Home Prep Checklist

Photographers and stagers have the same objective – to make the home look it’s absolute best.

Great staging makes the world of a difference in both photography and showings, and there’s about a 90% overlap on effective marketing techniques. However, the other 10% is where photography requires a completely different strategy.

Stagers make the home look attractive to the human eye during live showings, but those staging “add ons” (that would normally make the home look warm and inviting) may come across as clutter within the photograph. The human eye sees different things when viewing a property in person versus the photography.
Although professional photography attracts more viewers through the door, the focus needs to be on the property itself, not on the things you have (decor, brand name appliances, plants, etc) which do not come with the house and are not selling points of the home.

The following tips ensure the focus stays on the property vs. personal items. Complete these checklist items BEFORE the appointment begins (in addition to thoroughly cleaning your home) will help your property look spacious and its absolute best.


Lights, Camera, Action!

Turn on all lights in the house, including small lamps.


Replace broken and/or mismatching color light bulbs (blue or yellow tones).



Turn off all TVs, computer screens, and projectors.


Camera Shutters Don’t Like Clutter.

Remove all items on kitchen countertops and islands, small kitchen appliances, towels, cooking utensils, trash cans, dog bowls, fridge magnets, etc. from the kitchen.


Hide photo frames, faux plants, clocks, and other small items from table surfaces, mantles, dressers, desks, etc.


Remove toiletries, appliances, kleenex boxes, etc. from bathroom counters, tubs, and showers.


Remove small throw rugs, including doormats and bathroom mats. It will make the room look more spacious and won’t distract the viewer from the actual space itself.



Still Life Photography.

As cute as they are, keep pets in the garage, kennel, or offsite during the appointment.



Turn off all ceiling fans throughout the home. Fans can take 5 minutes to come to a complete stop, so make sure this is done before the appointment starts.



Curb Appeal.

Move vehicles to the street, not in driveway. Even if you have a hot rod, the focus should be selling the house.



Make sure lawn and landscaping is maintained.



Clear lawn of leaves and debris. Sweep/remove leaves and other items in patio areas.



Remove yard signs (For Sale, home security, school, decor, etc.).



Backyard Bliss.

Clean pool and remove toys.



Arrange outdoor furniture as you would like it photographed. If there is a patio umbrella, please open it.


Put away water hoses, toys, cleaning supplies, recycle bins, and miscellaneous items.


In A Nutshell:

Make your home look like the in-laws are coming to visit.

Don’t just tidy up. Thoroughly clean!

Hide and put away miscellaneous items inside places that won’t be photographed (closets, cabinets, drawers, garage, powder room, etc).

Less = more. Way less = way more.

Your kitchen and master bathroom should be your biggest focus on preparing it to absolute perfection.