Your Comprehensive Checklist: How to Prepare a Property for a Photo Shoot

/ / Real estate photographer

As a realtor, you understand that the key to selling a property quickly and at the best possible price lies in its presentation. Professional real estate photography is your ticket to success, and to make the most of it, proper preparation is essential. To help you streamline the process and showcase the property’s beauty, we’ve created a comprehensive checklist of what realtors need to do to prepare for a photo shoot.

1. Clean and Declutter:

  • Start with a thorough cleaning of the property. Clean windows, floors, and any surfaces that will be featured in the photos.
  • Declutter the space by removing personal items, excess furniture, and any distracting elements. The goal is to create an open and inviting environment.

2. Light It Up:

  • Ensure all light fixtures are working correctly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
  • Open curtains and blinds to let in natural light. Natural light creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

3. Staging:

  • Consider professional staging to maximize the property’s appeal. Staged homes tend to photograph exceptionally well.
  • If professional staging isn’t an option, use neutral and tasteful decor to enhance the property’s visual appeal.

4. Exterior Preparation:

  • Curb appeal matters. Tidy up the exterior by mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, and clearing walkways.
  • Remove vehicles from driveways and walkways to create a clean and inviting look.

5. Kitchen and Bathrooms:

  • Pay special attention to these areas as they are key selling points. Clear countertops and sinks.
  • Consider adding fresh flowers or other decorative accents.

6. Bedrooms:

  • Make the beds with clean, coordinated linens. Fluff pillows and ensure that the bedding looks inviting.

7. Focus on Details:

  • Straighten and align items like artwork and decorative pieces.
  • Remove any items that might be considered controversial or polarizing.

8. Outdoor Spaces:

  • Tidy up outdoor areas like patios, decks, and balconies. Arrange outdoor furniture neatly.
  • If the property has a pool, ensure it’s clean and the water is clear.

9. Hide Cords and Wires:

  • Conceal cords and wires from electronics and appliances. Tangled cords can be distracting in photos.

10. Pets:

  • If there are pets in the property, make arrangements for them to be out of the house during the photo shoot.
  • Remove pet bowls, toys, and any signs of pets.

11. Pre-Shoot Walkthrough:

  • Before the photographer arrives, do a final walkthrough of the property to ensure everything is in order.
  • Double-check that all lights are on, curtains are open, and rooms are staged.

12. Communicate with the Photographer:

  • Discuss your vision with the photographer. Let them know if there are specific features or areas of the property you want to highlight.
  • Collaborate to ensure the photographer understands your goals for the shoot.

13. Fresh Flowers and Greenery:

  • Add fresh flowers or potted plants to enhance the property’s aesthetic and bring life to the space.

14. Kitchen Appliances:

  • Ensure that all kitchen appliances, including the oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher, are clean and free of clutter.

15. Towels and Linens:

  • Replace worn or discolored towels and linens with fresh, coordinating ones in bathrooms and kitchens.

16. Personal Items:

  • Remove personal photographs, religious items, and any personal memorabilia from view to depersonalize the space.

17. Pet Cleanup:

  • If pets are part of the property, thoroughly clean pet-related areas, such as pet beds and litter boxes, and remove any pet odors.

18. Fireplace:

  • If the property has a fireplace, clean and stage it with attractive decor to make it a focal point.

19. Rearrange Furniture:

  • Rearrange furniture to create an open, inviting layout, ensuring that it maximizes the space’s potential.

20. Reflections and Mirrors:

  • Check for reflections in mirrors and glass surfaces that could capture the photographer, equipment, or unwanted objects.

21. Outdoor Maintenance:

  • Sweep outdoor areas, patios, and walkways to remove debris and leaves.
  • Trim overgrown plants and bushes for a polished appearance.

22. Adjust Window Treatments:

  • Adjust blinds and curtains to allow for an optimal balance of natural light and privacy.

23. Kitchen Countertops:

  • Keep kitchen countertops free of small appliances, dish soap, and other clutter.

24. Remove Trash Bins:

  • Temporarily hide trash bins, recycling containers, and compost bins from view.

25. Seasonal Decor:

  • Consider the season and adjust decor accordingly. For example, add seasonal flowers or decor for a fresh, timely look.

26. Property Boundaries:

  • Ensure that the property boundaries, fences, and walls are clean and well-maintained, especially if they are visible in outdoor shots.

27. Final Touches:

  • Just before the shoot, do one last check for any visible imperfections, such as scuffs on walls or marks on surfaces. Touch up as needed.

28. Property Information:

  • Provide the photographer with any important property information, such as unique selling points or features that should be highlighted.

29. Client Feedback:

  • If possible, consult with the property owner to get their input on how they want their property presented and address any concerns or requests.

Conclusion: Properly preparing a property for a photo shoot is a critical step in achieving stunning real estate photography. By following this comprehensive checklist, you can minimize the time and effort needed for preparation while maximizing the property’s beauty. The result? Eye-catching photographs that will attract potential buyers and help you sell the property quickly and at the best possible price. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-prepared property in the competitive real estate market.