- Be shoot ready – Cleaning and staging needs to be done preferably the day before the photo-shoot. I may move small items to improve the photo composition but larger items need to be organized before I arrive.
- Secure or remove pets – Dogs must be secured or off the property. MLS prohibits people and animals in pictures. Cats should be secured as well if they don’t hide from strangers.
- Plan not to be seen – All occupants should plan on either being off the property or remain in areas where they can’t be seen during the photo-shoot. If you can see me then my camera can see you too. What’s more, people can cause reflections and shadows.
- Clear the cars – Make sure there are no cars in the driveway. If possible, remove the cars from the closest area in the street.
- Hide the trashcans – Trashcans can be placed in the garage or behind the fence if available.
- Hide hoses – Make sure they don’t drip or spill water over the walks or driveway leaving wet spots.
- Prep the yard – Yard should be mowed and cleared of any toys or garden tools.
- Turn off sprinklers – Do not water the day of the photo-shoot to prevent puddles.
- Pick up poop – If you have a dog that goes around the house make sure all area is cleaned.
- Prep pool and spa – Have them cleaned the day before or even the same day for pools with no screen, to make sure there are no leaves. For spas provide instructions how to operate them.
- Prep water features – Like fountains, waterfalls, ponds etc.
- Remove for sale sign – If already installed , remove the sign as it violates the MLS rules. The best is to schedule the installation after the photo-shoot.
- Clean patio furniture – Remove cobwebs and leaves, dust off the tables.
- Declutter kitchen – Dishes , sponges, towels, soaps should be put away. Remove fridge magnets and pictures, also floor mats and rugs.
- Declutter bathroom – Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap bottles and other personal items should be hidden. Preferred decorative candles, soaps, flowers. It is good to remove floor mats and rugs.
- Prep bedrooms – All beds should be made as smooth as possible. Personal items put away.
- Declutter closets – If you want them showcased, closets should be organized, or even staged with fewer higher quality items.
- Depersonalize offices – Remove personal items and paperwork with any identifying information.
- Hide trashcans – Hide them in closets or the garage.
- Hide portable fans – Hide them in closets or the garage.
- Clear hallways and entryways – Remove all shoes, umbrellas, dog leashes and similar items.
- Open blinds with views – The rooms with nice window views, that you want showcased, should have their blinds open.
- Turn on lights – Right before the appointment make sure all the lights are on. Any burned light bulbs should be replaced before the photo-shoot.
- Turn off ceiling fans – Make sure all the ceiling fans are off for the appointment.
- Turn on interior and exterior lights – All lights should be turned on for the appointment. If possible, window blinds open, to make sure the indoor light is visible outside. Replace all burned light bulbs.
- Turn on spas – Tun on the spa and the lights in it.
- Turn on pool lights
- Turn on water features