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Residential Properties

Preparation Guide

General Preparation

  1. ❑ Complete Preparation Before Arrival: To avoid delays, all cleaning, staging, landscaping, and maintenance must be completed before the photographers arrive.

  2. ❑ Securing Pets: Ensure pets are secured or offsite to avoid interruptions and ensure safety with equipment around.

  3. ❑ Clearing Clutter: Move unsightly items to areas not being photographed, like garages or secondary closets.

  4. ❑ Personal Presence: Stay discreet and avoid appearing in reflections, as images with people or animals are prohibited in MLS listings.

  5. ❑ Face-Blurring Requests: Provide advanced notice if face-blurring is required to avoid additional charges.


Interior Preparation

  1. ❑ Floors: Clean all floors by steaming carpets and polishing any hardwood surfaces.

  2. ❑ Lighting: If possible, replace all non-working light bulbs with LEDs and turn on all lights before the photographers' arrival.

  3. ❑ Windows: Clean all windows and open curtains/blinds to maximize natural light. If the view is a selling point, fully raise the blinds.

  4. ❑ Ceiling Fans: Ensure ceiling fans are dust-free and turned off and all bulbs work.

  5. ❑ Entryways: Clear entryways of shoes, coats, and other items.

  6. ❑ Bedrooms: Tidy bedrooms, make beds neatly, and store personal items out of sight.

  7. ❑ Bathrooms: Ensure surfaces are clean and shiny. Remove all personal items like toothbrushes and towels and add decorative accents.

  8. ❑ Closets: Prepare only the primary closets that are staged and spacious.

  9. ❑ Kitchen: Declutter countertops and hide trash bins and non-essential appliances. Use decorative items to enhance appearance.

  10. ❑ Living Areas: Remove personal items, electronics, and cables.

  11. ❑ Office: Secure all personal documents, hide diplomas, and clear whiteboards.


Exterior Preparation

  1. ❑ Driveways and Curbside: Remove all vehicles and objects to clear the view and presentation.

  2. ❑ For-Sale Signs: Consider removing or scheduling for installation after the photo session.

  3. ❑ Lawn and Garden: Mow the lawn, trim edges, and refresh garden areas. Consider professional landscaping for enhanced appeal.

  4. ❑ Outdoor Furniture: Clean and stage outdoor furniture, ensuring no water puddles from cleaning remain.

  5. ❑ Trash Management: Store all bins out of sight, either in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.

  6. ❑ Water and Irrigation: Avoid watering on the day of the session to prevent water puddles.

  7. ❑ Snow: Ensure snow is removed a day before the session if applicable.

  8. ❑ Miscellaneous: Tidy up outdoor areas by storing hoses and plastic items and removing pet waste.



  1. ❑ Turn on all interior and exterior lights: All lights throughout the property must be turned on. Please replace all burned-out bulbs at least 24 hours before the photoshoot.

  2. ❑ Turn on spas and remove covers: If you have a spa, remove any covers and turn them on before we arrive. Turn on the lights in the spa as well.

  3. ❑ Turn on pool lights: If you have a pool, turn on the pool lights before I arrive.

  4. ❑ Turn on water features: If you have fountains, waterfalls, or similar features, please turn them on before I arrive.


This detailed checklist can help create an optimal environment for real estate photography and videography, highlighting the property's best features while minimizing distractions. This level of preparation is also great for open houses and showings.

Please download a version of this checklist here: Property Preparation. Share this document with your sellers and collaborate to check off items as they become complete.

Contact Michael at (385) 293-3375 or with any questions.

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