Before selling your home, a professional photo shoot should be on your agent's list of things to do. These photos will be the first impression a potential buyer has of your home and high quality photos may help to increase the home value in a buyer's mind. Here are a couple tips to prepare your home for the photographer:

Time of Day

The best time of day to schedule a photos shoot is in the middle of the day, between 11am and 1pm. This is when the sun is right above your house and not shining directly into some of the windows. There will be less shadows in the photos and the most opportune time for perfect lighting. Believe it or not, it's also not bad if it's a cloudy / partly cloudy day as there will be even fewer shadows in the photos. Too much sunshine can actually wash out the photos.

Arranging Furniture

It's important to arrange your furniture to show the best way to use the space in a room. Furniture also provides scale, so you may have to remove several pieces. The less furniture in a room, the larger the room appears. As it's hard to see scale and best use in vacant homes, one should be staged by bringing in simple furniture and decor.

Declutter and Limit the Color Scheme

Remove personal photos from the walls, furniture and shelves. Pack up tchotchkes and displays of collections. Neutral colors provide a good base in a room, such as walls, furniture, rugs and so on. Use one color scheme for decorating accents such as pictures, pillows and flowers. Simple is better.

Think Symmetry and Repetition in Decor

Symmetry and repetition are found in nature and animals, and the human mind finds this pleasing. When decorating a room, use the principles of symmetry and repetition. Use your furniture to show balance and symmetry in a room. Use repetition in your decorations. Place bouquets of flowers on the dining room and kitchen tables. Place lemons in a glass jar on the kitchen counter. Arrange towels neatly and symmetrically in bathrooms.

Turn on Lights

Turn on every light and lamp in the house for the photo shoot. Lights help even out the natural lighting in the rooms.

Fluff Carpets, Pillows and Blankets

Before the photo shoot, have your carpeting steam cleaned. This will bring up the pile and make it look newer. Run a broom over the top of the carpet and rugs to bring life to them and remove vacuum lines. Fluff your pillows on beds and couches. Fluff comforters to get rid of wrinkles. Fold blankets neatly.

Put Down The Seats

There is nothing worse in a photo of a beautiful bathroom than a rogue toilet seat in the up position.

Look Beyond the Windows

Be sure there isn't anything unsightly outside of the windows during the photo shoot. If it's garbage day, be sure the cans at the curb cannot be seen through the windows. Make sure cars outside on the driveway or street cannot be seen in the interior room photos. Put away anything outside you don't want seen in the photos, such as toys or tools on the deck.

Have the photographer take photos of multiple angels in each room. Then decide which photos are best. Keep your home value higher with impressive listing photos.