How to Get Your Home Ready for Professional Photographers

June 22, 2023

Every home seller has heard that professional photographs increase the chances of their properties selling more quickly. While it would be so easy to leave the heavy lifting in the hands of the expert photographers when it comes time to take pictures, there are a few important things a seller should do to prepare for the most compelling photos to be taken.

So, if you’re ready to sell your Jersey City, NJ, home, these steps ensure the best listing photos that are sure to turn heads.

Clean and depersonalize every room

Check out these top tips for making each room look camera-ready!


Take every item off of the kitchen counters to draw buyers' attention to the actual kitchen space and beautiful countertops. A counter covered in teapots, mixing bowls, and the half-filled carafe of coffee from this morning will only distract from what a potential buyer's future in the home could be. Modest decorations can stay, as they add character to the space without overdoing it. Make sure to clean every surface and appliance in the kitchen until it sparkles and shines. This will ensure that the photos capture a truly alluring culinary space.


Sellers want their bathrooms to look unlived in. Remove all soap, shampoo bottles, and toilet paper rolls, and organize them into bins under the sink. Let the bathroom be a blank, clean slate. Deep clean every surface, from the shower to the countertops and toilet, and set out bright new towels.

Living room

You want your living room to be cozy, inviting, and warm. Any toys, magazines, random mail, or whatever lives on the coffee table in the living room should be put away. As much as possible, hide any cables that run from the TV to the wall. Consider putting the best decorative pillows out on the couch, tastefully arranging books and art to look charming but not too personal, and cleaning the fireplace.


Each bedroom should be neat and cozy. Ensure that any linens are ironed and tucked in, and clear any clutter from the bedrooms, including garbage cans, pictures, clothing, and electronics. Store it all out of sight, but remember that all closets should be organized and tidy.

Remove any evidence of pets

While some prospective buyers would love to meet your dog, others don’t want to see a trace of them. Whether homebuyers deal with pet allergies or just simply don’t want to see a mess, it’s crucial that your home does not display any sign of pets. Home sellers should spend some time removing pet items, like toys, beds, and food bowls, from areas meant to be photographed. Relocate your pet-related items (and your pet, of course!) into another space while the photos are being taken. Be sure that all surfaces and floors are clear of pet fur as well.

Increase the curb appeal

It turns out that prospective home buyers do judge books by their covers. For sellers preparing for amazing photos, this means landscaping the yard so that it's tidy and aesthetically pleasing, cutting the grass depending on the time of year, or even giving the exterior of the house a fresh coat of paint.

The main image on your listing will probably be the front of the property, including the yard. Sellers should consider what they might improve upon if they were home buyers looking at the home for the first time. Remove cars from the road and driveway, sweep away any leaves or other debris from the walking path, and add some fresh flowers for a pop of color that will stand out in your photos.

Depersonalize and declutter the home

It's essential for sellers to remember that prospective buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in the home. That means removing any furniture that closes the space off, such as oversized furniture or pieces that may not be to everyone's taste. This also means removing personal photos and trinkets. Enlisting the direction of a professional stager can be helpful in informing the decision on what furniture gets to stay and what should go. It's also a good rule of thumb to remove any door mats or runners to make rooms look bigger. Professional stagers can help you style each room in the home to look sophisticated, spacious, and beautiful.

Let as much light in as possible

A home photographs best with as much light as possible — natural or otherwise. Sellers can prepare by making sure every light in the house is turned on, all lightbulbs are bright, and all blinds are fully open. Consider making sure the blinds and windows are clean as well, because dirty windows typically don't sell a home.

Be flexible

The weather greatly affects the quality of photos and videos used in your listing. Advanced imaging technology, like drones, cannot fly in bad weather, making it hard to take pictures when a storm is raging. If a photo shoot for the home is scheduled on a rainy day, expect that the need to reschedule may arise, and trust the agent and photographer if they think the best course of action is to schedule the photo session for a sunnier day.

Take the next step toward selling

If you’re ready to get started toward your goals, reach out to the professionals who know how to get results. Preparing your Jersey City, NJ, home for sale can seem like an overwhelming undertaking at times, but your efforts will pay off in the end. With effective preparation and these expert tips, the amazing photos produced will land you a profitable, streamlined sale. Consider it time well spent.

If you're ready to sell your Jersey City home, contact the experts at Properties by Southern today to learn more. From top-notch marketing tactics to negotiation strategies and more, this trusted team is always on your side. Reach out today to get started!

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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Their industry specialities include luxury homes, relocations, estate sales and investment properties. With 16 years of experience in the real estate industry, she has been through multiple market cycles as an agent, buyer and investor, and has a deep understanding for the often-complicated process that her clients will encounter.

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