Top 10 Things to Prepare for a Listing Photoshoot
You’ve done a ton of work with your seller to get their home ready to put on the market. They have followed your instructions and put away or thrown away a lot of stuff and the house is looking great. It’s crunch time now and you have scheduled to have photos done. Unless the home is vacant and staged by a professional, I have found that owners still living in the house forget those last minute items that will make for a great set of photos. Not their fault. These are just day to day things we all overlook when we going about our lives.
I have put together this list to help your clients on those last final steps before I get there with my camera. I have included a link to a PDF file with these instructions at the end of this post so feel free to print it out and use it if you like.
Kitchen Items- Put away the kitchen soap, dish scrubber and sponges that are sitting out on the counter. Same goes for paper towel rolls. The fewer items on your kitchen counter, the better it will look. Also, do you want to have a kitchen towel hanging on the stove or by the sink in your photos? If not, put that away as well.
Bathroom Items- Similar to kitchens, clean off the counters. Put all soap items away unless they are pretty and look staged. Please, please put away toothbrushes and toothpaste, even those you have to plug in and recharge. Even more important, put away all shower soaps, shampoos, razor blades, etc. that are in your shower. This is one of the most common things I see and it looks terrible in photos to have all those products showing. Also, make sure the toilet paper roll is tidied up and all toilet lids are down.
Straighten Linens- In your bathrooms, make sure the towels are fluffed and hung nicely. In bedrooms, make sure the beds are made well. Stand back and make sure there are no sheets or blanket edges hanging from under the bedspread. Make sure pillows are fluffed and throw pillows are placed well. The bed is a focal point in a bedroom. The photos will be much nicer if you have taken the time to create a “staged” bed, meaning that the pillows are layered and perhaps there is an afghan throw to give some texture. If you have trouble with this, look on Houzz.com or Pinterest to see examples.
Pet Items- I will assume that you have removed any pets for the duration of the photo shoot, therefore water and food bowls can and should be put away. Same goes for pet beds and toy baskets.
Electronics- if you can, move items like phones, digital clocks, answering machines, etc. out of sight. Tuck cords away on lamps and any other electronics that will be out.
Blinds and Curtains- As you walk around your house, take a look at what you see outside the windows. Decide with your broker if you want blinds/shades left open or shut. Same with curtains. If there is a view the obvious answer is you’ll want them open. If you are looking at the side of your neighbor’s home, it probably makes more sense to have them shut.
Front Entry- Does your entry need a plant to provide some color? This always makes a house feel more welcoming. Also, check to see that the welcome mat is in good shape. If it isn’t or it’s just black, it may be better to remove it or replace with something nicer.
Garbage Cans- Put your garbage cans away where they can’t be seen. Usually this is in the garage. I often shoot exterior photos at an angle and if the cans are on the side of the house that I am shooting at, they will be in the photos. The same goes for garbage cans in the house, particularly in the kitchen. Get them out of sight.
Exterior Debris- Move yard equipment, old wood, buckets, mops, construction debris, etc. to where it can’t be seen. Remove hoses that are attached to spigots on the side of the house. These don’t look good in photos.
General Staging- Take a final walk around your home, both inside and out and use a critical eye. Are all the rugs straight and the throw pillows in the right spot. Are there smudges on the windows, glass doors or stainless appliances? Do a final fluff and you should be ready to go!
Here is a PDF of this list to use with your clients. Feel free to print it out and use it.