Prepare your home for real estate photos

Prepare your home for real estate photos

The Ultimate Guide:

How to prepare your home for Real Estate Photos

Hello, I’m Craig! I’m the owner and lead photographer at illini360 Media. I created this guide to help you prepare your home for the big day: Your Photo Shoot!

Get the most out of your real estate photography experience with our Ultimate Guide: How to Prep Your Home for Real Estate Photos

Our easy-to-follow instructions guide you through everything you need to do in order to ensure your space looks its best for pictures, so you can make sure your home looks even better than before.

By using this checklist as a guide, you can feel confident that everything is in order & ready to go once the photographer arrives. We look forward to capturing your home!

FREE Printable Guide below

Day of Shoot Reminders

  • At your set appointment time, please have your home ready for pictures. Due to back-to-back appointments, we must reschedule if the house is not ready.
  • We are unable to take pictures of homes while homeowners are moving items in & out of rooms.
  • Please consider running an errand, taking a walk, or going outside during your appointment. This will help the photographer capture the best shots, from the best angles without distractions.



  • Pull weeds
  • Trim trees and overgrown shrubs
  • Rake up the leaves
  • Mow the lawn and edge
  • Put away garden hoses
  • Pick up any items that may be laying around the yard
  • Cover dirt with mulch to make it look more attractive
  • Move cars out of the driveway
  • Sweep the porch and sidewalks
  • If you have outdoor furniture, wipe it down & make sure that the cushions look clean

Living Room

  • Remove any magazines
  • If bookshelves are in the room, organize and/or arrange the books in a nice pattern
  • Fluff pillows, fold throws and arrange neatly
  • Hide shoes, remotes, and any visable clutter


  • Clear the counters 
  • Hide the soaps, sponges and rags 
  • Get rid of extra small appliances that are sitting around, as well as stacks of paper or dishes that may be placed at the end of the counter
  • Clear the school notices, crayon drawings, and magnets off of the fridge

Family Room

  • Make sure to pick up any clutter and rearrange furniture to suit aesthetics versus use
  • It is a good idea to pay attention to the way the electronic cords are arranged, and try to move them to a place so that they are out of sight
  • Fluff pillows, fold throws and arrange neatly

Dining Room

  • Make sure the dining table is wiped down and the chairs are arranged neatly
  • You might consider adding a nice centerpiece on the table, such as bowl of fresh fruit or a floral arrangement.
  • Don’t leave any leftover plates, waterbottles or dishes on the table
  • Wipe the table, sweep the floor, and mop the floor to remove any marks



  • These rooms can attract a lot of clutter and personality 
  • Try to store away anything “loud” and put away sensitive personal items
  • Remove box fans & standup fans
  • You want the bed to look beautiful and inviting. Use a nice bedspread and big, fluffy pillows that are neatly arranged at the head of the bed
  • If anything is sitting on the nightstand, organize it or remove


  • Besides matching towels and/or shower curtain, EVERYTHING should be put away
  • In the shower and tub, remove the shampoo, soaps, washcloths, and baby toys
  • The garbage cans, bathmats, laundry baskets, extra toilet paper, the toilet brush, and scales should also be moved out of the room
  • Finish it off by closing the toilet, and hang fresh towels on the towel rails

Download PDF Guide


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