Photography: The Buyer’s First Impression

A buyer’s first impression of your home starts with photos! Once a listing goes live in MLS all of the information, including the listing photos, is immediately available to the public. Many prospective homebuyers rely heavily on home photos to make a decision to even schedule a showing. One of the most powerful ways of telling a home’s story is through the lens of a camera. This includes taking photos at the optimal time of day, placing lighting to ensure perfect exposure, and capturing the space to show the home’s dimensions and depth. To help make sure your home looks perfect for the lenses, check out our 14-Day Declutter Guide that can help you clean and declutter your home in just 14 days!

Here are some tips to ensure your house will shine for listing photos!


Living Areas

  • Thoroughly clean your home including washing windows, mopping and decluttering
  • Turn on overhead lighting and lamps, replace any burned out bulbs and ensure all bulbs are the same “temperature”
  • Turn off ceiling fans, televisions, and computer screens
  • Open blinds, curtains, and drapes
  • Remove as many personalized photos and wall art as possible
  • Place shoes, jackets, and backpacks out of view
  • Remove clutter and everyday items from countertops like toiletries, sponges, small appliances, etc.


  • Clean/clear all countertops
  • Remove all art, magnets, and decor from the refrigerator
  • Make sure sinks are clear of dishes and rags
  • Lock up any pets and remove bowls, crates, or other pet items


  • Make the beds
  • Clear nightstands of personal items
  • Close closet doors


  • Store away toiletries 
  • Put toilet lids down
  • Close cabinets
  • Replace towels with fresh, clean ones


  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars, trailers, boats, and garbage cans from the driveway
  • Clean up landscaping by trimming trees, mowing lawns and raking
  • Remove any work tools, hoses, or toys from view (portable basketball hoops included)
  • Tidy up any outdoor furniture (pillows/cushions should be fresh)