A Comprehensive Guide to Removing Real Estate Image Backgrounds

There are limitless possibilities on what recent decades enabled us to do with photos. This is a big reason why enhancements have been rampant left and right, owing the ability to create changes to powerful image enhancing software. Industries such as real estate have been employing the use of real estate photo editing capable software to add a dab of beauty onto their images so that their adverts would attract more people. Zooming in further to one of the most commonly used techniques in real estate photo editing is the removal of image backgrounds. In an outdoor set up, properties would be subject to the wickedness of the elements which for most practitioners in this field, would be impossible to control. Such headaches include weather conditions and time of day and photographers cannot be choosy on their timing.

Why Background Removal?

Real estate image background removal is essential to the flexibility of getting images to the next level. It enables the photographer to perform sky replacement, which is a notable real estate photo editing technique. Gloomy days or shoots with poor lighting can now be amenable with these changes, giving off a warmer feel that if it were cold and blue.

Background removal also facilitates furniture staging. Think of going into a photo shoot without any chairs, tables, beds, or even rugs in the interiors. Photographers must work with what they have because simply, time is ticking. The sooner the photos come out, the sooner the business rolls with this particular property. Demanding for furniture will simply not help the cause, making this a nightmare for logistics to put together in such a short period of time. Fortunately, real estate image background removal can work on photos of furniture, isolating them, and bringing them over to the empty spaces where they should have been in the first place. It will even be easier to re-arrange the composition within the room and allow photographers and realty editor to exercise creativity in this real estate photo editing technique.

There are numerous ways to perform real estate image background elimination. The evolution of technology has made the once tedious multi-step task an executable option with one click of a button. In this comprehensive guide, we take a look at three different methods that would normally be applicable to most real estate photo editing software.

Method 1: Select and Mask

  1. Select the ‘layer and mask’ option from the ‘Select’ menu and add a layer mask after opening the image

Hovering your mouse over to the layers panel, select the add layer mask option using the rectangular icon that encloses a circle inside. This should add a layer that sits beside your image in the layers panel. It will appear as black or white, depending on your selection to keep it active. Just remember this line – black hides, white shows.

  1. Use the quick selection tool, magnetic lasso tool, or the ‘AI assisted Select Subject Button’

There are several tools at your disposal (with these names appearing for Photoshop) to set a boundary between the subject and the background. The idea with real estate image background is you want to make the selection as easy as possible as this is the most time-consuming task. However, it is also imperative to learn the basics so that when you do not have the real estate photo editing software of your choice, you are able to still perform.

The quick select acts like a brush, so all you need to do is to paint the tool as precise as you can over the subject, and Photoshop will show you an area of selection. The second selection tool in this real estate image background removal guide is the magnetic lasso tool. What was once the tool of choice is now the least convenient in this list. The magnetic lasso tool as its name suggests wraps a selection around a subject that is being outlined and assesses the fit of the line and automatically snaps onto it. Finally, in later versions of Photoshop, you will find a select subject button. This automatically selects the image through artificial intelligence, so you don’t have to sweat it out.

  1. Fine tune the selection using the brush tool and smooth slider

Last couple of things to do is to zoom in on the image to fine tune the little details that were not captured. There are several options such as the brush tool and the smooth slider on the properties panel and the latter automatically identifies the subject’s shape, again with the help of AI.

Alternatively in the artificial intelligence-assisted Photoshop 2021, use the ‘Remove Background button’ under the ‘Quick Actions’ menu in the Properties Tab and this executes steps 1 to 3 for a quick real estate image background removal in just one click.

Method 2: Pen Tool in Photoshop

  1. Use the Pen Tool to make the selection

The pen tool is a highly regarded selection assistant for a clean and crisp outline. It can bend on curves and accommodate irregularly shaped objects as needed. The selection will be done when you have come full circle, meaning the starting point and the last anchor point has met and closed the selection.

  1. Inverse the selection by going to the ‘Select’ menu and ‘Inverse’ Option

This real estate photo editing technique is rather tricky as the selection will be the one the program recognizes as what you want. Now since we want to remove the background, inverse the selection in order to de-select the image and move the selection to the background.

  1. Hit the delete button

Completing this real estate image background removal method, hit the delete button on you keyboard and you should be left with just the subject.

Method 3: Online Background Remover

This last method does not require much explanation. All you need to do is find an online webpage that facilitates the removal of the background. Such providers are Adobe, removal.ai, PhotoScissors to name a few. Simply follow the steps below and all the background job will be done behind the scenes.

  1. Upload the image
  2. Start the processing
  3. Download your image


There is a lot of merit going into real estate image background removal. The possibilities that it opens is crucial in enabling other techniques to happen and as these tasks develop over time, we see the emergence of new techniques that are available to carry out this task faster. We need to underscore the importance of this technique in order to make sure that it is part of the basic knowledge that forms the foundation as well as the appreciation of the concept for future undertakings.


Relevant Quick Links: