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How to Prepare a Property for Shutter Zone Media's Photographers & Cinematographers

By Samantha Percente

photo provided by Shutter Zone Media

As a Real Estate professional, why is professional listing photography & cinematography so important?

That's an easy answer of course! Because it gets more potential buyers through the door thus allowing for a quicker sale. It also makes you look good to future sellers and leverages your time, among many other reasons.

A common misconception is the open house is more important than listing photography/videography. The truth is they are both equally important and need the same attention to details.

All of the little details that make a photo/video stunning come as a surprise to many.

There are many times I have walked into a home that is not prepared and my attention goes to arranging things around the home and putting my energy into opening blinds, closing toilet lids, removing small area rugs, turning off fans etc. Although I am more than happy to help in any way to achieve the best look for the home, time would be better spent putting the most thought into what this beautiful property has to offer and showcase it in the best light possible.

Here are some tips on how to get the property ready for your Shutter Zone Media photographer/ cinematographer

photo provided by Shutter Zone Media

The kitchen is arguably one of the most important areas in the property. I know I love my kitchen and I spend a considerable amount of time in it. When a potential buyer is looking through listing photos they can easily become distracted by personal belongings. We want them to envision what their personal belongings would look like in the space you are trying to sell.

  • Remove mostly everything from countertops

  • Remove hand towels, rags, sponges and soaps

  • Remove fridge magnets, pictures and anything above the fridge

  • Remove area rugs

  • Sweep and mop floor

  • Clean the interior and exterior windows and open those blinds and shades

  • Turn all lights on and replace any burnt out bulbs and make sure they're all the same color

  • Turn off any fans and dust them

photo provided by Shutter Zone Media

Bathrooms are best showcased when they are very clean and cleared. The goal is to have the bathroom looking as much to Martha Stewart's approval as possible. Martha would never allow a bar of soap or toothbrush to be sitting upon her luxurious bathroom sink.

  • Remove everything from vanity (minimal decor)

  • Remove shampoo, conditioner and soaps found in showers and bathtubs

  • Clean the mirrors and the windows interior and exterior

  • Sweep and mop

  • Close toilet bowl lid (we can all agree on this one right?)

  • Remove toilet bowl cleaners and plungers

  • Neatly folded towels on the racks are fine. Your Shutter Zone Media specialists may take a towel or two down at times to open the space up.

  • Blinds and curtains open

  • All lights on and replace any burnt out lights and make sure they are all the same color

photo provided by Shutter Zone Media

The bedroom is the most private space in a home. After I bought my house I put my room together shut the door and never opened it for another living soul outside my husband and child. It's quite the opposite when you're putting your home up for sale. you'll be inviting many strangers into your bedroom in hopes they also one day put it together and close it to guests. Just like an open house you don't want to be showcasing personals and valuable belongings. Those are best to be moved to a secure location.

  • Make sure all beds are made

  • Remove all personal photos from walls and end tables

  • Hide jewelry and any valuable belongings

  • Remove laundry baskets

  • Organize walk in closets to look as neat as possible or even completely cleared out

  • Window blinds and curtains open

  • Fans off and dusted

  • All lights on (replace any burnt out lights and make sure they all are the same color)

  • Windows cleaned

  • Hide cords

  • Clean under bed where visible from anywhere in the room

  • Remove hanging clothes, robes, jackets from doors or hangers throughout room

  • Children's rooms should have toys removed or hidden.

photo provided by Shutter Zone Media

photo provided by Shutter Zone Media

The living room, family room, entertaining room, rec room or great room whatever larger spaces your property may have, these are what I believe to be the second most important rooms within a home. A property may have one or two of these types of rooms but they all pretty much fall under the same rules when coming to preparing a home for listing photography/cinematography and even an open house.

  • All TVs and computers turned off

  • Fans off and dusted

  • All lights on replacing any burnt-out bulbs and make sure they're all the same color

  • Pillows fluffed

  • Carpets vacuumed

  • Remove throw rugs

  • Remove all personal items such as photographs and pet items.

  • clear off coffee tables, end tables and entertainment centers aside from tasteful or minimal decoration

  • Open any blinds and curtains

  • Hide shoes

The phrase curb appeal is thrown around a lot in the real estate industry and it really holds a lot of meaning to it. The exterior is the first thing potential buyers see when they are either looking through listings online, when they drive there for an open house or drive past to get a quick glance. It is important to make sure that you have a nice groomed yard to really give a great first impression.

  • Tidy up yard, rake leaves and pick up sticks

  • Sweep driveways, walkways, porches and decks

  • Remove barbecue covers

  • Clear out fire pits

  • Hide all garbage cans and recycling bins

  • open up patio umbrellas and straighten chairs out

  • Trim bushess

  • Remove all vehicles and recreational vehicles from property.

  • Do not water any plants on concrete day of photography/videography. (This leaves an ugly water stain)

  • Clean up any animal feces

While most homes are similar in layout there's some houses out there that are truly unique. You can always rely on your Shutter Zone Media photographer or cinematographer to give the best advice on what makes a space most attractive. When in doubt ask us and remember less is always more.


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