How to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photography: A Guide to Stunning Visuals

Do you want to know how to prepare your home for real estate photography? With over 90% of home buyers starting their search online, creating a strong online first impression is crucial. In this article,...

Do you want to know how to prepare your home for real estate photography? With over 90% of home buyers starting their search online, creating a strong online first impression is crucial. In this article, we will provide you with 5 sets of tips to help you prepare your home for stunning real estate photography.

Why High-Quality Real Estate Photography Is Crucial?

Preparing your home for real estate photography

Online photos introduce potential buyers to your home, giving them a glimpse of its size, layout, and condition without the need for them to visit in person. Professional and appealing photos significantly increase the chances of potential buyers scheduling an appointment to tour the home. By obtaining high-quality photos that showcase your listing at its best, you can expedite the sale and secure the best price.

5 Sets of Tips for Preparing Your Home for Real Estate Photography

Clean and decluttered kitchen for real estate photography

To achieve the best results from your professional real estate photographer, it is essential to have your house completely ready before the photoshoot. This will require effort from the seller, but the stunning photos that result will make it all worthwhile. Here are 5 sets of tips to help you and your clients in preparing for the photo session:

1. Clean Everything

For optimal real estate photography, every area of the home must be thoroughly cleaned to remove dust, dirt, fingerprints, and anything else that might be visible. Organizing closets, bookshelves, open shelves, and cabinets is equally important. Let's go through some room-by-room guidelines to assist you in the preparation process:

General Cleaning

  • Clean mirrors and windows.
  • Vacuum carpets and wash and polish floors.
  • Organize open shelves.
  • Straighten furniture and check for stains or dirt.

Children and Pets

  • Hide electrical cords and cables, and store children's toys and video games.
  • Organize children's rooms and remove clutter.
  • Plan for children and pets to be out of the way during the photoshoot.

The Kitchen

  • Clean all appliances and countertops.
  • Store draining racks and ensure there are no dishes in the sink.
  • Organize and clean the inside of the refrigerator.
  • Consider neatly arranging the inside of cabinets and drawers.


  • Make the beds and remove wrinkles.
  • Remove visible items under the bed.
  • Declutter bedside tables.
  • Place and arrange decorative pillows.

Closets and Laundry

  • Store clothing and shoes.
  • Tidy master closets.
  • Remove laundry and stow clothes hampers.
  • Ensure all clothes are neatly hung.


  • Clean the tub, shower, sink, and toilet.
  • Close toilet lids.
  • Hide soaps, towels, cleaning items, etc.

2. Maximize the Light

Let in the light when taking photos

Let in the light! Home interiors look their best when bathed in light, and high-quality real estate photography highly depends on ample lighting. Before the photo session, turn on all the lights and ensure that all light bulbs, both inside and outside, are working. Raise all window shades and blinds, ensuring they hang at the same length and in the same direction. Your real estate photographer can make any necessary lighting adjustments during the session.

  • Check that every light fixture in the home turns on with a working light bulb.
  • Dust or clean lampshades or light coverings.
  • Consider switching light bulbs to daylight or warm hues.
  • Ensure clean curtains and blinds.

3. Declutter

How to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photography

A key takeaway when preparing for real estate photos is that less is more. Clearing out clutter from every room is best as a clean and open space makes rooms appear larger.

Here's what you should do:

  • Remove unnecessary photos, appliances, or personal items from countertops.
  • Eliminate excess furnishings, accessories, and knick-knacks from rooms.
  • Set tables with simple place settings.
  • Straighten inside closets to avoid a cramped appearance.

4. Don't Forget Outside

Preparing the outside yard for real estate photography

Your photographer will also capture the home's exterior, including the front door, backyard, garden features, and pool. To ensure they look their best in real estate marketing efforts, follow these steps:

  • Park cars away from the house or in the garage.
  • Freshen up the landscaping by mowing and edging the lawn, removing dead branches, leaves, and any trash.
  • Sweep or hose down outdoor walkways, decks, patios, and the driveway.
  • Store garden hoses, outdoor tools, and lawn equipment.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and add colorful pillows, umbrellas, etc.
  • Turn on landscape, outdoor, and pool lighting.

5. Remove Personal Items

Remove personal items before photography

Lastly, you want potential buyers to envision your seller's home as their own. Too many personal photos and knick-knacks may hinder their ability to do so. For the best real estate photography, create generic yet pleasing rooms that potential buyers will find attractive. Remove personal items from the home:

  • Put away family photos and items with names.
  • Remove children's schoolwork, art, and other papers from the refrigerator.
  • Minimize items from family vacations.

Enhance Your Real Estate Photos With Virtual Staging

High-quality photography significantly impacts buyers' opinions and the selling price of a house. Aim for the most professional results possible. Virtual staging offers a polished, appealing, and professional online presence for any property, giving you an edge over other sellers. PhotoUp specializes in affordable virtual staging for real estate, providing photorealist images with fast turnaround times. We also offer a range of professional photo editing services to make each photo stunning.

Beyond Excellent Real Estate Photos

Real estate photo editing

By completing the tasks on this list, you can expect improved images and increased views from potential buyers. This, in turn, will help sell your listing faster and for a higher price. Remind your clients that the time and effort put into preparing the home for real estate photography are not wasted; the home is now ready for showings too!

Sign up for a free account with PhotoUp today and let our professional real estate photo editors take your photography to the next level. We hope this post has helped you learn how to prepare your home for real estate photography. If you enjoyed reading this, check out our other resources on powerful real estate photography lighting tips, the flambient method, real estate photo editing costs, and more!