18 simple things to do before your home is photographed.

If you employ a regular housekeeper and landscaper, congratulations! Your home is most likely ready for photographs and you can skip this blog and continue scrolling through your social media. Just be sure to have your Realtor schedule the photographer the day of or day after these services are complete. 

For the rest of us who do the house cleaning and yard maintenance ourselves, here is what you can do to show your home in the best light for real estate photographs. These photographs are the first impression potential buyers will see of your property, so it’s in your best interest to put some effort into these steps.   

“Hey! I’m paying my Realtor a fat commission. Why can’t they do this for me?” you ask. Of course, a quality Realtor will assist you in any way they can to make your home sparkle, but no one wants to pick up someone else’s dirty clothes and underwear! If you are physically unable to prep your home, let your Realtor know you need help. 

Thoroughly cleaning your home is the first step and actual people and pets should not be in the pictures. However, according to Key West Real Estate photographer, Rocky Gonet, of KeyWestRealEstatePhoto.com here are some simple things you can do to help your home photograph well.

Throughout the home:

• Remove family photos.
• Remove any sign of pets, i.e. dog crates, beds, food bowls or litter boxes. Unfortunately, potential buyers see these items and think “smelly house”. 
• Declutter as much as possible, think “less is more”.


• Clear off the counters. Either keep them totally empty or stylishly place one or two items. 
• The exterior of the fridge should be bare, as if it’s brand new. Remove anything attached.
• Remove your trash can and any brooms and cleaning products.


• Remove everything from around the sink, open shelves and top of the toilet. Stylishly replace one or two items. If you use it in your personal grooming, (i.e. toothbrushes, deodorant, hair gel, etc.) we don’t want to see it in the photo.
• Hang matching towels neatly on the towel bar, for goodness sake no dirty towels hanging over the shower or visible used washcloths!
• Remove the trash can and any cleaning products and plungers. 
• Close the shower curtain. If your shower or tub has a glass door, remove all hygiene products.
• Close the toilet lid and put the toilet paper on the toilet paper holder.


• Clear the clutter off dresser tops, night stands, floor and bed. No clothes on the floor please! 
• Listen to your mama and make your bed as neatly as possible. Pull the covers tight so they don’t look rumpled. 
• Close the closet doors, remove anything hanging from the knobs or exterior.

Yard & Exterior:

• Remove any dead branches, add fresh mulch if possible.
• Trim overgrown plants.
• Hide the trash and recycle cans. 
Extra Credit: Clean outdoor furniture and pressure wash decks and the exterior if you are able or it’s in your budget.

Of course, most of this is common sense, but you will be AMAZED at the poor photos some Realtors use in their listings. Be sure to consult your Realtor for help if this list seems daunting. Since you will be moving soon anyway, go ahead and start clearing that clutter. 

Although we’d love to show you some terrible photos that are on the Key West MLS, we simply can’t do that. You can always check out www.badmlsphotos.com for some laughs.