When examining the importance of high quality, professional, eye-catching photos in the world of real estate one must ask themselves one thing. “Would I want to see more of a home that didn’t have any pictures posted online?” Unless you are dealing with an investor special or some kind of special case, the answer would usually be a resounding ‘no’.
In this day and age, most home searches start online. Photos that are bright, well positioned and accurately representative of the home are more likely to draw the eye of a potential buyer than poorly lit, bad quality photos. Ensuring you and your real estate professional both understand how important photography is when selling a home is imperative.
Poor picture quality is something that can be easily avoided by using the right equipment. Your agent doesn’t need thousands of dollars worth of top of the line equipment, but they will definitely need more than the camera on their phone. A good SLR professional quality camera will run anywhere from $250 to upwards of $1000, so depending on your situation they may opt for a simple, good digital camera. A decent five-megapixel (or higher) digital camera can be purchased at an electronics store for pretty cheap these days.
Discuss with your agent the procedure for collecting photos of the home, what equipment they plan to use, and how you can help prepare your home for pictures to be taken.
There are many ways you can make the most out of the spaces you want to photograph. The first step is to clear all of the clutter out of sight; there is nothing that makes a home look unappealing quite like clutter laying around. Make sure the home is clean and free of dust, debris or stains. Add splashes of color to each room such as a painting, a vase, or some pillows on the bed/couch to make your shots more interesting and appealing.
Make sure whoever is photographing takes photos that accurately represent your home. Pictures from the doorway looking into a room, and then from the opposite corner to the doorway can give two different (but equally important) views of the same room. Ensure that bathrooms are spotless and that all toilet seats are closed, and mirrors are clean. Have your agent order the pictures like a virtual tour starting with the entryway and then working their way through the home. It’s best if they take a lot of photos and then you all can go through and choose your favorite ones.
Putting up raw, unedited photos can give your listing an unprofessional feel. Make sure whoever is doing the photography uses, at least, a basic photo editing software to ensure all pictures are crisp, clear, cropped correctly and well lit. Anyone can download free tools such as Gimp or use online editors such as Paint.net to accomplish these tasks. You want to ensure all photos are bright, and high quality.
Hire a professional:
The above advice is great if it’s not in the budget to hire a professional photographer or if your agent has taken photography classes and/or has photography experience. Many times, however, your agent will opt to hire a professional photographer. Especially for higher priced listings, you will want to make sure you have the best possible photos showcasing your home. These days you can hire a photographer for a very reasonable price (around $200 usually) that specializes in real estate photography.
They have taken photos of many homes before and know the best angles, lighting tricks, and editing procedures to make sure your home stands out in a sea of other listings online. The professionals may also be able to provide services like virtual tours and other eye-catching, innovative media options to help your home further stands out. Twilight photography has become popular, especially amongst luxury home listings. The photographer will wait until dawn or dusk and turn on all the interior and exterior lights in a home. This gives the photography a really special feel.
All in all the moral of the story is that you want the photography showcasing your home online to be high quality, professional looking, and bright. Talk to your agent about whether you can accomplish this yourselves or whether you will want to hire a professional photographer, but do all you can to ensure your photos will help sell your home – fast.