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Preparation Tips

     When looking at a property, buyers will first look at pictures over everything else on a listing. Only after the pictures catch their attention will buyers move on to the property description section.

Preparing the Home

Turn all overhead lights and lamps on. Replace all burned out light bulbs.

Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent).

Turn all ceiling fans, TVs and computer screens OFF.

Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light.

Remove personal photographs.

Remove all jackets and shoes from anywhere they can be seen throughout the house.

Make sure to roll up and remove any throw rugs and floor mats.

Front Exterior:

First impressions are crucial when selling your home. Make sure your front yard is cleaned up, and all of the landscape should be trimmed back and tidy. The first picture that people will see of your home will be the outside front yard. Your front yard needs to be in very good condition to grab the buyer’s attention.

Close garage doors, remove cars from driveway and front of home.

Remove empty planters and/or visible water hoses.

Use a broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames.

Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.


Clear off kitchen counters to make the kitchen space appear more prominent. Kitchen counters with coffee makers etc. can be a distraction and make the kitchen feel cluttered.

Remove everything from the top and doors of the fridge. This includes magnets, business cards, photos, etc. Hide dish soaps, sponges and paper towels.


Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available.

Clear nightstands of all personal items.

Store away phone/tablet charging cables.

Remove all clutter from top of dressers including family photos from walls.

Store away shoes, clothes, hats, etc.

Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos.


Take all items off of the bathroom counter and place all of the shampoo bottles, soaps, shaving razors and other items into a bin that can be stored underneath the bathroom sink. You want your bathroom to look bigger and vacant. Clean the countertops, sinks, mirrors, toilet, and shower. Put down toilet lids.

Remove old towels from doors, showers and bathtubs. Hang a new set of towels that coordinate with the paint or tiles.

Back Yard:

Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs.

Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded.

Clear out kid's toys, balls, frisbees, etc.

Clean pool, remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose.

Hide pool cleaning supplies, turn on pool fountains/water features.


Place food bowls, pet beds/toys in a pantry or closet.

Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair.

Contain pets in hidden crate or outside.

Clear back yard of pet waste/toys.

Final Thoughts:

When your real estate photographer shows up, they will walk the house and spend time searching for important aspects to highlight to potential buyers. You want their attention to be focused on a bright and clean home that is ready. Use these helpful steps to ensure your house is photo-ready and welcoming before you list your home for sale.

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