Everyone has had the pleasure of laughing at terrible real estate photography

In listing photos, a car in the driveway, a missing lightbulb, or a dirty kitchen can significantly impact how fast a home sells and the final sale price. As an agent, you can do a few things to help your seller before a professional photographer arrives at the listing. 

According to a recent HomeJab survey of professional real estate photographers, there are several do’s and dont’s when preparing a home to be photographed.

Do Declutter

Sellers can be hesitant to pack up their prized possessions before listing photos. But all that stuff causes a home to look cluttered and disorganized. 

Help your seller be proactive in decluttering and packing up knick-knacks that will be an eyesore in photos. Letting go of material things can be hard for people, but it’s your job to put your seller in a better position than this:

Don’t Include Pets

Nothing against man’s best friend, but pets should not be around on shoot day, much less included in a listing photo. 

Trying to corral and photograph around a pet is a nightmare for professionals. Make sure your client has plans to have animals secured away on the day of the shoot or out of the house altogether.

Do Have The House Ready

Photographers surveyed expressed that one of the best things an agent can do is simply to have the house clean and neat when they arrive. Three-quarters (75%) of photographers said most sellers don’t even clean the house before a shoot.  

This means you need to arrive early and ensure your listing is polished and ready to go for a photographer before they arrive. Ensure lights are on, blinds are open, and TVs and fans are off. 

Good agents will arrive at a property ahead of time and turn on all the lights and clean up anything that shouldn’t be there. Bad agents show up late and demand that everything be cleaned to perfection.

a Cherry Hill, NJ-based photographer

Don’t Include Unnecessary Objects

Before the professional shoot, walk through your listing and round up any distracting or unnecessary objects. Of the photographers surveyed, 86% said sellers often fail to remove items such as toys, hoses and bikes that get in the way of photos.

On the flip side, you need to ensure necessary objects are in working order—most often, this includes light bulbs. Photographers typically turn on all lights for photos, yet 73% said they often show up to properties with burnt-out bulbs. 

Do Ask How You Can Help

Reach out to the photographer a few days before their shoot to ask them what you can do to ensure the day goes smoothly. Do they want the house empty, or do they enjoy the banter of having a seller and agent around? Find out how much time they’ll need to shoot the property, and make sure your seller understands the timeline for getting the photos back. 


As the listing agent, it’s your responsibility to market the property to the best of your ability. Your photographer will appreciate it when you go the extra mile and don’t leave prepping a house till the last minute.