A complete Home Prep guide to making your home stand out on the MLS.

Set Your Home Up For Success

When it comes to taking Real Estate images, there are a few things home owners can do before the photographer arrives. These steps will help make great images that much better and in turn, help sell the home faster. Anything that can be done will help! Continue reading for a more detailed break down.

At minimum, sellers should:

  • Open all blinds
  • Turn on all lights
  • Declutter counter tops and desktops
  • Put away any personal items
  • Wipe down counters and tabletops

Disclaimer: I am aware that some of these suggestions may not be achievable. Anything you are able to do will help.

Living Areas

Couch pillows and blankets should be organized and put together. The television should be off with remotes put away. Minimize the amount of decorations. Every day household items, such as magazines, game consoles, and electronics should be put away as well. Blinds and curtains pulled back and opened.


For desks and nightstands, clear off any photos or medicines, leaving only a lamp or minimal decor. Be sure to make the bed properly, placing throw pillows and duvet neatly. Floors should be cleared of shoes or clothing. All blinds and curtains should be open to let in as much light as possible.


The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home. Food, snacks, appliances, cleaning supplies and dishes should be put away and completely out of sight. This is especially important in smaller kitchens. We want to make the space look as large as possible. Trash cans should be tucked away. Fridges, microwaves and ovens should be wiped down for smudges and finger prints.


The yard should be cleared of fallen branches and twigs. Grass should be cut or trimmed. Adding front of house curb appeal such as chairs or plants is always a good idea. Trash cans tucked away. Any tools, hoses, and mowers put away as well. For pools, toys and floats should be put away. Pools should be cleaned to rid leaves and debris from water. Cars should be parked down the road or moved momentarily for photos.


Mirrors and any glass showers should be cleaned for soap scum and water marks. Toiletries such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, make up, hair accessories should be put away. Toilet seats and lids down. Used shower towels put away. Only decorative hand towels to be left out, if any.

Garages, Laundry or Offices

We understand that garages will usually be the spaces where most things will be stored. As long as the rooms are neat and somewhat organized, it should be fine. For offices and laundry rooms, the same as the other rooms would apply. Make sure the rooms are decluttered, organized and have minimal decor.

The Reasoning

I know that this process isn't something you'll enjoy doing but here’s why your realtor is using me... the two biggest reasons being:

  • Realtors who use a professional photographer sell on average $19,000 over market value (marketleader.com)
  • Professional photography can help sell your listing 39% closer to the original listing price (IMOTO PHOTO)

As the seller, that’s more money in your pockets and less time wasted just by having professional images done.

If you don’t understand anything else from this guide, other than declutter, I’ll be happy. The psychology behind it is that it let's the viewer see a grand open space that looks spacious and big. Seeing all the openness, allows the viewer to imagine their own belongings in the space. You'll hear clients say things like “My air fryer can fit on this counter!” or, “We can put my grandma’s armoire in this corner!” or even, “Hun, my 85 inch flat screen TV can fit on the wall!”. Once a buyer gets excited, they’re more likely to put in offers. And, we all know what happens when we get multiple offers. But in case you don't, it means more money.

In the end, if it's possible, you want your house to look like it belongs in a magazine. Even if your home is out of date or not in the best condition, allowing for decluttered open spaces with bright lighting will make any home look like a million dollars. These are only suggestions and we understand that during a move and selling of a home, some of these suggestions may not be achievable. Anything you can do will help.

Let's start selling your home!