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8 Interior Real Estate Photography Tips

Experienced agents may not always be expert shutterbugs, but they certainly know how to spot good listing photos.

Our Military-Friendly Real Estate Agents recently shared a gold mine of advice for increasing the effectiveness of interior listing photos. By following these real estate photography tips and carefully selecting the images you share with buyers, you can help put the best face on any home.

Tip 1: Avoid the toilet shot

Gorgeous bathrooms with updated fixtures can certainly sell a home. But bathrooms that fall short can cause a buyer to skip over your listing entirely. If you can make a bathroom photo-worthy by straightening some towels or pulling the shower curtain shut, go for it. Otherwise, let buyers enjoy the more scenic rooms of a home via your listing photos.

An unappealing, dingy bathroom with an open toilet.
At least close the lid.

Tip 2: Close the closet door

Jam-packed closets send an undesirable message: "This house doesn't have enough room." When taking interior shots of closets, make sure the closet looks roomy and neat. If that's not possible, just keep the closet door closed.

Cluttered closet stuffed with items.
Closets should appear spacious.

Tip 3: Don't focus on furnishings

Nice furniture, wall art or furnishings can set off a home's best features. But unless they're included in the sale, don't make a sofa or lampshade the focus of a listing photo.

Close up of decoration items that aren't necessary for a home listing.
Are close-ups of furnishings really necessary? No.

Tip 4: Not everyone loves pets

Almost 60 percent of American households are dog-less, according to the American Pet Products Association. The takeaway message? A listing photo with a cute puppy isn't going to sell a house. The simple sight of animal fur can cause allergy sufferers or germaphobes to cringe. Ask all family members (furry and non-furry alike) to step out of the frame of your interior listing photos.

Dog laying on couch.
Keep furry friends off-camera.

Tip 5: Use proper lighting

You don't need professional equipment and training to make a room shine. Turn on every light in the room, use the flash, and bring in extra lamps if necessary. If you're leaving shades open, you'll need to balance the incoming sunlight with light from other sources, or you'll end up with a blinding window and a dark room.

Poorly lit bedroom that's hard to fully see.
Don't waste an opportunity with a dark shot.

Tip 6: Skip the clutter

Piles of "stuff" distract the eye from what you're trying to sell. Some buyers won't be able to ignore the mess and focus on the actual property. Sometimes you won't have a choice, but if possible straighten or pass over the more cluttered areas of a home.

Tip 7: Ask sellers to clean the kitchen

Stacks of dirty dishes and kitchen trash produce an undesirable visceral reaction. Encourage sellers in advance to tidy the rooms you're going to be photographing. If an essential room is unsightly on the day of your shoot, either reschedule or drop the listing. There's no point in wasting your time on sellers who fail to make the necessary effort.

Extremely messy kitchen filled with junk.
No one wants to live in squalor.

Tip 8: Bypass the scary basement

Photos of creepy basements can send buyers scrambling. You may stumble across "the scary basement" from time to time, but there's no need to advertise this type of room to your potential clients.

Looking down into a scary, disheveled basement.
Don't let your listing resemble the scene of a horror film.

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