Below is a list of things that the homeowner can do to make the photo shoot successful and the home "show" better in the photographs. Please provide this to your client.
Don't plan on moving stuff from room to room while the photographs are being taken. It wastes valuable photography time that could be used more wisely.
Replace any burned out light bulbs (we turn on every light in the house)
Leave overhead paddle fans turned off.
Remove vehicles from the driveway and in front of home.
Mow the yards (and put toys, tools, bikes, hoses, etc. away).
Make the beds and have the bedrooms "guest ready".
Put toiletries or personal care items from the bathroom in a shoebox or plastic tub that you place under the sink or in a cabinet before the photographer arrives. Photographers don't really want to handle your toothbrush, comb, razor, etc.
A shower door or curtain pulled back is sometimes needed to show the space in a bathroom so please put the shampoo, conditioner, etc. away.
Put clothes, toys and stuff away (avoid the cluttered look).
Remember to remove robes, etc. from the back of doors. We often close doors when photographing inside a room so the back of the door may be visible.
Remove the photos, magnets, artwork, shopping lists, etc. from the refrigerator. We all have them but it doesn't show well in the photographs.
Keep the kitchen countertops clear of clutter (does not have to be sterile looking, just not an assortment of blenders, coffee pots, toasters, juicers, etc.).
Lock animals into the garage or have someone take them on a walk during the shoot. We know you love your animals but the photographer needs easy access throughout the home and property and pets are never shown in the photographs. Also remove feeding dishes and water bowls.
Have gates and doors unlocked for easy access.
Remember we shoot the back yards too so tidy them up, remove the tarp from the barbecue, put the cushions on the chairs as well as hoses, rakes, lawnmowers, etc.
Please put your outside garbage and recycling cars inside the garage.
Put valuables away so they are not included in the photos for people to see.
Large photos of your family on the walls could be recognized by viewers. It's your choice to leave them up or not.
Bring any questions or concerns to the photographer when he arrives. When the photography starts, it's best to leave the photographer alone to concentrate on the technical and creative aspects of the craft.
We often have to move items out of a shot. Though we try to put everything back, sometimes we miss this. After the shoot, if you can't find something, look in the closest drawer or cupboard where you will likely find it.
We don't reschedule due to weather. If the weather is poor, we still shoot the interiors and, depending on your Agent, return when the weather is better for the exteriors.
An average 1500 SF home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms takes approximately one hour to photograph. 45 minutes inside the home and 15 minutes outside. The large the home and/or the more amenities you have such as a shop, hot tub, special landscaping, etc. adds more time.
Don't fall into the trip of thinking that we will just Photoshop out unwanted objects or "fix" things around the home. We don't add blooming flowers or lay in a new lush lawn. This level of editing is very time consuming, expensive and not a part of Real Estate Photography.
Remember, we are wanting to show your home to its greatest advantage and reveal the possibilities for the potential purchaser. This means finding a balance of showing the space with enough furnishings to reveal the character without too many nicknacks and personal items to distract.