Real Estate Photography: A How-to Guide

How to Show Your House to Buyers

When selling your property, you want to instantly attract the attention and pique the interest of potential buyers. The first sighting a potential purchaser has is usually online so your photographs need to be of high quality, eye-catching and to showcase the property to its best advantage. In short, you need to stand out from the crowd. Therefore, preparing your property for photography is of great importance. It must be clean, tidy, cleared of any clutter such as boxes, baskets, newspapers, dirty dishes, unmade beds, garden tools etc. Imagine it’s being prepared to win a “Best Home” award and prepare accordingly.

Why is property photography important?

When it comes to selling your house, nothing is more true than the cliché that a picture speaks a thousand words. What those words say about your property will be dependent on the quality of your photographs. Using quality photographs may increase the potential of a faster sale. As you only get one chance to make a first impression and first impressions are lasting impressions, you need to make your photographs count. It is really worth your while to use a real estate company that has a good photographer to make sure your property sell faster.

First prize, hire a pro! Sellers should invest in a professional property photographer and must if they are selling a high-end property. Professional marketers will invest 10’s or 100’s of thousands of rands, to capture product images to sell their wares.  It is, for this reason, savvy sellers will invest in a professional real estate photographer.  Real estate marketing relies, almost exclusively, on imagery and screen appeal. Without appealing and professional imagery, you will not stand out in the crowded virtual property market, and it is unlikely you will get potential house-hunters through your door.

Professional photography lenses and camera equipment packed neatly on the floor.

DIY versus professional services

A professional property photographer will use state-of-the-art equipment and will have honed his skill through much practice and possibly over many years. He will be able to manipulate and enhance his photographs during post-production to make them look clean, bright, and stylish. His photographs will be high quality and showcase your home at its awesome best; in the best light, from the best angle, and highlight its best features. Unless you believe your photographs can match those of any professional photographer, then rather use the services of a professional. At Leadhome we make use of only the best photographers, see some of their work below.

Preparing your house

Getting your house prepared is the key to helping the photographer to capture the scene perfectly.

Hiring a professional, staging and styling are as important for your photoshoot as they are for your future property viewings. Some photographers offer styling services at an hourly rate.

You may need to move furniture away to get the appropriate distance to capture a specific feature. For example; a coffee table may obstruct the complete visual of a gorgeous fireplace. Freshly cut flowers, a beautifully set dining table, a crackling fire with a well-placed bottle of wine and glasses, a thoughtfully placed book next to a bed, and many more staging ideas can exhibit a desirable lifestyle to capture the attention of buyers. And last but not least, declutter and clear surfaces, remove debris, rubbish bins, hose pipes, and even your automatic pool cleaner from the pool.

Neat living space with lots of natural light.

Before any photographs are taken of your home, you need to:

  • Make sure each area is thoroughly clean and tidy.
  • Remove any clutter or rubbish and personal items, like photos and toiletries.
  • Remove or cover any stains. 
  • Remove any evidence of pets.
  • Make the beds and do not leave any dishes in the kitchen.
  • Hide away children’s toys, toy boxes and sewing baskets etc. to increase visible floor space.
  • Tidy the garden, hide the gardening tools and mow the garden.
  • Add some attractive plants to the garden or a vase of brightly coloured flowers indoors.
  • Ensure the pool is clean and sparkling.
  • Add an interesting throw or two attractively over your furniture.

Examples of good real estate photos


To sell your house to the right buyer, for the best price and as quickly as possible, you need to ensure that it is presented at its best at first sighting. First sightings are usually of the online photographs on the property portals so these must be of the highest quality and must highlight and flatter the property’s best features. 

Get in touch with Leadhome to assist you with your photoshoot, and to recommend a professional photographer with a proven track record.

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