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The Essential Real Estate Media Photography Checklist for Sellers

Preparing your home for the market goes beyond just a coat of paint and a quick tidy-up—especially in the age of online listings where your home's first impression is almost always through photographs. High-quality, appealing photos can dramatically enhance your property’s market presence, reduce its time on the market, and potentially increase the selling price. To help you and your realtor capture your home in the best light, we’ve compiled an essential real estate media photography checklist. This checklist below is designed to guide you and ensure your property looks its absolute best in photographs, appealing to the widest audience of potential buyers. P.S. make sure to right click and save checklist to share with future sellers and upcoming listings 😉

Prep your property for a real estate bidding war
Real Estate Media Photoshoot Checklist

Pre-Photography Preparation

1. Declutter and Depersonalize

  • Remove personal items such as photos, posters, and eccentric decorations that can distract buyers and prevent them from imagining themselves in the space.

  • Clear off counters in the kitchen and bathrooms to create a feeling of more space.

2. Clean Thoroughly

  • Deep clean your home from top to bottom, including windows, which can affect how much light enters your space.

  • Consider a professional cleaning service for carpets and upholstery to ensure they look their best.

3. Address Minor Repairs

  • Fix any small issues like leaky faucets, squeaky doors, or chipped paint. These details might seem minor but can suggest well-maintained property to buyers.

4. Optimize Lighting

  • Replace all burnt-out bulbs and upgrade to high-wattage, soft-light bulbs to brighten rooms.

  • Open curtains and blinds during the photo shoot to let in natural light, which is usually more flattering than artificial light.

5. Stage Your Home

  • Arrange furniture to maximize space and flow. Sometimes, less is more; consider removing excess furniture.

  • Add neutral but warm touches, like plants or vases of flowers, which can make the space more inviting.

6. Enhance Curb Appeal

  • Mow the lawn, prune bushes, and make sure the garden is tidy.

  • Ensure the entrance is welcoming with a clean pathway and perhaps a new doormat or potted plants.

7. Plan for Pets

  • Arrange for pets to be out of the house during the photography session. Hide pet bowls, toys, and beds.

8. Prepare for Each Room

  • Ensure each room has a purpose and a clear function. This helps buyers envision living in the space.

  • In the kitchen, remove magnets, papers, and photos from the refrigerator. In the bathrooms, put away all toiletries, except for neatly arranged, decorative items.

During the Photography Session

  • Discuss with your realtor and photographer any special features of your home that you want highlighted.


  • Review the images before they are posted. Ensure they accurately represent your home and showcase it in the best possible way.

  • Stay flexible; if some areas didn’t photograph as well as expected, consider additional staging or a reshoot.


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