The Top 4 Things to Remember when Photographing a Home for Sale

Real Estate Photography is a game changer in marketing a property. There are four main things to remember when photographing a home for sale:

  1. Marketing for homes is online and the picture is the first point of contact.
  1. Finding the right photographer for your market means making sure they have the right experience and tools 
  1. You need to help your seller prepare for this process, including attending the photoshoot
  1. Make sure your take time to choose the right photos – show off the best aspects of the home.

Marketing is Online

Too often we forget that pictures are the main marketing product for a home – one picture is almost literally worth a thousand words of description in a listing. 

Why is this? House hunting is now more than ever an online activity.  Years ago, it was signage and word of mouth that brought the clients to a home.  Today, more than 95% of people start that search online.  So, it’s the pictures that will make or break the interest in a home. Humans respond to visuals in a powerful way.  Visual representation is much more persuasive than any other sales strategy.

“Professional Photography is the most critical element in the marketing of your listing.”

Not only is marketing a home online – but the outdoor listing photo is also the main reason people decide to view a home or not. The money shot. Homebuyers have stated that the listing photo was the #1 reason they decided to view a home. It’s important – you need to get it right.

Find the Right Photographer

Not just anyone with a camera – or even any professional photographer – can get the right shots. Find the right photographer for your market and make sure they have the appropriate tools that will help you make the pictures look the best. Professionally-taken photos have been proven to sell homes faster.

Whenever possible you should find a good photographer that specializes in real estate. Just because they did a great job on your wedding or Christmas card shot doesn’t mean they have the specialized knowledge of what to shoot – and how – to sell a home. Professional real estate photographers know how to make a room look awesome. They also know what photos appeal to a variety of clients.  Ever wonder why they take several angles of the same room?  It’s because they know some people will visually connect with a straight on view and others need to see it from an angle to best connect with the photo.

Next, find out what products they have in their arsenal to help you digitally improve on a property.  Some elements to ask about:

  • drone photos
  • video
  • 3D tours
  • floor plans
  • virtual clean up
  • virtual staging
  • grass greening, blue skies

Some additional things to consider when picking a photographer are:  

  • Do they edit the photos before they download for you?  
  • How quick is their turnaround time from when they shoot to when you have the edited pictures?  
  • How many photos do they take, and will you have access to all of them to market the home?

Help your seller 

Of course, your seller must lean into the process. The house is the product you are marketing so getting it to the stage it needs to be for the photographer to do their shoot is vital. You will need to coach your client on what they need to do before the photographer can do his job: declutter as much as possible, clear counter tops and any horizontal surfaces (buffets, mantels, windowsills, sink tops,) add light bulbs in all the fixtures, depersonalize, clean windows, remove holiday or seasonal items, open the drapes, remove fridge magnets, pet toys and beds, and – of course – clean, clean, clean!

As a realtor, you need to attend the photoshoots to make sure what you want to highlight is photographed and help to guide the photographer into what is most important in this particular property.  Do a walk through before the photographer arrives, turn on lights, close toilet seats, generally look at the house through the eye of the potential buyer. 

Be strategic when choosing photos

Finally, be selective on your photos you use to market the house.  If the front of the house has snow which is something that is appropriate when you list the home but if the home does not sell during the time the snow is on the ground, get a new front picture and of course the opposite for homes that have full trees and the middle of summer look once you are moving into the next season.  If you live where you do not have seasonal changes make sure that Holiday decorations are removed such as lights, flags, wreaths that will date the pictures of the home. Look at the interior photos and make sure that it depicts the best characteristics of your home.

Finally, if you need something specific from the photographer be there to explain it to them.  In this age of digital photography, you can get floor plans, digital staging for certain rooms, virtual tours, and finally if necessary photoshopping that car in the driveway or the garbage cans sitting out at the curb. 

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