Selling homes in the digital age means that successful real estate agents must be putting their very best foot forward when it comes to photographing and marketing their listings online.
According to a recent 2018 survey by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of homebuyers begin their property search online. If a listing photo doesn’t capture the attention of a potential buyer and inspire them to pause their scroll and take a closer look, it is likely to be disregarded as a viable option before ever seeing the property in person.
In order to stay ahead of the competition and make sure your listing receives more than a quick scroll-by, it’s important you know what it takes to create a captivating listing photo. Here are a few of our best tips, as well as what to avoid, to make sure your listing photos are attracting your ideal client.
An exceptional photo includes:
- Professional photography. First impressions matter, and this is not the time for cellphone photography. Be sure to schedule a professional photographer to come out and capture your listing in its the best light.
- Optimal lighting. Speaking of lighting, be sure to have your listing photos taken at the perfect time of day to complement the natural light throughout the home. For example, with east-facing properties, morning is usually the best time to shoot, but with west-facing homes, afternoon provides the optimal light. Be sure to do your research before you schedule your photography time slot.
- Show off new updates or recently renovated rooms. If there have been recent renovations or upgrades put into the home, be sure to highlight those areas. A bathroom may not come to mind as a glamorous listing photo option, but if the seller just spent time investing in the appearance of the room, be sure to show that off.
- Professional staging. Always remember the value of investing in home staging. This will help potential buyers to picture themselves and their families living in the home. Statistics also prove that, on average, staged homes sell quicker and for a higher price point than non-staged homes.
- Both daytime and dusk photography. If you can time it with your photographer to get a few dusk shots, they will make a great addition to your daytime photos, and create an eye-catching display, especially if you get lucky with timing and get an incredible sunset.
- Drone photography to give a bird’s-eye view. Potential buyers will want to get a feeling for the surrounding neighborhood, so it’s always a good idea to include a few drone shots. If your property has a large lot or is in a beautiful location with great landscape or picturesque views, it’s even more important to showcase these desirable features.
Avoid these mistakes:
- Blurry or low-resolution photography. We’ve said it before and we will say it again: Listing photos are worth the splurge for a professional photographer!
- Showing a cluttered, disorganized room. Remember that scrolling through listing photos can be a make-or-break moment for many buyers. If they see a cluttered and messy room, it will be a turnoff to them and it make it harder to picture themselves living in the home.
- Including pets in photos. You may think including pets in listing photos will make the home even more adorable, but remember that not everyone feels the same way about pets, especially if allergies are involved.
- Using abstract angles or lenses. Listing photos are not the time to explore with a fisheye lens or any strange angles that will distort the look of the home.
- Showing areas of the home that may be under construction. Remember only to share the highlights of the home. If the seller has begun a renovation that will be complete before selling, but it looks like it’s currently a construction zone, refrain from posting those work-in-progress pictures.
It’s important to remember that listing photos truly are the first impression of a home, and many buyers will bookmark the homes they want to visit in person, based off of how the property is portrayed online. Professional photography and home staging may seem like an upfront cost that may not be entirely necessary, but they have a return on investment that is well worth the initial splurge.
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