Real Estate Photography Checklist

Real Estate Photography Checklist

Good pictures are crucial marketing tools for a home sale. It begins with a home professionally photographed as an important part of effective marketing. Homeowners and Realtors® depend on high-quality, high-resolution images not just to sell the home, but to sell it at a higher price, sooner.

Wall Street Journal, August 2012: “According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 98% of home buyers who searched for a home online said photos were among the most useful features of real-estate websites.” And, “listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $934 and $116,076.

Elsewhere, studies by larger real estate concerns, like Redfin, find professionally shot photos result in 61% more views!

Typical sales price increases more than pay for professional pictures—across all price tiers.

Creating high quality imagery is a team effort.  Homeowners must be involved in the process if professional photographs are to do their job. It really is important. The home needs to be clean and de-cluttered though not necessarily ‘sterile.’

Hiring a professional stager to help prep the home may be advised.

Anything distracting from presenting the home in the best manner possible must be addressed. Religious, political, and highly personal items (e.g. family photos) should be removed. Seemingly simple things like a cat atop a refrigerator, dogs (or people) asleep on the furniture, destroy the photograph’s intent.

The goal is to enable potential buyers to project themselves into the home.

The following checklist is provided for agents and homeowners to help prepare for Torben Photography’s visit. The list is not all-inclusive but does provide a pretty good starting point based on past experience.

Staging List | Inside

Checkmark Bullet (2)All light fixtures work properly Checkmark Bullet (2)Closets, tidy with nicely
hung clothing; floors cleared
Checkmark Bullet (2)Turn every single light ON Checkmark Bullet (2)Hide (out of sight):
Checkmark Bullet (2)Towels on towel bars        – Trashcans
Checkmark Bullet (2)Add, or remove, artwork        – Cleaning supplies
Checkmark Bullet (2)Remove toilet covers        – Magazines
Checkmark Bullet (2)Remove rugs; unbroken floor space
increases perceived square footage
       – Books
Checkmark Bullet (2)Clean all windows, glass, counters        – Coffeemakers (etc.)
Checkmark Bullet (2)Dust everything        – Tissue boxes
Checkmark Bullet (2)Remove cobwebs        – Religious items
Checkmark Bullet (2)Curtains, fresh looking        – Political items
Checkmark Bullet (2)Open all window and door covers;
let all the light in
Checkmark Bullet (2)Broken decorations
Checkmark Bullet (2)Refrigerator, free of magnets,
kids’ drawings, fingerprints
Checkmark Bullet (2)Exposed power cords
Checkmark Bullet (2)Bedrooms, beds made, tidy Checkmark Bullet (2)Turn OFF
       – Ceiling fans
       – Computers (screens, specifically)
       – Televisions

Staging List | Outside

Checkmark Bullet (2)Prune trees, foliage Checkmark Bullet (2)Hide (or out of sight):
Checkmark Bullet (2)All light fixtures work properly        – Trash cans
Checkmark Bullet (2)Turn every single light ON
(for twilight shoots)
       – Garden tools
Checkmark Bullet (2)Grass, freshly cut and raked        – Lawn equipment
Checkmark Bullet (2)Clean, Swept, & Dry        – Vehicles
       – Driveways        – Toys (including in pool areas)
       – Sidewalks Checkmark Bullet (2)Pool, clean, clear water
       – Patios
       – Decks
       – Staircases


Staging List | General

Checkmark Bullet (2)Vehicles
       – Driveways clear
       – No parking in front of home
Checkmark Bullet (2)Garage
       – No vehicles
       – Clean, de-cluttered
       – As much ‘off’ floor as possible
Checkmark Bullet (2)Pets
       – Fish in clean tank, Ok
       – All other pets out of sight


A typical photo shoot will focus on these shots:

Checkmark Bullet (2)Exterior Front & Front Corner Checkmark Bullet (2)Master bedroom and bath
Checkmark Bullet (2)Exterior Rear Checkmark Bullet (2)Main bath
Checkmark Bullet (2)Main living area Checkmark Bullet (2)One or Two other attractive features
identified by Owner or Realtor®
Checkmark Bullet (2)Main living area



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