How to prepare your home for photos and inspections

When selling your property, it is important to present it in its absolute best light. It is true that great home presentation can make a significant difference to the amount of interest, the number of offers and the end sale price.


When a buyer inspects a home and can imagine themselves moving in with minimal changes, they are much more likely to put in an offer.


Here are our top tips for home presentation the we suggest you implement for photos, inspections AND the inspection from your property valuer.


1. Making the necessary changes will be a struggle until you stop seeing your property as your home.

Try to look at your house as if it is someone else’s property that you are in charge of selling. It’s your job to turn this property into your buyer’s dream house and have it sold quickly. This mindset will have you looking at the property differently.


Airlisting Open Home2. Before you start making changes, take some photos of your home and imagine you are seeing them as a listing on the internet. Now have a look at similar properties on the internet and compare the photos. This can give you ideas of where to start and how buyers might feel if they first saw your home as it is today.


3. If you have strong colours on the walls it can be helpful to do a quick, professional paint to make the home a neutral palette. Replacing old or strong coloured curtains with neutral, clean curtains or blinds can also help. Neutrals can make houses look fresh, clean and larger. If your couches are dark, try adding light-coloured cushions. Cushions are also good for covering marks on couches. If your floorboards are dark, think about adding a light coloured rug.


4. If your house layout allows for it, think about putting fresh flowers in a spot that would be seen when a buyer first enters the home.


5. Smell is also important. Banish bad smells by having the carpets professionally cleaned. Homely smells are ideal for inspections. An easy win is baking cinnamon in the oven wrapped in foil which smells like fresh baked muffins. Or just having a quality candle burning or fragrance sprayed can make a big difference. Pick universally liked fragrances like vanilla or fresh linen.


6. Remove dust, vacuum, wipe, mop, repair grout. Get rid of stains where possible, fix things that are broken. Have kitchens and bathrooms shining.


7. Declutter and depersonalise but don’t go too far and leave your house empty, as this will show up flaws.

The first easy win is to pack away all the highly personal items including most family photos.

In the kitchen, clear counters of small appliances, put towels in drawers rather than hanging from the oven, keep sponges and cleaning utensils under the sink, if you collect teacups or plates pack these away, pack away hanging pots or magnet knives as these can distract from your kitchen and be dangerous.

In bathrooms pack away prescription medications, loose items and jewellery, remove all linen except for good quality colour coordinated towels placed appealingly.

In bedrooms, pack away off-season clothes so your cupboards have more empty space, wash bedding or buy new light coloured plain bedding and neutral pillow cases and cushions, pack away almost all photos, edit your books keeping visible only a few titles that would be universally appealing, clear out old magazines, leave only one or two tasteful pieces of art on the walls.

In children’s rooms limit the number of toys kept visible and put the remaining toys into a basket or toy chest.


8. High traffic areas should be particularly mindful. Ensure the doorbell and lock system work perfectly and doors don’t squeak. Remove all unnecessary items from the front doorway except for perhaps somewhere to hang jackets or umbrellas. Look at the view into your house from the front door and remove any furniture that blocks this view – the more visitors can see of your house from the front door the better.


9. Ensure you have the yard well maintained.  An overgrown yard can give a bad impression about the quality of the whole home. Ensure there is no dog poo or pets present for inspections.


10. There is no need to set the dinner table with cutlery and plates or pour wine. This won’t add value and can appear fake which can be off-putting for buyers.


11. Have an honest friend with a good eye for aesthetics come over and give you suggestions. An outsider’s opinion is valuable as they will see your home more like how buyers will see your home.


12. If you use one of Airlisting’s photographers, you’ve made a great choice. Listen to this professional during the photography of your property as they may give you some great styling tips for inspections.


13. For photography and inspections it is our strong suggestion to open every curtain and blind, turn on every light and have your home as light-filled as possible. Light can make spaces look bigger, cleaner and fresher.


14. Having inoffensive, universally liked music playing softly in the background while inspections take place is usually a good idea. It can hide outside traffic and neighbour noises as well as that one squeaky floorboard. It can also help people feel more comfortable than having the house dead silent. And if you have an upmarket property and an impressive speaker system, having soft music playing can demonstrate your property in a way that appeals to the aspirational buyer looking to upgrade.

Loud noises, such a loud music or the television on, are not a good idea. We have put together a Spotify playlist called Airlisting Open Homes for you if you’d like to use it.


These are our top tips from our experience in real estate. Do you have other ideas to add from your experiences? Tell us about your suggestions in the comment section below.