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Preparing your home for real estate photography

Updated: May 24, 2023

When selling your property, you want to do everything you can to maximise the price. Key to this is the photographs and whether you're taking them yourself or paying someone else, good photos count. So it's important to get your place ready, so that it looks its best.

Striking a balance is important. Photos of a home which is lived in will add a cosiness and a personal touch. After all, the buyer will be living there sometime. We're not looking for clean and clinical: This isn't a hotel. But neither will viewers want to see the previous night's take-out containers in the living room. As a general and simple rule, clean the property as you would if you were giving it a “Spring clean”: Remove all the clutter but not the furniture. Tidy is the word.

Light is the next most important thing, and the more natural light there is flowing into your home, the better. So when doing that spring clean, give the windows a good polish. Once the room is clean and tidy, step back and imagine how it might look in a photo: What's the best angle? Where would it be best for the photographer to stand when taking the shot? Lighting and space are the key contributors to a good shot. But if the best spot for space just shows distracting little corners of the furniture and features, you might want to move the room around a little.

When preparing each room, think of its main use. The living room is just that: You need to make it look like a room people would want to live in. Make the kitchen look inviting, by leaving clues that it's functional. Perhaps place a bowl of fresh fruit on a work counter, or some flowers on the dining table. Be careful not to make it look too over-produced and staged. If there's a feature in the kitchen worth drawing attention to, like a fitted range cooker, think of how to maximise its impact in a photograph.

The bathroom simply needs to be light, clean and hygienic, with any features made prominent when planning your photos.

Bedrooms can be a minefield. Again, function is the rule. A bedroom is for relaxing and sleeping in, and this can be reflected in the photos with some simple preparation: Clean, tidy and especially in the bedroom, dress it up but keep it neutral. Make the bed and cover any indulgent bedclothes with simple cream or magnolia throws.

And don't forget the outside. The exterior of a property will be the first thing a visitor sees. That visitor could be your buyer and we're thinking ahead, to when that buyer has their first guests. So hide any rubbish bins, give the lawn a mow and trim any hedges. Perhaps give any woodwork a new coat of paint. Just as with the interior, the outside of the property should be clean and tidy for a good photograph which will sell the house.

Follow all of these tips and your property will practically sell itself.

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