Boost Your Home’s Online Appeal with Great Listing Photos
One of the first steps buyers take when they begin their home search is to look online at properties for sale. In fact, more than half found the home they ultimately purchased in an online search.* Since more people are looking for homes on the internet before visiting the property in person, it’s important to make a great first impression. While an enticing description helps, professional-quality photos reveal so much more to potential buyers, giving them a glimpse into the home’s condition and its unique features.
5 Keys To Great Listing Photos
1. Shoot in the morning or late afternoon
These times usually offer the best natural lighting. Avoid unflattering shadows by keeping the sun at your back while taking photos. If your home faces east, you’ll get the best shots in the morning. Conversely, if your home faces west, you’ll get the best shots in the afternoon. Use a flash if your home is mostly in the shade. Highlight your home’s landscaping or outdoor lighting by taking photos 45 minutes after sunset, when the sky looks its best. Turn on all interior and exterior lights for the best shot.
2. Focus on the details
A picture paints a thousand words; make sure it leaves a positive impression. On the outside, keep your landscape groomed, keep walkways clear of snow and ice, put away toys and lawn ornaments, clean your windows and make sure your driveway is clear. While trees and weather may reveal the time of year in which the photos are taken, keep the decorations in and around your home as timeless as possible. For example, if you’re listing your home around Halloween, remove scarecrows, pumpkins and ghoulish décor during the photo session. Inside your home, move large or non-essential furniture and décor to another room or storage area. This will give buyers a better view of your home and its features. Also, remember to keep it clean and clutter-free.
3. Shoot from multiple angles
With digital photography, you’re not limited by the photos you can take. Shoot from various angles around your property and around the rooms of your home to highlight its best features. While you may not use all the photos, you’ll have a wide selection to choose from for your listing. Pro tip: Use a tripod or ladder to elevate your camera for shots that will capture more of your exterior and landscape.
4. Tell a story through staging
Help potential buyers picture themselves living in your home by staging it. Adding items to a shot allows the home to feel lived in, but not cluttered. For example, if you’re photographing the front porch, set out a rocking chair and table. If you’re photographing the living room, place a throw over the back of the sofa and a vase with flowers on a side table to convey a feeling of ‘home’ and comfort.
5. Hire a professional
If you are intimidated by the process of taking the photos yourself, hire a professional photographer. Not only do they have the skills and expertise to highlight your home’s best features, they also have the software to make the photo look great as well.
*Source: National Association of REALTORS, 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
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