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In today’s visual driven internet, staging a home for photos is a sure way to get top dollar for your home.

The average person will see your home for an instant. Buyers scroll through hundreds of homes on their PC, tablet, or smartphone. Your window of opportunity to make an impression is an instant.

Think of sites like Realtor.com and Zillow as if they were dating sites, and just like in real life, first impressions count.

According to the National Association of Realtors research departmentforty-nine percent of buyers’ agents cited that homes staging had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home. Only four percent of respondents said that home staging had no effect on the buyer’s view of the home.

Prep and stage what matters the most

Just like dating (get a haircut, wear clean clothes, etc), you have to focus your efforts on what matters the most in your home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the most important rooms for buyers are the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. These are the rooms that you want to focus on the most. The rest of the home has to look clean and tidy, but the three rooms we mentioned have to look their best.

  • De-clutter everything. Less is more when showing your house.
  • Depersonalize your home. One man’s treasure is another man’s junk. Photos of your kids or your taxidermy collection can discourage buyers. Put these things away.
  • Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations, leaving them can make your pictures dated.
  • Clean everything! Today’s cameras are great and can pick up small details.
  • Make all the beds and put away your stuff (clothes, shoes, makeup, etc).
  • Clear all the kitchen countertops and put away everything.
  • Remove all magnets and decorations from the refrigerator.
  • Clear all bathroom countertops and put away all personal items.
  • Remove all shampoos, conditioners, body washes, etc. from the shower.
  • Hide all your towels.
  • Hide all the trash cans in your home.
  • If there are pets, hide all food/water bowls, pet beds, and pet toys.
  • Put all toilet seats and lids down.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs.
  • Secure all your pets and place them in place that will not be photographed.
  • Turn all lights on (All of them!)
  • Turn off ceiling fans.

Patch and Paint

Older homes will have imperfections that you should fix. Small things like cracks and stains in your drywall will discourage potential buyers, or worse yet, impact the value of your home.

Natural light works the best

Natural daylight is a great illuminator, it makes things in your home look their best. Photographers will use natural light and enhance it with flashes to create eye-catching photos of your home.

So make sure to open all the curtains beforehand.

Fresh flowers work wonders

Some fresh flowers in the kitchen or living room can make a huge impact when staging your home. Look at the cover of any home decor magazine, they always have flowers in them.

Use Flowers

Take care of the outside

The first picture people will see of your home when browsing the internet will usually be the front of the house, followed at some point by the backyard.

Photographers can fix small things in post-production (like brown spots on the lawn), but big things are harder or impossible to disappear.

  • Move your cars out of the driveway and garage. You are selling your home, not your car.
  • If possible, move cars from the street curb also.
  • Mow, trim, and clean up your yard.
  • Hide your garbage cans.
  • Pick up and remove unnecessary junk from your yard. (toys, balls, yard tools, etc.)
  • Clean your roof of leaves and twigs, get these removed, they make your house look old.
  • Power wash where needed. (like your driveway)

Last but not least, please secure all your valuables in a secure place like a safe or lockbox, there will be many people walking through your house.

Mow Your Lawn

Jose Barrios

Jose Barrios


“What can I say? I love taking photos of houses.”

Based in Orlando Florida, Jose is a real estate photographer specializing in vacation homes, working for realtors and property managers to make their properties look great.

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