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"How to Stage Your Home Like a Pro: Real Estate Photography Tips and Tricks"

Updated: May 14

How to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photography: A Step-by-Step Guide

Real estate photography plays a pivotal role in selling your home. High-quality, appealing photos can significantly attract more potential buyers, making the first impression a lasting one. With the rise of online listings, your home's photos are often the first, and sometimes only, opportunity to captivate interested parties. Preparing your home for real estate photography is, therefore, crucial. Here’s how you can ensure your home is picture-perfect and ready for its close-up.

Living room in an apartment we photographed

1. Declutter and Depersonalize

The goal is to make your home look like a blank canvas on which potential buyers can project their own visions of living there. Start by removing personal items like photos, keepsakes, and anything that personalizes the space too much. Clutter can also distract from the home's features, so tidy up each room to ensure it looks spacious and welcoming.

2. Deep Clean

Nothing turns off potential buyers faster than a home that looks (or feels) dirty. A deep clean can do wonders, making your space appear brighter and more inviting. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas, bathrooms, and the kitchen. Don’t forget about windows - clean glass can dramatically improve the quality and brightness of your photos.

3. Maximize Natural Light

Good lighting can make your home look warm and inviting. Open all curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. Consider the time of day when your home gets the best light, and schedule your photography session accordingly. Well-lit rooms look bigger and more welcoming in photos.

4. Fine-Tune the Decor

While you want to depersonalize, you also don’t want your home to look stark or uninviting. A few well-placed decorative items can add warmth and character. Consider adding a vase of fresh flowers on the dining table or an artfully placed bowl of fruit in the kitchen. Ensure that the decor complements the space without overwhelming it.

5. Address Minor Repairs

Small details can make a big difference in photos. Address any minor repairs such as fixing leaky faucets, patching holes in walls, or touching up paint where needed. These small fixes can help make your home appear well-maintained and cared for, which is appealing to buyers.

6. Stage Each Room

Staging your home involves arranging furniture and decor to showcase each room's potential. Remove unnecessary furniture to make rooms appear larger and ensure that each room has a clear purpose. A well-staged home can help buyers envision themselves living in the space.

7. Pay Attention to Outdoor Spaces

Curb appeal is just as important in photographs as it is in person. Mow the lawn, trim hedges, and clear away any yard debris. If you have outdoor living spaces, make sure they are neatly arranged and inviting. A few potted plants or a neatly set patio table can suggest an appealing lifestyle to potential buyers.

8. Final Walk-Through

Before the photographer arrives, do a final walk-through of your home. Check each room for anything out of place, adjust curtains to let in light evenly, and make sure all surfaces are clean and shiny. Turn on all the lights, including bedside lamps and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, to add warmth and depth to your photos.

9. Collaborate with Your Photographer

Professional real estate photographers understand how to make homes look their best. Don’t hesitate to ask for their advice on preparing your home or to share any specific features you want to highlight. They can offer valuable insights on making your home look its best in photos.

Check out how our homes look

Photo of Living Room


Preparing your home for real estate photography might seem daunting, but it’s an essential step in the selling process. By following these tips, you can ensure your home is presented in the best possible light, attracting more potential buyers and helping you achieve a successful sale. Remember, the effort you put into preparing your home for its photographic debut can significantly impact how quickly and profitably you sell your home.

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