Great photography is vital for getting the most potential buyers to your listing and top dollar for your home.
The National Association of REALTORS 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that in 2016, 95% of buyers used the internet to search for homes.
This one statistic supports what you already know: virtually all buyers find potential homes online first and then decide whether to visit. That decision to personally visit rests heavily with the online presence of your home, and great photos are the focus of online presence. They, like most of us, sift through online information quickly, saving or discarding based on initial impressions. If your home is not photographed properly, at optimal angles, color corrected, lit correctly, and if those photos do not tell the story of your house, your home may go in the discard bin.
Shameless Plug: let me first be clear that in addition to being a licensed REALTOR in Seattle and Missoula, I am a pro real estate photographer. That’s an additional expertise and service my clients receive. My work has been featured in The Seattle Times and in addition to my own listings I photograph for some of Seattle’s top REALTORS. Check out my work here: www.stussyrephotography.com
As a REALTOR and real estate photographer I know that many agents choose the least expensive option and that’s usually reflected in the photos, then in market time, and ultimately in sale price.
Demand these photographic elements from the agent who is listing your property:
- Professional HD Real Estate Photography. It takes a photographer with training in real estate photography to know how to photograph a home for sale. Even then, there are levels of competency. Are the colors realistic? Is there lens distortion (are vertical lines vertical)? Are windows blown out (white) or is a nondescript view overly accentuated, drawing attention away from the interior? There’s a balance to achieve and your photographer needs to know what’s most important in each photo and how to achieve the desired result.
Do the photos flow through the house, giving a sense of the layout to tell the story of your house? A trained real estate photographer knows how to showcase your home in photos that attract buyers.
- Manage the photo allowance in the MLS. But don’t overdo it. I see many listings underserved with too few photos. In the NWMLS (Seattle), 25 photos are allowed. Your agent should be able to use all 25 to describe your house in pictures. In Montana, where I also list and sell properties, there’s a higher limit and I see listings with up to 40 photos – and in most cases that’s way too many. Your agent should be able to find a balance and post the correct number of photos, with an emphasis on the “money” shots that really bring in buyers. Too many photos may introduce elements that distract buyers from attention getting features. Use the right number of photos to give potential buyers a clear idea of what your property is about and entice a visit.
- Add Comments To Photos. While it’s the job of photos and the photographer to give a sense of the flow in your home, sometimes a little explanation is in order. Is the Master Bedroom on the main floor or upstairs? Does that door lead to the garage or the back yard? Your agent may know your floorplan, but buyers may need some help with some additional comments.
Look at listings in your town. Is the photography good or is it poor? I work in two distinct US markets (see links at the bottom of the page) and the photo work is vastly different between them. If the photography in your market is good, you must have great photos just to compete. If photography in your market isn’t first rate, that’s an opportunity for you to get the advantage over your competition with great photos and marketing.
Remember how great photography will help when you’re ready to list your home for sale. I’m happy to show you what to expect when we work together.