Staging Tips

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Preparing the property for photos

There is no doubt that preparing a home for photos is one of the most important steps in getting your house sold quicker and for more money. 

Here are some helpful tips to get the home photo-ready

Before the photographer arrives,  make sure there are no vehicles in the driveway or in the street in front of your home.  The front of your home is very important when taking photos as it will be the first shot on MLS so having that free of vehicles, dumpsters, old lawnmowers etc… is vitally important.


  • Remove any LARGE pieces of furniture in small rooms. Sometimes a large couch in a small room can hurt the photo and make the room feel smaller than it is.
  • Turn on all the lights in the home and replace any bulbs that are out.
  • Clean the windows, shower doors, mirrors and anything that shows the dirt on it.
  • Add live plants to all rooms to truly bring your home to life.


  • Remove items on the fridge doors, sides and top.
  • Clear off the kitchen counters and de-clutter any large items.
  • Clean appliances and keep the sink empty and clean.
  • Leaving nice, cleanlooking small appliances are okay in moderation.
  • Bowls of fresh fruit or cut flowers are a nice touch on the counters.

Formal Dining Room:

  • Remove any clutter and dust furniture.. 
  • Set the table with place settings, colorful plates, wine glasses – make it look like you’re going to have a dinner party. If you don’t have fancy dishes, leave it clear with a nice centerpiece, candle or flowers.

Main Rooms:

  • Reduce clutter and help the rooms look large and clean.
  • Remove/hide all trash cans (all rooms).
  • Hide all tissue boxes. 
  • Take down any family portraits and other personalized items.
  • Large empty walls do not look appealing to buyers. Buy decent frames for staging purposes. Lightweight canvas prints from Homegoods work very well.
  • Clear up any wires or cords if possible, behind the TV, stereo or electronics. 
  • Put away children’s and/or animal’s toys and pet bowls including pet crates.
  • Define the spaces. Make them what they should be and decorate them accordingly.
  • Keep the fireplace off. We will put a beautiful flame in it during our editing process.


  • Clean showers inside and out.
  • Place your best towels on the racks, folded neatly.
  • Remove any soap dispensers, shampoo from the shower and sinks – clean toilet and put seat down. Remove tooth brushes and everything on the sink.
  • Remove any hanging door racks, bags, sweaters etc…


  • Make up all the beds with your best linens and decorative pillows. White sheets with a white duvet pulled down half way with colorful pillows creates a peaceful, clean space.  
  • Pick up any clothes or items from floors.
  • Remove everything from the top of bedside tables with the exception of matching lamps and a small plant.
  • Open shades or curtains all the way to allow the natural light in.

Outside Areas:

  • Put away garden hoses, tools, shovels, toys, basketball nets, anything that should not be outside. Pick up dog poop.
  • Turn on water features – hot tubs, pools, fountains etc. and act like you’re about to have guests.

Extra Things to consider:

  • Replace dead plants.
  • Do not have animals running around during shoot or open houses.
  • Clean pools of debris and clean around the areas.
  • Clean deck of debris and clean, power wash or new stain if needed.
  • Paint outside trim or spots that show badly.
  • Power wash the driveway to remove stains or large oil spots.
  • Hide trash and recycle bins in the garage or back of home.


That’s It! Please take your time to do these items to the best of your ability. 

Doing this will make a significant difference in the outcome of the photos. The goal is to have your home look spacious and inviting so potential buyers want to see it.

The photographer will not move anything in your home, but will help with suggestions. Sometimes just moving a piece of furniture (treadmill, stationary bike, large hutch) into storage, basement, or garage can make a big difference for buyers when seeing your home in the photos and especially in person.

Hint: For a last minute pick up, throw everything in laundry baskets and hide them in closets. 

If you would like personalized assistance in preparing your home for sale, I offer a comprehensive consultation where we create a complete action plan. This can be done in person or through Zoom. 

Cindy S.

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