How to Prepare Your Home For a Photo Shoot

By Marcus Fleming, Purplebricks REALTOR® | March 29, 2019

When it comes to selling your home for top-dollar (and fast), this woman could be your best friend. 

Why? According to a recent study, professional real estate photography can sell a home up to 32 percent faster.  In addition, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 87 percent of homebuyers who searched for a home online dubbed photos to be among the most useful features of REALTOR® websites. 

Photography is an important part of a winning listing package. Yet, professional photographers may not always feel comfortable moving items around in your home to get the best angle. (It’s your personal space, after all!) So, how do you ensure your photo library is the best it can be? In preparation for your photo shoot, we’ve compiled a quick list of ten tips to make it a success, and to speed up the process:

1. Know the Timeframe

Photoshoot durations vary, but generally speaking, they take 60-90 minutes depending on the size of your home.

2. Let There Be Light

Open all blinds and shutters throughout the house. The more natural light, the better!

3. Discover That “Inner Glow”

Turn on the lights in every room, including table lamps and accent lights. If you have spare bulbs, replace the burnt-out ones. Bonus points for choosing soft white bulbs instead of bulbs with harsher, cooler (read: blue) light profiles. Think mood lighting: You want your potential buyers to be romanced, not blinded, by your home’s unique appeal. 

4. Keep Surfaces Clear

Remove clutter and tchotchkes from countertops and table surfaces, leaving only basic decorative items behind. 

5. Wipe Out Smudges

You’d be surprised how often small details, like streaks or fingerprints on mirrors, show up in photography. Be sure to clean any reflective surfaces as close as possible to the start time of the shoot. 

6. Protect Your Privacy

Remove any personal items from the scene that you don’t want to be photographed and / or shown online. 

7. Put the Seat Down

Make sure all toilet seats are closed. (An open, inviting home is one thing: An open, inviting toilet is, well … quite another thing entirely.) 

8. Stop the Rotation

Turn off all ceiling fans to avoid the blades showing up blurry or completely disappearing in photographs.

9. Display a Pristine Pool

If you have a pool vacuum, we recommend that you remove it for the shoot to minimize distraction from such an important selling feature.

10. Set the Stage for Anyone

Keep in mind that people from all walks of life, faith, political beliefs, etc will be seeing your property. For that reason, your home décor (at least, for photography and showing purposes) should not include, or allude to, overt political or religious statements. 

A Few Extra Thoughts to Consider
The Camera Sees Everything

The goal of the photo shoot is to show as much of your home as possible to home buyers looking online. So remember, if an object is not tucked away in a closet or hiding in the attic, there is a very good chance it will be photographed. Make sure you're comfortable with potential buyers seeing everything that's "out." 

Avoid Cameo Appearances

During the photo shoot, the photographer will use a wide angle lens. This results in excellent photos, but it also means capturing everything and everyone in sight. If you can see the camera, it can see you, and it will be photographing you. If you’re in the frame / photo, the photographer will let you know. For the most part (and for this reason), expect to be in a different room or behind the photographer during the photo shoot.

Photo Editing Takes Time ... But Not Too Much

Processing photos locally is pretty time-intensive and can take 6-8 hours over a 1-3 day period. Don’t worry, however: Processing time won’t get in the way of your home going on the market as planned. Real estate photographers understand the time constraints you’re under, and are committed to getting your photos back to you as fast as possible. Your agent can also help monitor the processing time to make sure it goes quickly. 

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