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How to prepare your home for photos

When you’re selling your home, great photos are key to getting buyers through the door. In fact, one survey found that buyers spend around 60% of their time looking at photos and only 20% reading the description when browsing online.


How to prepare for photos


A whopping 97% of home searches start online — and it only takes 2.7 seconds to make a great first impression.* Whether you choose to take photos yourself or hire a professional photographer (more on that later), you want to have your home look its best — neat, tidy, and spacious. 

You know your home best, so try to make its strongest features a focal point. You can use a well-placed lamp as a spotlight to highlight its best features. "

Tidy Up

When you’re getting ready for photos, tidying is so important — it gives your home an instant sense of space and calm. Make sure you clean up any odd socks lying around and try to take away any clutter.

Remember, it’s just a photo. You can move those stuffed animals or the 15 bottles of oil and vinegar for a minute and then put them right back. Don’t be afraid to move things around and get creative. 

Maximise Your Light

Lighting matters a huge amount to potential buyers — and can totally transform your photos. Make sure to pull back your curtains and maybe even clean your windows, because natural light is a lot softer and more forgiving than artificial light.

If you don’t have enough natural light coming in, try to mimic it with soft lamps and as many mirrors as possible. 

Clean Up The Outdoor Space

Don’t underestimate the power of kerb appeal — outdoor space matters more than you think. You want the outside of your home to look clear and welcoming, like a place you’d want to call home. If you have a garden or a balcony, make sure it looks cleaned and cared for. If you have any furniture you can put out there, even better. 

Outside space matters. 57% of Strike buyers say a messy garden would put them off making an offer on a home. 

Room-by-room checklist

Once you’ve set the scene generally, you should run through each room to make sure you don’t forget anything — and add a finishing touch or two. Not sure where to start? Our checklist will talk you through it. 


  • Put away small appliances and utensils to make work surfaces look bigger

  • Stage the room by setting a loaf of bread or a bowl of fruit out on the counter

  • Take magnets, drawings and shopping lists off the fridge door

Living room

  • Hide any clutter like cables, children's toys, pet beds, and air fresheners

  • Turn off the TV and any other devices

  • Add a vase of fresh flowers to the coffee table


  • Make the beds – plain white bedsheets look best in photographs

  • Tidy away clothes, jewellery, makeup and other knick-knacks

  • Put fresh flowers on bedside tables


  • Make sure all surfaces are gleaming

  • Hide medicines, toothbrushes and other toiletries

  • Add a plant, some candles and white towels to make the room look fresh and inviting

Spare room

  • Put a bed in the spare room, even if you use it as a study or for storage — an extra bedroom can add around 10% onto the value of your property and will attract more viewings


  • Mow the lawn and tidy up the flower beds

  • Put any toys or tools in the shed

  • Stage your garden table with a bottle of wine and two glasses

Hiring a professional photographer

A lot of people wonder if they should hire a professional photographer or if they can photograph their home themselves. The truth is, you can do either — but you might see a big difference in results. 

One study found listings with great photographs sold 50% faster and 39% closer to the asking price than those without. A professional photographer will not only have experience, they’ll also have the equipment to make your home look its best. A wide-angle lens and a proper camera can make a huge difference. 

We offer an optional professional photography service which even comes with a video tour of your home. Get in touch to find out more. If you’d rather do the photographs yourself, that’s fine too — we’ll still sell your home for free. 

*Focal Agent 2019

Frequently asked questions

If you decide to do your own photography, the most important things are to declutter your home and to maximize your light. Try to make your home as big and airy as possible — and when you take photographs, make sure you position yourself to make the room look spacious.