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Getting Ready for the Photographer

I read somewhere recently that a Seller should  prepare his or her home like he or she is expecting a guest, a very important guest.

What to expect when I photograph your home:

The Exterior:

When I arrive, I walk around the house looking for anything that appears out of place, making sure cars, bicycles, lawn mowers, toys and trash receptacles, etc. are out of sight and that garage doors are closed. I will be photographing the garage so don't fill it up.

I will also be photographing the pool, swing set, treehouse, or anything else of interested and included in the sale. Make sure there are no crooked blinds or an open drape next to a closed one, etc. Be sure deck and porch furniture are neat and organized. Lawn and gardens should be neat and no pets running around.

I consider the time of day when photographing the exterior of the house. Early morning and late afternoon light are usually the most flattering. I will get more accurate colors of the house, lawn, gardens, etc. Sometimes two trips are necessary for the best light for the exterior of the house.

The Interior:

I cannot over-emphasize need for a clean uncluttered home. Make sure that carpets are vacuumed and the sliders are fingerprint free and that pets are out of the way

On the day of our session I begin with a walk through. I turn on the lights throughout the home, making sure bulbs are working, the lampshades are level and the blinds raised and level.  Be sure anything hanging on the walls, mirrors or photographs, etc. are level and smudge free.


Clear away all clutter on the counter and sink. No dishes, cups or dish soap to be seen. Even an excessive number of appliances on the counter is distracting. No towels hanging anywhere and no notes or magnets on the refrigerator. Make sure any small area rugs are square to the cupboards.

Pay special attention to appliances that have reflective metallic surfaces. They are going to glare, especially the brushed and black finishes and if they have smudges they will show in the pictures so remove them. Kitchens are  usually home to the family's pet(s) food bowls. I try to avoid showing them in the photographs regardless of where they appear. I think they have a potential to prejudice a prospective purchaser against an otherwise spotless house.


Be sure beds are made and the spread is wrinkle free and hanging evenly, any shoes and clothing is in the proper place, and that personal items have been removed from night tables including book and magazines, drinking glasses, eyeglasses, facial tissue, etc.

Living room

Living rooms are what friends and family see when they visit so they do not usually need as much attention. Clutter in the living tends to be books and magazine (afghans). Fireplace mantles can be catch-all's, distracting from the appearance. Be sure the carpet is vacuumed, and any throw rugs are organized.


Be sure that everything is clean and all personal items; toothpaste and brushes, drinking glasses, bar soap, pill containers, used towels, etc. are  removed, that the toilet seat is in the down position and nothing is on the tank. Regarding showers and tubs be sure they are clean and remove any visible soaps, shampoo, razors, etc.

Garages and unfinished basement

In addition to any finished space, I usually include photos of the various mechanicals.  As much as is possible try to remove or box up clutter.

In winter be sure the walks are shoveled and sanded. And remember that old cliché, there is only one chance to make a first impression.