Take More Beautiful Listing Photos With This Helpful DIY Checklist

by Matt Lee

As a homeowner trying to sell your home, you know that presentation is everything. Having attractive online photos of your home is vital to generating the highest amount of interest possible. There are a great many ways you can maximize the beauty of your listing photos, so let's go through a comprehensive checklist of them right now in order to get you as many potential buyers contacting you as possible. 

DIY Cleaning

Making sure your home is as clean as can be in all areas is the first thing you need to do before you even think about taking any listing photos. You should obviously do some basic cleaning, so wipe down those laundry room countertops, vacuum the floor, and dust your wall art. 

That won't be enough, however, especially if you've got things like efflorescence building up on concrete or brick surfaces around your home. If you should encounter any salt efflorescence, you'll need a good product to help get rid of it. Professional cleaners work the best, but if you can't afford them you can try using a mixture of warm water and vinegar.


No picture ever turned out great without proper lighting. A professional photographer will bring things like light stands, a high-powered flash-equipped camera, and more. You, however, can get the job done with a few DIY lighting tricks. Taking your photos during the day, for instance, is a good place to start. 

Pull back the shades on your windows for indoor photos. Some types of windows are better at letting in light than others, so find your brightest windows and use them to let in as much natural light as possible. Making use of interior lamps and lights can also help to even out the lighting, in case there are any harsh shadows or bright spots. 

Staging Tips

Put the camera first, not the potential buyers. This means you should take photos that accentuate the best angles and sections of your home. Don't take photos of what you think the buyers will want to see, instead, show them as many of the most beautiful photos you can.

For photos with beds in them, make sure the sheets are smoothed out and the blankets tucked in nicely. Wrinkles look a thousand times worse on camera than they do in real life. Using a professional steamer can help in this area if you need a little extra wrinkle-smoothing power.

Fluffing up your carpet can help it look better for photos as well. Matted carpet fibers or hard vacuum lines can be a lot to uglify your carpet, so running a broom over the top of it in various different patterns can fluff it up and make it look much better.

Make sure there are no unsightly areas or items outside of your home as well. If these can be seen through your windows in the far background, they can actually create a conscious or subconscious negative reaction in the potential buyer. Clean up what you can, and use a frosted film over windows which feature immovable, unsightly backgrounds. 

Limiting the color scheme of each room is another great staging tip. Too many different "colors of the rainbow" in one photo can create a sense of chaos. Neutrals like silver, black, grey, white, cream, brown, beige, and even gold are okay to use as much as you want, though. 

One last staging tip is to rely on rhythm, symmetry, and repetition as often as possible. These things are inherently attractive to humans and you should incorporate them as often as is feasible in your listing photos. 

Wide Angle Photography

 One of the easiest ways to take great listing photos is by using a wide angle lens. Wide angle photography is designed to help you capture the essence of an entire room, making it one of the best ways to display entire sections of your home at a time. A wide angle lens will make the room look a bit larger, as well as making it easier to see the doors and connections it has to other areas of your home.

One thing to watch out for when using wide angle photography, however, is that you don't get the wrong angle on any furniture items or other items in the room. Wide angle photography can often make a chair or desk look much larger than it is, which might actually make the room look a bit smaller than it could look in the photo.

Taking Great Listing Photos is Crucial to Attracting Buyers
Too many great homes out there never sold for the price they could have because their listing photos weren't good enough to attract the right buyers. By following the DIY checklist in this article, you can ensure that you'll have done everything you could to make your home look beautiful and desirable, wherever you decide to post the photos. 

About the author: Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.