Real Estate Photography Resources

How to Quickly Prepare For a Listing Photo Shoot

By Lindsay Goebel Last Updated March 15, 2024 2 min read

Professional photography is the #1 factor that will determine how much money your property will sell for. While the quality of the photography is important, it’s just as important to make sure your house is clean and organized to make it as marketable as possible.

Would you view a house with burned-out lightbulbs and clutter everywhere?

Using these simple steps, you can ensure your property looks stunning from the inside out!

Start early

Take it from the Mile High Home Pro, Matt Metcalf: being early is everything!

“Showing up early to your photo sessions for properties is extremely important. It gives you the opportunity to help prepare the house prior to the photographer showing up, which allows them to spend their time making sure to get the best shots with the best lighting instead of prepping the home.”


Interiors can sometimes be tricky as it consists of big picture preparations as well as the small details. Overall for the interior spaces, make sure everything is tidied and wiped down, and remove personal items such as family pictures and holiday decor.

Open all curtains in the home and twist blinds open, but don’t worry about pulling them up. If there are pets present, either let them outside, in the garage or the basement.

Also, simple staging is an easy trick that can add interest to a space. Place unobtrusive decorative items on counters and tables. These may include fresh flowers or fruit, vases, lit candles and more. If possible, hide any cords throughout the house.

Let’s move into the specifics –


  • Turn on all lights
  • Replace any burnt-out bulbs
kitchen with range hood over island


  • Remove fridge magnets
  • Wipe down counters
  • Remove non-decorative items such as dish soap, paper towel rolls, sponges

Tip: If you’re in a rush, stow away loose items in the sink


  • Lower toilet seats
  • Remove non-decorative items (i.e. soaps, lotions, mouthwash, toothbrushes)
  • Wipe down counters


  • Make beds
  • Fluff pillows
  • Hide laundry
  • Remove personal items


Not all listings will come with freshly landscaped yards, but there are ways to quickly maximize curb appeal for listing photos:

  • Hide lawn equipment
  • Dispose of pet waste
  • Get lawn mowed
  • Sweep walkways
  • Remove any flags
  • Remove vehicles from the driveway
  • Close garage door (if applicable)

Properly preparing your listing for photos will go a long way with capturing the attention of home buyers. By following our tips above, you will maximize the quality of your photos and help secure more showings and a faster sale. Want a print-ready checklist? Download here.

Ensure the interior end exterior look clean and inviting. Remove personal items like family pictures and holiday decor to create a neutral appeal. Open curtains and twist blinds to allow natural light in.

No, real estate photographers shoot properties as is. To encourage competitive offers and selling your listing at the highest asking price, make sure you take the time to properly prepare your listing before photos.

Yes, staging can have a significant impact on the final sale price of a property. Properly staged homes often sell for higher prices than unstaged ones by showcasing the property’s potential and helping buyers envision themselves living there.