Professional images are an extremely important part of marketing your home and it is wise to do everything possible to prepare for the photos. Here are some suggestions for showing your home to its best advantage.
- Get rid of clutter. This is the most effective thing you can do to make your home appealing in photographs and for showings. It will make the rooms look larger and allow the viewer to see the home rather than the things in it. It will also make it easier for them to imagine themselves living in it.
- Clear off countertops. Remove appliances, toothbrushes, tissue boxes, soap containers, and paper towels, stacks of mail, etc.
- Put trash cans out of sight.
- Remove notes, pictures, and magnets from the refrigerator and if there are stainless steel appliances, make sure they are clean and polished with no streaks or smudges.
- A bowl of colorful fruit or vase of flowers add a nice touch of color to the kitchen.
- Turn on all lights before the photographer arrives and before showings if possible, including lamps, under counter lights, and stove lights. Replace non-working bulbs.
- Turn off ceiling fans.
- Raise all blinds and open all curtains unless there is something unsightly outside the window.
- Remove newspapers and stacks of magazines.
- Make sure windows, skylights, and mirrors are clean and streak-free. This is extremely important as it cannot usually be corrected in post-processing.
- Remove afghans and blankets from furniture and beds.
- If you have small rooms, remove any small pieces of furniture that aren't necessary, such as ottomans. This will make the room look larger and more open.
- Make sure carpets are vacuumed and hard floors are cleaned.
- Beds should be freshly made and covers should hang evenly and not drag the floor.
- Put fresh, neatly folded towels in the bathrooms.
- Remove any evidence of pets including food and water bowl, litter boxes, toys, beds, scratching posts, etc.
- Put away any evidence of "work" such as buckets, sponges, soap bottles, and cleaning cloths.
- Hide children's toys in a toybox or closet.
- All cars need to be in the garage (unless the garage is going to be photographed) with the garage closed. No parked cars in driveway.
- Remove trash cans, garden tools, hoses, wheelbarrows, ladders, and sprinklers.
- Sweep or blow off sidewalks, patios, and driveways.
- Put deck/patio umbrellas up during the season and remove barbeque covers.
- Remove hot tub covers and put them out of sight.
- Put pool equipment out of sight.
- Mow the lawn, clean up yard debris.
- Trim bushes and trees to show a clear view of the house.
- Remove empty flower pots.
- Enhance curb appeal with a front door wreath or pots of greenery or flowers.