure that they are tasteful and in keeping with the overall style of your home.

12. Clean Bathrooms Thoroughly

Bathrooms are another space where potential buyers will look for cleanliness. Be sure to scrub the toilets, showers, and sinks until they shine. Mirrors should also be cleaned and free from any water spots or streaks. If possible, remove all personal items such as toiletries from the view and neatly fold all towels on racks. You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves using the space.

13. Clear Clutter from Appliances

Real estate photos and videos should make every inch of your home look valuable. Besides decluttering your home in general, it’s important to clear off any surfaces that may be captured in photos. This means taking everything off the counters and tables, as well as putting away any small appliances.

Clear off the top of your fridge, empty the dish drying rack, and tuck away any cords that might hang around. Remove the magnets, sticky notes or reminders and other personal info and see how your home transforms into a masterpiece for photos and videos.

14. Clear All Nightstands and Dressers

We often clutter nightstands and dressers with personal items such as books, magazines, lamps, and clocks. These items can make a room appear cluttered and can take away from the actual features of the dresser or nightstand. When taking real estate photos and videos, be sure to clear off all nightstands and dressers. This will help the home look more spacious and organized.

Clear All Nightstands and Dressers
Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

15. Make All the Beds

A made bed looks more inviting than an unmade one. Be sure to make up all the beds in the home before taking real estate photos and videos. Style the beds with aesthetically pleasing and matching linens. You should also size appropriately the bedding for the mattress and cover the entire bed. This will help the bedrooms look more inviting and welcoming.

16. Depersonalize

When potential buyers are looking at real estate photos and videos, they want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home. This can be difficult to do if there are too many personal items on display. For example, if you have a lot of family photos hanging on the walls, it can be hard for someone to see themselves living there.

Instead, try to de-personalize your home as much as possible by removing items that are overly personal or sentimental. Doing this will help potential buyers see your home as a blank canvas that they can envision making their own.

17. Remove All Pet Items

If you have pets, it’s important to remove all pet related items before taking real estate photos and videos. This includes items like food and water bowls, beds, toys, and leashes. You may love your pet, but potential homebuyers may not share the same sentiment. In fact, some people are allergic to certain animals. By removing all pet related items, you’ll help make your home more appealing to a wider range of buyers.

18. Create a Focal Point

In real estate photography, the focal point is the most important element in the photo. The focal point is what will first catch a buyer’s attention and should be the primary subject of the photo. When choosing a focal point, go for something that stands out and is unique to your home. This could be anything from a beautiful piece of art to an interesting architectural feature. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s free from clutter so that it really stands out.

Create a Focal Point
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Prepare Your Home Exterior

19. Tidy Up the Landscaping and the Yard

First impressions count, so make sure your yard is looking its best before taking real estate photos. Start by cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and planting flowers. Then, move on to bigger landscaping projects like trimming trees and bushes, and remove any fallen leaves or debris. If you have a pool, make sure it is clean and sparkling.

20. Sweep Up the Porch and Patio

Your porch and patio are likely to be in the real estate photos, so make sure they are clean and presentable. Sweep up any dirt, leaves, or debris, and remove any cobwebs. If you have any outdoor furniture, make sure it is clean and in good condition. You can spruce up your porch and patio with some flowers and plants that will give an impression and feeling of a true home.

21. Move All Cars from Driveway and Street

On the day of the real estate photoshoot, make sure you move all cars from the driveway and street. This will help the photographer get clear shots of the property, and it will also make your home look more spacious. You can also ask your neighbors to move their cars further away in case you plan on taking drone shots too.

22. Clean Up Any Trash Bins and Yard Equipment

Another thing to do before real estate photography is to clean up any trash bins and yard equipment. There’s nothing worse than a large trash bin in the corner of your real estate photos or videos. Remove garden hoses, lawnmower, and any gardening tools. This will help make your home look tidier and more presentable. If you have any pet toys or other items lying around, make sure to put them away as well.

Clear Out the Garage or Carport
Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash

23. Clear Out the Garage or Carport

Your garage or carport is part of your home, so you want to make sure that it’s included in the real estate photos or videos. However, you don’t want it to be cluttered. Prospective buyers want to see that there’s enough space for their cars and other belongings. A messy garage or carport can also give the impression that the home isn’t well-maintained. So, clear out any unnecessary items and make sure the space is clean and organized.

24. Put Away Any Seasonal Decorations

Seasonal decorations can be a great way to add some personality to your real estate photos. However, if it’s not the right season, then it’s best to put them away. This includes things like Christmas lights, Halloween decorations, and so on. You want potential buyers to focus on the home itself, not the seasonal decorations. It also shows respect for the preferences of the potential buyers as they may not be celebrating the same holidays.

Your Home is Ready for Photos and Videos

Making sure your home is ready for marketing is one of the most important aspects of selling it. Without great marketing, selling your home will be an uphill battle. Make sure you’re prepared by completing this checklist before the photographer arrives. This will enable you to get the most out of their time and talent and ultimately lead to more offers for your home.

Having a skilled photographer is only the start of marketing your home. You also need to make sure that your house is ready for them. You don’t want all your hard work leading up to this moment to go to waste because of some minor details. Keep in mind that great marketing brings magnificent offers.

Are you ready to put your home on the market? Get in touch with us today.



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