Preparing for the Shoot

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU:
  • Thoroughly clean the entire house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows and blinds, wipe down baseboards, clean and buff wooden floors, clean tile grout, clean lampshades).
  • Consider having a professional cleaning service do the entire house, to include carpet cleaners as necessary.
  • Consider having a chimney cleaning service clean the hearth and fireplace (if any).
  • Consider having your windows cleaned inside and outside professionally just prior to the photo shoot.
  • Turn all lights and lamps ON and replace all burned out light bulbs.
  • Be sure that all light bulbs are of the same color temperature, if possible (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent, or ALL LED).
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF.
  • Turn all TVs and computer screens OFF.
  • Open the blinds and/or window coverings to let in natural, outside light.
  • Make sure all shades are parallel and blinds angled identically.
  • Remove personal photographs and declutter every room.
  • Remove area rugs to reveal actual flooring.
  • Place all shoes and items of clothing neatly in closets; close closet doors.
  • Remove worn and/or mismatched furniture.
  • Consider contracting with a staging company to rearrange existing furniture, declutter, or put in furniture that will enhance the perceived value of the home.
  • Consider moving out temporarily, taking any pets along (if there are any) while the house is being cleaned and prepped for the photo shoot.
  • Remember, potential buyers want to see themselves potentially living in the house you’re trying to sell, not see themselves as living in a house that reflects the current owner’s tastes and lifestyle.
  • If there are items in the home that you prefer to not be included in the photographs, please move them to a secure location prior to the shoot.
  • Please advise the photographer if there are special features in the home that you wish to be featured.
FRONT EXTERIOR:
  • Close garage doors.
  • Remove any vehicles from driveway and front of home.
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves, edge planting beds, put down fresh mulch).
  • Remove empty planters and replace dead plants.
  • Clear cobwebs from eaves, window and door frames.
  • Remove visible water hoses.
  • Remove clutter – toys, sports equipment, yard implements, furniture, etc.
  • Have the siding, visible foundation, deck (if there is one) and driveway pressure-washed, if needed.
  • Consider having an asphalt driveway seal-coated one to two weeks before the planned photo shoot.
  • Be sure that all exterior lights are in working order.
YARD / DECK / PATIO:
  • Clean porch and/or deck, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions.
  • Remove kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, basketball nets, soccer goals, etc.
  • Clean pools, hot tubs. etc.
  • Turn on pool fountains and/or water features.
  • Remove visible water hoses.
  • Remove trash cans.
  • Clean up the garden (if there is one).
  • Fill bird feeders (if any).
  • Clean up pet waste (if any).
  • Repair fencing as needed.
LIVING / FAMILY ROOM:
  • Put away remote controls.
  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • Declutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art).
  • Clean the interior of the fireplace and repaint the mantel, as needed.
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows.
  • Remove kids’ toys.
KITCHEN:
  • Clear and clean countertops completely; no empty glasses, baking supplies, mail, etc.
  • Leave out no more than two small appliances (ex. coffee maker, toaster).
  • Clear the outside of the refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, stickers, etc.
  • Clean all black and stainless steel appliances to remove fingerprints, smears, streaks, tape residue, etc.
  • Hide trash cans in a pantry or closet.
  • Remove dishes from the sink, place in dishwasher, remove countertop dish racks.
  • Remove visible dish towels and area rugs.
  • Hide dish towels and any towel racks that hang outside cabinet doors.
  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top.
  • Use decorative place settings, if available.
  • Feature no more than one centerpiece such as a bouquet of flowers.
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly.
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs.
CLOSETS:
  • Declutter; reduce the amount of clothing on the racks, spacing hanging items evenly on the rod.
  • Fold and stack items neatly.
  • Line up shoes.
BEDROOMS:
     MASTER BEDROOM:
  • Make the bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available.
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items.
  • Put away phone/tablet chargers and charging cables.
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers.
  • Remove family photos from walls (for security reasons).
  • Clean under the bed, removing personal items that may show in the photos.
  • Close closet doors.
     CHILD OR GUEST BEDROOM:
  • Make the bed(s).
  • Remove personalized names and photos from walls so that they will not be visible on the Internet.
  • Remove wall stickers, posters and/or artwork that a potential buyer might find to be of questionable taste.
  • Remove diaper pails and cleaning supplies.
  • Clean under bed, removing any personal items that may show.
  • Put toys in a toy chest to reduce clutter and clear the floor.
BATHROOMS:
  • Clear and clean countertops completely.
  • Put away all toiletries; soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, razors, medications, deodorant, etc.
  • Put toilet seats and lids down.
  • Be sure that you have a full roll of toilet paper with no more than one sheet hanging down.
  • Close closet doors.
  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc., from showers and tubs.
  • Remove bathrobes and used towels – leave out only fresh, unused towels.
  • Remove floor mats.
  • Clean shower doors/frames, shower curtains.
  • Clean mirrors to remove spots, spatters, etc.
  • Replace old, moldy caulking with fresh caulking.
  • Clean all grout.
  • Replace all cracked and/or chipped tile.
  • Clean floors and all visible plumbing. Pay special attention to areas near toilets and under cabinets.
PETS:
  • Place food and water bowls and litter boxes out of sight.
  • Place pet beds/toys out of sight.
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair.
  • Contain pets in hidden crates or outside.
  • Clear yard of pet waste/toys.
HINTS FOR CLEANING BLACK AND/OR STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES:

Expensive and ineffective pressurized spray products are not necessary. Use Simple Green (environmentally friendly, available at most home centers) in a spray bottle to remove hand and fingerprints, and most greasy or sticky residues. Stubborn sticky residues are easily removed by environmentally friendly citrus-based cleaners such as Goo Gone and De-Solv-It followed by the use of Simple Green. Use a 50/50 mix of filtered water and denatured alcohol in a spray bottle as a final cleaning solution. Spray lightly, then wipe down immediately using microfiber cloths (not paper towels), wiping in the direction of the “grain” of the stainless steel.

HINTS FOR CLEANING TILE GROUT:

Use a toothbrush to scrub the grout using hydrogen peroxide (available at most pharmacies). Pour a small quantity of hydrogen peroxide on the grout in a small area of tile. Let it sit for a few moments, then scrub with the toothbrush. When the grout has been fully cleaned, wash and rinse the tile carefully.

 

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