Mowing and edging the lawn, trimming the hedges, weeding and mulching will help give your curb appeal a boost. Fresh flowers and a decorative wreath on the front door will add some color and really help it pop. You want a clean, sleek look both inside and out so make sure there are no cars or bikes in the drive way and all garbage and recycling containers are hidden from view. If you have any porch furniture, take an objective look at it and decide if it enhances the allure of your home. If it does not, throw it in the garage for the photos.
Remember the words clean and sleek! Clutter is your enemy for photos. Minimize items on all flat surfaces. Professional home stagers use a 3 item rule; 1 tall item, 1 medium item and 1 small item. Hide electric and phone cords by unplugging them. This is just for the photos, you can plug everything back in afterwards. Remove children's toys and any pet items from sight. Depersonalize! Remove family photos and personal items.
Kitchen & Dining Room
Remove almost everything from kitchen counters; small appliances, knife blocks, etc. Follow the 3 item rule. Clear off the refrigerator. This goes along with depersonalizing. Remove photos, drawings, postcards, reminders, everything. You can place some things back up once you have the photos done, but it's always a good idea to have your home depersonalized for showings. Set the dining room table as if you were having a dinner party; a nice centerpiece, plates, napkins, utensils, glasses, etc. Remove any high chairs or booster seats. If you have a buffet or china cabinet, remove items from on top and try to follow the 3 item rule.
Clean off coffee and end tables and follow the 3 item rule. Depersonalize! Remove any overgrown or sickly looking house plants. Hide any remote controls. If the room looks crowded, feel free to remove any excess furniture for the photos.
Make the beds and make sure that all the junk that you have hidden underneath your bed is not visible. Make sure that the only things on the beds are pillows...no stuffed animals. Follow the 3 item rule for bedside tables.
Make sure towels are neatly folded over towel bars. Remove any makeup items, toothbrushes, razors, tissue boxes, etc...from the the vanity top. Clean your bathroom mirror. This is obvious but sometimes overlooked....close the toilet lid.
Most of these are good guidelines to follow all the time while your home is on the market, but for your listing photos, following these tips will help make a great first impression!