Nothing frustrates me more than agents that don't understand the importance of quality photos for their listings. So here is my best attempt at converting all of you sloppy picture takers into either budding photographers or agents that hire a professional photographer. First and foremost it is the pictures that drives your showings. Statistics show that more than 80% of buyers find their new home online. If they are not drawn to your listing through the pictures, they are not scheduling an appointment for a viewing. Staging is great but its biggest benefit is making your listing look compelling in the photos. VS
So what qualifies as a good or compelling photo? It really is not that difficult to take great pictures. It may however require a smidge more of your time than the snap and go approach.
1. Try to capture as much of the room as possible. Buyers are always looking for rooms that get lots of light, have a lot of windows, great architectural details, nice floors etc. I know that when a home is nicely staged you are compelled to simply showcase the beautiful bed in the pictures but that is not going to sell the house or drive showings. If you do not already have one, a camera with a wide angle lens can make a dramatic difference in your pictures. 2. Make sure your photos have the right light balance. Dark, underexposed or overexposed pictures are not going to help you get buyers to your listing. The good news is that you can adjust and correct the lighting with photo editing software like Photoshop. It is simple and just takes a few extra minutes. 3. Feel free to remove unattractive elements to take the picture and put them back later. I have had clients that refused to remove their kitty condos, kids toys, etc. But that did not stop me from sliding them out of the room to take pictures for the listing and then putting them back. 4. Take pictures on a sunny day if possible and turn on lamps in the rooms that you are photographing. Once you do this you will be amazed at the improvement in your pictures. Lamps especially cast a really inviting, warm light. 5. Make sure the outdoor photos are the right season. If it is the middle of the summer, buyers will be suspicious about snow-covered outdoor shots. What are they hiding, they will wonder. 6. Try taking the photos from many different angles in a room. I often find that photos taken of the room where the furniture is eye-level rather than being looked down on turn out great. Get creative, don't just shoot the room from the doorway. Step into a closet or a corner, take photos looking down from stairways. 7. Take a lot more photos than you think you need. I typically shoot 100+ photos of a home when I take pictures for a client. I never know what angle will look the best or which shot will be easy to edit with software later. It is easier to delete excess photos than it is to make another trip to reshoot the home.
Hopefully, this not only inspires you to take better pictures but gives you some empowering tips to make it happen.