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Home Shoot Checklist
Some Tips on Getting the Best results From Your Photo Shoot

Here are some easy steps to take to make your home photo-shoot worthy starting a week or more ahead of the shoot and ending with some final touches on the day of the shoot. This is your chance to make your showing the best it can be for photos that impress upon your potential buyers.

One Week Before The Shoot

The first thing any potential buyer is going to see is the exterior of your house. Remember, first impressions are everlasting. You want to make the outside of the house and the area surrounding it as attractive as possible for the day of the shoot.

For The Exterior:

  1. Consider pressure washing sidewalks, pathways, and the driveway, as well as any dirty exterior walls, eaves, fences, decks, and sheds. Clean outdoor furniture and barbecue areas as well.
  2. Weed and tidy the garden beds and potted plants, making sure there are no empty pots or dead plants left out.
  3. Clean up the yard, both the usual things (mowing the lawn, trimming any hedges, adding new mulch) and anything outstanding, like removing a dead tree limb or pulling ivy from off of a structure. You’re looking to add to your curb appeal!
  4. Clean all windows and doors.
  5. Clean the pool or pond if you have one.
  6. Review your outdoor furniture cushions and clean, replace, or remove as needed.
  7. Replace all burnt out lights and make sure the light bulbs match (hue and intensity) in each lighted area.
  8. Inform neighbors of the date of your shoot so they can be sure that neither they nor their guests park their vehicles in front of your house.

For The Interior:

  1. Start by decluttering spaces. Clear off tables, shelves, and counters. Don’t forget the top of the refrigerator and wash area. Remove stacks of papers, magazines, and other items. If you’re going to be moving soon, this is a good time to start packing away less necessary and less frequently used items.
  2. Clean your carpets, dust all the corners and behind furniture.
  3. Clean windows, sliding glass doors, seals, and screens.
  4. Wipe off all walls, light switches, cabinets, and interior doors, paying special attention to areas around pulls, handles, door knobs and other frequently touched areas.
  5. For kids rooms, contain or store (or pack?) any extra toys, games, and books.
  6. Gather cords and chargers and unplug and remove any unnecessary electronics.
  7. Replace all burnt out lights and make sure the light bulbs match (hue and intensity) in each lighted area.

The Day Of The Shoot

The day of the shoot, you’ll want to clean and clear as much as possible. Potential buyers should be able to imagine themselves living there. This means all personal items including pets and pet items must be completely out of sight. It can be especially helpful to do these things the day before, and simply touch up as needed the day of.

For The Exterior:

  1. Make sure all cars are parked off the property, and preferably away from the front of the home. Move or have removed (by your neighbors?) any trailers, boats, or RVs before the shoot.
  2. Move all lawn care tools like hoses, shovels, rakes, and watering cans out of sight.
  3. Move all garbage and recycling bins out of sight.
  4. Remove toys, pool items, and anything personal from the yards, both front and back.
  5. Sweep pathways and driveways clear – patios as well!

For The Interior:

  1. You will want to sweep, vacuum, and mop all floors.
  2. If there are pets in the house, it is best to remove as much evidence of them as possible for the photos. Remove beds, bowls, and litter boxes before the shoot, and plan to keep your pets in a crate or carrier, or have them off property for the shoot.
  3. Hide trash cans, laundry hampers, and recycle bins all around the house, including small bathroom trash cans.
  4. In the kitchen, clear the sinks and counters and wipe down all surfaces. Hide dishwashing implements like soap and sponge, as well as stashing away any small appliances you can. Consider fresh flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit for your counters and kitchen table.
  5. In the bathrooms, hide the daily use stuff like toothbrushes, razors, and hand soap, unless it’s a decorative bottle. Wipe down mirrors and shower doors if you have them. Hide your showering implements, and make sure the tub is clean. Toilet lids should be closed with fresh rolls of paper in all holders. Trash cans should be out of sight. 
  6. In bedrooms, make all beds and pick up anything from the floor. Put away children’s toys and limit personal effects.
  7. In every room, hallway, and stairway, turn on all lights and lamps, open all curtains, and turn all blinds in open position to let in as much natural light as possible. Leave ceiling fans off.
  8. Make sure all TVs, computer monitors, and electronics are turned off with their remotes stored out of sight.
  9. Declutter and limit personal effects.

In addition, add your own touch to show potential buyers the charms, unique features, or views your home offers. With a bit of proper planning and attention to detail, you will surely make the best possible first impression!