If you are looking to sell or rent out your home, then preparing your property for a photo session is perhaps the most important element of the visual marketing process (except, perhaps for choosing the right photographer).
We cannot emphasise enough that making the space clean and tidy is only one part of a successful photoshoot.
To ensure the best success, we have compiled a few recommendations that we have found can make a profound difference to your success.
If you are wanting to get your listing noticed, increase perceived value, and attract a higher percentage of interest, then be sure to follow these suggestions.
Below, you will also find a download link – we have also compiled a handy checklist for you which summarises these main points. Download and print off a copy and use it as you prepare your home to make sure that you don’t miss anything.
A few bonus suggestions can also be found by reading 7 secrets to showcase your property.
Follow them when you are preparing your property and you will have a great photo session!
Important points to remember:
The photographer is coming to photograph your home – not to tidy it up for you. Styling your property ready for the photo session is your job, and this needs to be done in advance.
It takes a little time – so don’t leave it until an hour before the appointment. Start on this a day or so beforehand.
It’s the small details that matter
One of the most important things to keep in mind when prepping for the photoshoot is to depersonalise your home. This means remove all your personal items such as family photos, magazines, half-read books left lying around, toys, pet bedding and so on. TV remotes should be out of sight as well – not left on a coffee table!
Also, remove any valuables – you don’t want to advertise their presence online by showing them in your property photos!
You want the person looking at the photos to be able to imagine themselves in the space – and if your personal items are there, they will be in the way of this thought process.
This includes holiday and religious decorations (hint: try not to book a photo session at Christmas).
Keep your windows all closed and curtains open. Leave all your lights turned off.
The bathroom is probably the only location the photographer will probably want to use artificial light.
Hoover and dust before your photographer arrives! You’d be amazed at how many people forget and remember – the camera sees all and never lies.
Prop all your internal doors open with discrete door stoppers.
Arrange soft furnishings tidily, smooth covers, rearrange cushions to hide zips and remove a few if you have lots of them (less is more).
Make sure all your TV, computer and other screens are switched off. Pro tip: Hide cables with masking tape.
A vase of fresh flowers goes a long way in a photo.
It should go without saying that the kitchen should be spotless. Remove all your clutter from the worktops – including appliances: mixers, coffee machines etc.
Hide all your bottles and condiments if you usually have them out on display. Empty the sink and remove any bins, pet items (bedding, food bowls, etc).
An arranged bowl of attractive fresh fruit looks great on a table or worktop.
Wipe down all shiny surfaces.
Open shower doors and curtains (any glass doors, tiles, mirrors and any other shiny surfaces need to be clean and free from water spots). Remove all bottles (shampoos, gels, toothpaste) and personal items.
The toilet seat should be down, and toilet rolls removed. Clean towels are OK to be left if they are folded neatly.
These should be tidy, with no clothing in sight (remember to remove robes from the door hooks!) and again, no personal items, jewellery, bedside pictures, etc. Anything stored under the bed should be either completely unseen – from any angle – or else removed.
Straighten the bed covers and pillows or cushions.
Clear any clutter away from your garden or any other outside area, such as the patio, balcony etc. Remove children’s toys, pet toys and gardening equipment. Hide your wheely bins.
If you have a driveway, remove your car and park it elsewhere. Pro tip: Park your car on the road directly outside your property the night before (as long as it’s a legal parking space). Then move it elsewhere when your photographer is taking external property shots. That way, you can guarantee there will not be a car in the way when the photograph is taken.