Congratulations! You have a new listing agreement and you’re ready to get the balling rolling for another commission check. You’ve made a great investment in your business and hired a professional real estate photographer. Now it’s time to make the home shine!

If this is your first time hiring a professional photographer for real estate, here are a few tips to get your new listing ready. If this isn’t your first rodeo, read these tips to make sure you’re getting the most from your investment.

Set the Client’s Expectations

First thing is first. Let your clients know you’ve hired a professional photographer. You take your business serious and you’re pulling out the red carpet for them. They’ll be impressed!

Next, make sure you let your clients know what to expect.

When working with a professional real estate photographer, you and your client will need to manage time, patience, and cleanliness.  The REP (Real Estate Photographer) will probably have a good amount of equipment and need ample time to photographer. I’ll go into detail on these more in this article.

Plan to have a good conversation with your client. Read the rest of this article and relay the information back to them. It’ll make everyone’s life easier and set you up for a better, and hopefully faster, sales process.

Set Up a Good Time Frame

A real estate photographer can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours to shoot a home. This all depends on the unique process he uses to photograph and light the home.

Ask your photographer how long he expects the shoot to take. Give him a few details on the house, including square footage, and he should give you a good ballpark.

Let the clients know that it might take a little while to photograph.

Clean the Place - Like Uber Clean

This should be pretty obvious. You’d actually be surprised how many listings get photographed with clothes and toys on the floor.

Make sure the place is clean. I mean really, really clean.

Remove any clutter. I understand that your clients still have to live there, but this is just for the photographs. They can put the junk back after, though I suggest keeping it as clean as possible for potential showings.

Remember, the photos are the first impression a potential buyer sees. First impressions are everything. Let the clients know…the cleaner the home, the better the photos, the better chance for a quick sale.

Have Minimal People (and Animals) There

A good real estate photographer is going to have a decent amount of equipment. He needs to move fast and have a clear shot each time.

The less people at the photo session, the better.

Ideally, you (the real agent) should be the only person there. You don’t want to be directing people in and out of rooms. You definitely don’t want anyone knocking down any of the photographer’s equipment. The clearer the path, the faster you both can get in and out and on to other business.

If you’ve used your photographer several times, I would suggest letting him shoot alone. A good photographer knows how to capture the shot and you shouldn’t have to direct him. Let him do his thing and you can go on to working on more important thing. You’re a power agent after all!

Move the Cars 

This is very simple. Move the cars out of the photograph. This means out of the driveway and down the street.

Having cars in your photograph is not very professional and looks horrible. Let the clients know ahead of time.

Please, please (pretty please?) don’t ask your photographer to photoshop out a car from the driveway.  This is not an easy tasks and most will ask for a hefty fee for this type of editing. 

Mow the Yard

Another pretty obvious tip…

Have your clients do a little landscaping. A lot of landscaping in fact!

The front exterior is typically the hero shot. This is the very first impression potential buyers will have on your new listing. Don’t have them eliminate it off their list because of a nasty front yard.

Mow the yard. Fill the garden beds. Trim the trees. That curb appeal is going to welcome new buyers more than your clients probably realize.

Stage, Stage, Stage

The amount of staging you do is optional. Actually “staging” shouldn’t be!

Staging is defined as “the activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.”

If the house is vacant, it’s up to you if you want to stage it. If you’re at a much higher sale price, I would definitely recommend this. Studies show that a staged house sells faster than a vacant house.

If your new listing is already furnished, put your “interior designer” hat on and move a few things around. Put some flowers on the dining room table. Move the box of magazines out of the picture. Make some little adjustments to make the home look that much cleaner and you’ll be on your way to a sale in not time!

Now Sell that Home!

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be ahead of the game. Your clients will love you and so will your photographer. Now all you have to do is wait for the right buyer to come along!