Home Preparation for Lived-in Homes
You can’t change your home’s location or square footage, but you can prepare your home to look its best for the listing photos. You may want to consider consulting with a professional home stager for specific recommendations to best showcase your home.
Getting your home ready for photos can be a challenge if you’re still living there. To make it a bit easier, the checklist below is organized into two parts: tasks that can be completed prior to the day of photographs and things that might not be practical to do until that day. However, feel free to prepare your home according to your own schedule.
Closets and garages are not usually photographed.
Please have your home ready before I arrive, as I will be onsite for only an hour or two at most.
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Prior to Photography Day
• Vacuum carpets
• Sweep and mop floors
• Wash windows
• Remove everything from tables and floor (family photos, magazines, tissues, toys, etc.)
• Items under sofas and chairs are often visible in photographs
• Remove majority of items on shelving
• Stage with pillows on sofas and chairs
• Declutter bed-side tables (photos, books, etc.)
• Remove everything on dressers
• Remove everything on the floor
• Items under the bed are often visible in photographs
• Remove children’s names from their rooms
• Remove everything on top of fridge and cabinets
• Start decluttering counter tops
• Remove fridge magnets
• Remove everything on the table and floor
• Wipe down table
• Stage with a low centerpiece
• Place settings optional
• Start decluttering vanity
• Clean mirror, vanity, and floor
• Trim hedges
• Rake leaves
• Hide garden hoses
• Put away toys
On Photography Day
• Lights off
• Ceiling fans off
• Open curtains and blinds, making sure they are even within each room
• Contain pets
• Hide remotes, phones, tissues, toys, etc.
• Remove everything on bed-side tables (alarm clocks, tissues etc.) except lamp
• Make the bed and stage with pillows
• Remove everything on counter tops – coffee pot, hand soap, sponges, food, paper towels, dishes in sink, etc.
• A nice cutlery block or a fancy stand mixer can be used to hide outlets
• Wipe down counter tops
• Hide trash cans from view
• Remove dish towels, kitchen rug, pet bowls
• Stage with a bowl of fruit or similar
• Remove everything on the vanity (toothbrushes, hand soap, etc.)
• Remove bath rug, trash can, and toilet brush (these can go in the shower if it’s not being photographed. Usually, only tiled showers are photographed.)
• Close shower curtain
• Put toilet lid down
• Stage racks with clean folded towels
• Hide trash cans
• Move cars out of view