The Basics of Removing Objects in Real Estate Photo Editing


Properties for sale require a certain look and feel to invite customers to see it for its potential and beauty. A home that is currently occupied will have furniture and clutter inside that might not be conducive for selling given that the buying market is particular when it comes to first impressions. As a photographer, there is sometimes the challenge of not being able to clear the property both inside and out to have that clean feel. Real estate agents might not also have the same luxury to move everything out and perhaps back in if the house is still occupied because it will cost time and money. Fortunately, real estate photo editing is here to the rescue.

Real estate photo editing is a master in making the image look clean. It gets rid of the little things that constitute ‘ugliness’ in the photo so it becomes presentable and worthy of being put on the listing. There are many real estate photo editing techniques but none of them comes as easy as object removal.

Three Ways to Make a Flawless Removal


With the ability of this software to possess alternative ways to remove objects, all of them should be used with the right intent to beautify, but not deceive. This real estate photo editing technique also advises on which technique is best suited for object size and scale. The Spot Healing technique is best for smaller objects while the Patch tool is the best for larger ones. The Clone Stamping method is used for in-between situations, but all of them are effective, nonetheless.

Technique 1: Using the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop

  1. Select the Spot Healing Brush Tool and use the Content-Aware Mode.

The spot healing brush is found as the first option in the tool pane of brushes. If it is used with the content-aware mode, then there is the added assistance from Photoshop to copy a pixel color from its neighboring areas and it will automatically fill in the void where the item has been brushed away.

  1. Enlarge the object you want to remove by zooming in on it.

Now this real estate photo editing technique is recommended for smaller objects due to the tedious nature of brushing and the accuracy of the content-aware mode. Zooming in will help you get a more precise look if the object is completely covered and in the grander scheme, completely invisible and unnoticeable.

  1. Brush over the object to conceal it or remove it.

Since the spot healing tool is a brush, paint over the object until it is completely gone, thereby fulfilling the steps for this real estate photo editing technique.

Technique 2: Utilizing the Clone Stamp Tool

  1. Add an empty layer through the bottom of the Layers Panel with the ‘Add New Layer’ option.

Adding a layer does not allow any mess ups to impact the original photo. This means that the layer can be discarded and replaced to start over again without the original photo being desecrated.

  1. Lock this layer to keep it in synch with the image and helps maintain stability.

Making sure this step is done creates the assurance that all of the edits done in the perspective of the layer is replicated in the original photo in the background.

  1. Clone Stamp Tool >> Set the Sample to Current & Below.

This ensures that the layer is the one being manipulated, taking its sources of replication such as background from the background layer.

  1. Press Alt + Left Mouse Click to get the source of the sample which will be cloned.

The Alt + left mouse click is to ensure that you can preview the color that will be cloned. This is a check that will make sure that the right color source will cover the destination, making this a right first time move.

  1. Brush over the object to hide or get rid of it.

This step wraps up the alternative method to this real estate photo editing hack. The clone stamp tool in a way is also a brush that works to cover an object and conceal it.

Technique 3: Covering up using the Patch Tool

  1. Add an empty layer through the bottom of the Layers Panel with the ‘Add New Layer’ option.

Create a layer the same way in technique 2 but make sure that the layer option is selected as ‘erged’ and the blending option as ‘normal’.

  1. Select the patch tool from the tool pane after the healing brush option.

The patch tool will be easy to find within the category of tools, 2 items below the spot healing brush tool.

  1. Select source and not destination because the latter copies an object and replicates it elsewhere.

Click source on the top of the screen where there is an option between source and destination. Source helps you conceal the object while destination replicates the object and allows you to bring it to another area within the photo.

  1. Draw an area around the object you want to remove.

Surround the object similar to drawing a circle to enclose it. It does not need to be very accurate, but big enough to capture the object and a little bit of background.

  1. Drag it in any direction to expose an area similar to the background for blending.

Once the loop is closed, the last thing to do is click and drag that selection to another part of the image and you will see that this real estate photo editing technique is so amazing that it shows you real time adjustment of the selected area. Move the selection until the desired replacement for the selected area is achieved.


In this regard, there is truth to the process being important and simple. However, one must be careful not to use it to manipulate the photo and mislead the buyer. It is not in the intent of real estate photo editing to deceive. Nevertheless, it is important to have a clean looking photo, free of mess and clutter to be able to create a good impression and avoid turning people off. This real estate photo editing technique is a winner in many aspects. In terms of simplicity, while there are three different ways, all true to their intent and are easy to use. What is important is being able to decipher which one is best for you and the one that makes it easier for you to execute. That is the power of object removal for real estate photo editing in Photoshop.