If You Do Nothing Else, Do These Things:
    • Replace all burned out light bulbs both inside and outside the house. Try to keep all the bulbs within a room the same type, LED, incandescent.

    • Hide the clutter.

    General Prep Work:
    • Remove excess furnishings and knick-knacks from rooms. Large amounts of furniture and decorations do not generally photograph well and can distract from the homes features and can potentially make a room look smaller in photos.

    • Pick up throw rugs and runners in entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms so that the floor can be clearly seen.

    • Wash the windows (or have them washed).
    • Vacuum and/or mop the floors.

    Home Exterior:
    • Remove all cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles etc. from the driveways and do not park directly in front of the house.

    • Move garbage and recycling cans out of sight.

    • Remove all garden tools, hoses, and clutter.

    • Pick up after your pets.
    • Mow the grass, rake up leaves and debris, pull weeds and remove any dead vegetation.

    • If you are feeling ambitious, plant some fresh flowers in empty planters and pots.

    • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and patios.
    Swimming Pools and Spas:
    • Make sure they are clean. Sweep dirt off the bottom and skim off the debris floating on top.
    • Remove the cover, pool sweep, floating chlorine dispenser and pool toys.

    • Straighten lounge chairs, put away cleaning tools, and set up the patio umbrella if you have one.

    • Turn on pool light(s), waterfalls and spa bubbles. Verify several days prior to your shoot that these are working in case you need to schedule repairs.

    • If you want to add that extra touch, roll up some colorful pool towels and place them on the chairs and set up a pitcher of lemonade with some glasses on a table.

    Living & Family Room:
    • Remove newspapers and magazines and put away books.

    • Tuck the remote controls in a draw to get them out of sight.

    • Conceal exposed cables and cords as best that you can.

    • Remove clutter, personal photos, the kids toys, etc. from bookshelves, tables and the floor.
    • Dust and vacuum. Dust can show in a photograph.

    • Wash any glass surfaces including table tops, cabinet doors and windows. Smudges and dirt on glass will be noticeable in the photographs.
    • Straighten pillows and throws.

    • Make the beds neatly; straighten the bed spread and pillows.
    • Tidy up, dust and vacuum.

    • Pick up and put away clothes and shoes.

    • Remove items from bedside tables books, magazines, pictures, clock radios, etc.
    • In the kids rooms put excess toys out of sight, take posters and drawings off the walls, and straighten up overall.
    • Put small appliances, knife blocks paper towels and kitchen gadgets away and off the counters
    • Remove photos, notes, papers and magnets from the refrigerator.

    • Clean the major appliances refrigerator, oven, stove top, range hood, and dishwasher.

    • Wipe down the counter tops.

    • Don't leave any dirty dishes in the sink or sponges, dish towels, dish soap or the like near the sink.
    • Move trash cans out of site.

    Dining Room:
    • Dust the furniture and vacuum the floors.

    • Setting the table with nice dinnerware, napkins and a centerpiece can give a homey feel.

    • If you have a China cabinet make sure things are straight and tidy inside.

    • Clear off the counter tops; toiletries, tissues, hair products, just about everything should be put away.

    • Remove personal care products and children's bath toys from the shower and tub.

    • Make sure towels are folded neatly and are straight on the towel bars.

    • Close the lid on the toilets.

    • Mirrors and shower doors should be clean.

    • Hide away the toilet brush and plunger.

    Odds and Ends:
    • Turn on all the lights, inside and out.
    • Turn off the ceiling fans.
    • Open the blinds, shades and curtains.