EXCLUSIVE OFFER: List Your Home and Accumulate 0 Days on Market.
Home Selling

The Top 7 Ways to Prep Your Home for Photos and Showings

Written by
Liza Dovgish
March 29, 2018

The for-sale sign is about to go out front, and you’re ready to get your property sold. It’s time to get it picture-perfect! No idea where to start? That’s why you have us. Check out this handy list on what you need to do to boost your curb appeal and make your interior irresistible. Let’s dive in on what needs to get done.

photo of a kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances

Clean It!

Sure, you sweep the floors every now and again, but when’s the last time you cleaned under the couches? Also, when were you planning on cleaning off that mysterious orange-yellowish food stain on your kitchen wall? Now’s the time! Grab a mop, some dusters, and your gloves. You’ve gotta hit all the places (and we mean all of them). Clean those baseboards. Scrub that grout. Put some serious elbow grease into it. Kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, windows, and ALL the floors. That family of dust bunnies that you’ve been charging fake rent for living over in the corner? Time to evict them.

De-Personalize It!

The main concept to keep in mind with photographs and showings is that potential buyers must be able to visualize themselves living in the space. They need to walk in and immediately imagine all the ways they could utilize and decorate the home. On your part, that means de-personalizing the space. Take down family photos, pull off the drawings and magnets on the refrigerator, and put away the kids’ trophies. However, don’t completely undo your home, it still needs to feel like a home. Your walls should have some neutral photos and art rather than just a nail in the wall. Your rooms should have “some” sort of coordination and not look like a hodge-podge. Just remember to leave a little bit of neutrality for a prospective buyer’s imagination to run wild.

De-Clutter It!

Alright, we get it. Life gets busy and weird items end up in weird places. Like, how did that pair of board shorts end up in the cleaning supply closet? When’s the last time you used that sushi roller sitting on top of the refrigerator? And, oh geez, the junk drawer. Who knows what kind of creatures have taken residence in that thing since you’ve moved in?! Clean. It. Out.

It’s time to get rid of any and all unnecessary items. Old mail? Trash it. Random pens and sticky notes lying around? Trash them. Kids’ toys? Don’t trash those just yet (unless you want a crankier-than-usual 2-year-old). Instead, make it a game with your kids to get all the toys into the “fun” bins! Designate 3 or 4 bins that are utilitarian yet fashionable and get the kids to throw the toys in there. Bottom line: Contain your clutter - you are moving out soon anyway, right? You’ll be doing your potential buyers and yourself a big favor!

Visualize It!

Close your eyes and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If this were a home you were viewing for the first time, would it seem appealing? Does it feel welcoming? Remember, you’re trying to create an aesthetic. If it feels too empty, maybe disperse a couple of art pieces and artificial plants around the rooms. Here’s a couple of interior design elements to keep in mind: try to have an organized color scheme, add mirrors to a room to make it appear larger, and add extra pillows for that luxe factor. Leave enough elements around so the house isn’t empty, but make sure there’s a blank canvas for your prospective buyers to visualize themselves living there.

Paint It!

Remember that orange-yellowish stain you almost successfully cleaned off the kitchen wall? It left a grease mark, didn’t it? Well, no worries, because it’s time to paint the walls! This will get rid of those grease stains, scuffs, scratches, drawings, and any other marks. It’s not necessary to paint every square inch, but take note of the walls at the high traffic areas that haven’t been painted in years. Do they need a new coat? If so, let’s get to work! You need to get that house looking #fresh and there’s no better way to do it than a bit of a paint touch up here and there.

Take It Outside!

We’ve spent so much time inside that your exterior is feeling pretty neglected. Besides, REALTORS® ranked landscape maintenance as the #1 project "likely to add value to [a] home for resale." Curb appeal can be a simple way to increase the value of your home, so pay close attention to some of these items. Is the yard groomed? What does your front door look like? Keep in mind that the first thing potential buyers see for showings is the outside of the property. You need to set the tone for the entrance. Cut the grass, snatch the weeds, and clean up the patio furniture. Are the chairs rusted? Maybe it’s time to say goodbye. If you have flowers, bring them to the liveliest state possible. Get that home exterior looking like a BOSS. This is your curb appeal and it’s the first impression your property will make on viewers.

Ask About It!

Your home is YOUR home. Whether you’ve lived there for 2 years or 20 years, you’re biased because it’s where you spend the majority of your time every day. Phone a friend and ask for an honest opinion on what the place is looking like. This third-party opinion can really help you see things you may have overlooked just because you’re used to them. Lean on your neighbors to help too. They’ll be honest - it’s what all good neighbors do! Be open to the feedback you receive and ready to make some changes or do some extra tidying up if necessary.

Handy Checklist to Prep for Photo and Showing Day:

  • Hide your stacks of paper, any bills, and stash away the magazines
  • Put some glass cleaner on your windows
  • Remove all items (except neutral decor) from ALL countertops in the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, living areas
  • Take all items (magnets, etc.) off the fridge
  • Hide the trash bins you have throughout the house
  • Mow the lawn and spruce up the mulch
  • Hide your lawn equipment and any outdoor trash or recycling bins
  • Make sure any hoses and sprinklers are hidden

Day of Photos / Showing Checklist:

  • Have a room designated to hang out with kids/pets (or better yet... plan an outing offsite)
  • Turn all lamps and lights on
  • Put your blinds and shutters up
  • Turn fans off
  • Remove pet carriers/pet supplies
  • Remove rugs from bathroom and kitchen
  • Remove any used towels hanging in the bathroom(s) and kitchen
  • Replace any hand towels with clean ones
  • Put the toilet seats down
  • Hide bathroom items like soaps and shampoos inside of the tub
  • Put dishtowels and sponges away in the kitchen
  • Make all the beds
  • Straighten pillows throughout the house
  • Open any patio umbrellas
  • Take the cars out of the driveway

There you have it! These are some of the best ways to get your home in shape for professional photography and showings. If you follow these steps, you’ll have a sale-ready (and Instagram-worthy) property ready to hit the market.

Have more questions about how to prep your home for photos and showings? Get in touch! Our Jovio agents are here to help!

About the Author
Liza Dovgish

Liza is highly skilled in the art of writing and editing content of all varieties, including real estate articles, social media posts, academic essays, and humor pieces. She is currently studying Writing and Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University and acting as Jovio’s All-Purpose Super Intern. In her free time, she binge-watches HGTV and performs improv theatre.‍

Get expert real estate tips and advice in your inbox.
Thank you! Keep an eye on your inbox for our latest content.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Recommended Reading