Preparing your home for listing photos

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Clean like your mother-in-law is coming! It sounds scary, doesn’t it? You’ve finally decided to list your home, and now your real estate agent is coming to photograph it. The National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shared that “Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process, and 50 percent of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.”

What’s more? For 42 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties.

So what are those buyers looking at? Photos. They are going to make a judgment about further pursuing your home largely based on the photos they view. If your photos aren’t desirable, that judgment could be a quick one. A snap judgment. Piles of laundry on the couch? Next. A sink full of dishes? Next. Luckily there are simple things you can do to help your Realtor represent your house in beautiful and alluring photos.


Get rid of it. Any way you can, whether it’s renting a storage unit or just lining the shelves of your closets with the personal belongings that don’t belong in photos.


We all love an adorable dog. But a cute canine photo bomb in an otherwise great photo is distracting. Also, agents will have a difficult time maneuvering their camera around a “helpful” pooch protecting their home. Consider a kennel for the day, or find a loyal friend willing do to you a dog-sitting favor.


Your personal style is great and took a lot of thoughtful time and effort, but buyers want to see a blank slate in listing pictures. Remember, they are envisioning their family in this home. Swap some family photos for a few neutral, modern art pieces instead. But again, don’t go overboard, avoid too much distraction.

A HOME Real Estate agent offered this helpful advice: “Nothing on the countertops, countertops should be completely clear.” And an often overlooked aspect is the refrigerator; remove everything from the front, sides, and the top. Listing photos should highlight the best features of your house and not draw attention to unnecessary details.

In general, think wide open spaces, small touches of personal life that make a potential buyer feel at home. But make them feel at home in their home, not yours. Best of all, you just get to clean and leave the rest to the professional. Your agent knows how to make a home look great; they will capture photos that get those buyers in the door!

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