We live in a visual society. In fact, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 82% of home buyers found websites to be a useful information source when researching a home, with 42% of recent buyers reporting that the first step they took in the home buying process was looking at online properties for sale.
So what does this all mean? Home buyers are demanding more and every marketing savvy agent must take action to ensure their listings scream, “Come look at me!” This can be done by giving buyers what they want – more photos! From the front of the home, to the formal foyer, to the unrivaled views from the kitchen’s picture window, you must capture your listing’s undeniable charm on camera and post it online for the masses to see. Here are some helpful tips for telling your listing’s story through quality photos:
Timing is everything
The best time to capture an exterior shot is during the middle of the day when the sun is bright and the sky is blue. For interior shots, turn on the lights and use a flash so the photos don’t come out too dark.
More, more, more
You’re not likely to lure buyers with one or two photos. Buyers want to see it all! Include photos of as many rooms as possible, but focus on the home’s best features. Consider enlisting the help of a professional staging service if the home doesn’t photograph well.
Also, consider amenities that go beyond the home. Is there a great community clubhouse, tennis court or pool? Perhaps the home has outstanding views of city lights, mountains or the ocean. Equally appealing is a home’s location, so include photos of nearby parks, popular shopping destinations or award winning schools. These are all major selling points that add value to a home and increase its overall appeal.
Remove the clutter
Remove unnecessary clutter before photographing a home. In the kitchen, clear the counters of extra appliances, put away dishes and remove mismatched magnets from the fridge. Throughout the interior, put away toys, make the beds, place fresh towels in the bathrooms and make sure laundry is out of sight.
Outside, put away garbage cans, animal food dishes and maybe add a few plants. If you have a pool, make sure to have it cleaned, than remove all pool toys and cleaning devices. Remove cars from the driveway when taking exterior shots and try to avoid unsightly telephone poles or power lines.
Choose your camera wisely
If your photos are poor quality, buyers won’t be impressed and are likely to click onto the next property. Forget cell phone cameras. Digital cameras or cameras with a wide lens are the best fit for the job.
To get the clearest shots, always snap photos using your camera’s highest resolution. High resolution photos are essential for quality print, including flyers, postcards, magazines and newspapers. The photos can always be decreased for use on the web.
Improve where needed
If needed, improve your photos using editing software like Adobe Photoshop. Crop out unnecessary shots of walls or ceilings and zoom in to capture the desired features. You may also adjust the brightness if the photos turned out darker than expected.
Honesty is the best policy when using photo editing software, so don’t overdo it by performing digital plastic surgery.
Take a class or hire a pro
Not comfortable with your photography skills? Improve them by taking a photography class at a local community college, community center or camera shop.
On the other hand, there are plenty of talented professional photographers you can hire. Depending on your budget, consider college students studying photography to experienced photographers specializing in real estate.