Even if you think you (either as a seller or real estate agent) can photograph your home pretty well yourself, or that your buddy with that new DSLR can do it, don’t be tempted. Your potential buyers will know the difference, and it can only hurt your sales prospects.
We are very visual creatures (70% of our bodies’ receptors are visual), and when it comes to photography, we can be tipped off by little things that we don’t even know we are noticing.
Unprofessional photography gets noticed subliminally, and very quickly. Real estate photography, good real estate photography, requires not just excellent photography skills, but an experienced, artistic eye.
On the flip side, people can fall in love with a house they see online because the images give them instant, positive first impressions. That is what you should be striving for, not trying to save a few bucks on what is your home’s most important selling tool.
Ninety-two percent (yes, 92%) of homebuyers use the internet as part of their home search.
Studies have shown that homes photographed by professionals garner considerably more (from 60-100%) online views, sell faster (50% faster), and for a price closer to the list price (39% closer).
But this is also key: over half the time buyers spend perusing online listings is spent looking at a home’s photos (and it is the first thing they look at). Most decide within 60 seconds if a property is suitable for them or not.
A home does not sell itself. It needs the advice and work of a stellar agent, and it needs professional photography.
With all that in mind, here are some tips to get people to spend more time looking at your listing.
There is a lot that can be “fixed” in Photoshop, but a badly cluttered room is not one of them. If a room looks cluttered and unorganized, it is a signal to a potential buyer that the home may not be well taken care of. You want your home to look homey, but not “lived in.”
If you want the best results, take the time to prep your public spaces (the technical term is “staging”), and clean up every room as if your pickiest relative were coming to visit. Or think of it as preparing for a multi-page magazine spread on your home. What do you want the world to see? A dusty dehumidifier in the corner of a quaint parlor? A torn and tattered curtain?
Stand in each room and look at it with new eyes, as if you are seeing it for the first time, because the people seeing these photos will be.
It takes about two-three hours to photograph a 2500-3000 ft2 home – if it is done right. There is plenty of moving tripods and lights around, checking for the best angles, primping backgrounds. Don’t rush the photographer. In fact, your best bet is to be there to meet the photographer when he arrives, show him any special features or architectural touchpoints you think should be highlighted, then retreat to a distant corner of the house, or go out to lunch.
Pets and all evidence of pets should be removed from the house for the duration of the shoot. Some people will skip a listing if there is any sign of one of our furry friends, whether because of allergy concerns or damage worries. Much of the home buying process is about elimination, not just discovery, so don’t needlessly give someone a reason to dismiss your property.
This will give your home a homier feel, no matter the time of day. And if your photographer knows his or her stuff, they will accommodate this to the best effect.
For a modest additional fee we can come back and shoot your home around sunset. You will turn on all the interior lights and the outdoor accent lighting, and the results can be stunning, with your property offering a warm, welcoming glow. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
All the points above about clutter matter here just as much. Put away kids' toys, spruce up flower pots, sweep porches, put away anything hanging over railings or in windows, coil and hide hoses, etc. Think about your curb appeal and so will your prospective buyers.