How to Get Your House Ready for Listing Photos

Getting a house ready to sell takes work, but it’s worth it! Putting in a little extra effort before the listing goes live will often result in increased profits at the closing table … and that’s a seller’s dream! Since photos are used to market your home on the MLS and in other marketing materials, it’s important to follow a few steps to get your house ready for listing photos. {Would you rather watch than read? Scroll down for the video version of this blog post.}

how to get your dfw house ready for listing photos

We’ve all seen property listings with terrible photos that are dark, dingy, messy, and cluttered. They don’t make you stop and view more of the house, do they? Great listing photos are key to drawing people in. You want to make it easy for buyers to see your home, build interest, and set up a real life showing.

Getting the actual photos done are the agent’s job. Regardless of the price point of the home, I always hire a professional real estate photographer so we have well-lit, properly angled photos. However, most photographers will do very little arranging so the prep work is the seller’s job.

Remember: during this time, you need to think of your home as a product to sell. You’re removing some of the extra, personal touches because you want a buyer to picture themselves living there. If you need some guidance in this area, picture the last model home you walked through and try to imitate that.

How to Prepare Your Home for Listing Photos

Remove all clutter.

Take everything off the top, sides, and front of the fridge, including magnets, art pieces, and cereal boxes. Clear everything off the kitchen and bathroom counters except absolute necessities. Take family photos off the mantel and just leave simple decorations. Your decorating style during this time is minimalism.

Remove extra furniture.

You want rooms to look spacious and roomy and that might mean you need to remove a bookshelf or large chair and store it in the garage while your house is on the market. When a room is packed full of furniture, buyers can become distracted by it but they will also have the impression that the room is much smaller than it is.


Typically, when the listing photos are being taken, the house will go on the market just a few days later so this is really a two for one in terms of benefit. Make sure the mirrors are sparkling, windows are clean, vents and fans aren’t covered in dust, and the baseboards and floors are clean. You may also want to get the carpets cleaned because carpet stains do tend to show in photos. This might be a great time to invest a few hundred dollars in a professional deep cleaning.

Turn on all lights and lamps.

You want your home to appear bright and welcoming so make sure there are lots of lights turned on.

Take a walk around your house and change any burned out bulbs. This is important when you’re showing the house as well. A house full of burned out bulbs, which is pretty easy maintenance, can make a buyer wonder what other maintenance hasn’t been done.

Open shutters and blinds and set them all to matching angles.

Setting the blinds to matching angles will look better in the photos and opening everything up will let in lots of natural light.

If you’ve got blinds that are haphazard or broken, take them down or open them all the way.

Straighten everything.

Straighten the pictures on the walls and any throw rugs on the floor. Fluff the toss pillows on the couch and arrange them nicely. Take a quick walk through your house before the photographer arrives and make sure everything looks like it’s sitting the way it should.

Turn off the ceiling fans.

If fans are left on, they just look like a blur in the photos.

Close the toilet lid and the shower curtain.

Some photographers prefer the shower curtain to be open, especially if there’s nice tile to show off, but in general, I prefer it closed. Make sure the towels are all hanging nicely, at an even height. Close the toilet lid. If you store a plunger or a toilet brush near the toilet, remove it for the photos.

Make the beds.

Make all of the beds then do a walk around them to make sure sheets aren’t hanging at a crooked angle or sticking out below a quilt. It seems meaningless but little details like this become very noticeable in photos. Is it a dealbreaker? Absolutely not, but it does mean that photo might not be as usable for marketing.

Remove your furry friends and their supplies.

While the house is being photographed, remove the pet, food dishes, crates, and cages {if possible}, from the areas that are being photographed.

Prepare the outside of the home.

The photographer will take a number of outside photos so cut the lawn, weed the flower beds, trim back the hedges, and arrange the patio furniture. Sweep the porch and exterior areas. Remove cobwebs and any other signs of insects. If you have a pool, make sure it’s clean {a green pool doesn’t win anyone over}, and put away pool toys, the vacuum, and other gadgets.

These things might feel a little finicky but good listing photos help market your home well.

For more help selling your home, click on the contact button in the menu above or reach out with a text, email, or phone call. Let’s get that house sold!

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