I'm always amazed by how many agents and home owners don't do what it takes to get ready for a photo shoot, even when you tell them what to do. You may not consider this the job of the photographer but I'm here to tell you that it really does help if the photographer sets some expectations about the state of the property at the time of the shoot. A great way to set clear expectations is to have a home preparation is to have a Home Preparation Check List PDF on your web site so you can send it to the agent or the home owner. It's the agent's job to advise and help the home owner get their property ready for the market. But if you have a check list of your expectations it will be more likely to happen.
Here is my check list:
- The photo-shoot will take no more than 2 hours. I will be photographing both the inside and outside of your home.
- I’ll be photographing all of the major rooms.
- We normally do not photograph the garage unless it has special features.
- If you have special features of your home that are not obvious please let me know about these so I include them in the shoot.
- Contain pets in the garage or out of sight.
- Remove all vehicles from driveways and do not park directly in front of the house.
- Move garbage cans out of sight.
- Remove all garden tools including hoses and sprinklers.
- Mow and rake yard.
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks and patios.
- Clear off counter tops in kitchen and bathroom areas.
- Remove photos, notes and papers from the refrigerator.
- Turn on all interior lights.
- De-clutter rooms which may be excessively furnished. They do not photograph well.
- Make all beds and tidy bedrooms. Clothes hung, or folded and put away.
- Remove piles of newspaper and magazines.
- Tuck trash cans out of view in a closet or cupboard.
- Let me know if your home contains valuable works of art. I can edit photos to make these items unrecognizable or make sure the are not in the photographs.
The fact is, most of these items are things the agent should be making sure the home owner is doing to get their property ready for being on the market and being shown. But expect to have a large number of your shoots to not have these things done.