The Importance of Photography
When home buyers search for a property they are ultimately going through an elimination process. Generally, when a buyer crosses a house off their list, it stays off their list. This is why first impressions are crucial when selling a home. In today’s information and technology driven society, the majority of home buyers are starting their house hunt on the Internet. Furthermore, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, about 80 percent of home buyers rated photos as the most useful feature when shopping for homes online. As a result, sellers now have to count primarily on property photos to make a good first impression on prospective buyers. As shoppers scroll through online listings, those with poor photos, or none at all, are the ones they tend to cross off their list first or overlook all together.
To better improve a listing’s Internet appeal, the quality AND quantity of pictures is important. A single picture of the outside of the house can be just as ineffective as 30 bad photos. Even though pictures are just giving buyers a preview of a property, they still want to feel they’ve had a good look at the property. Online listings with too few photos can make buyers question why there are not more—is there something wrong that the seller does not want them to see? This brings up another important trait of good real estate photos: honesty.
Making a home appear as appealing as possible in photos is important, but be careful to not get carried away. The pictures you use should be honest. Deceiving photos will leave the buyer irritated when they view a home and find it not how it was pictured on the Internet. For example, avoid using photos that are not current that will mislead buyers. If a photo shows a swimming pool in the backyard that has since been removed, do not use that photo.
Since many can underestimate the power of good real estate photos, the job is often rushed through in effort to get the property listed faster. However, it is important to take the proper time to prepare and produce valuable pictures. Before pulling out the camera do a little staging. Simple jobs like picking up clutter and making beds can make a huge difference. Buyers are purchasing a house, not all the stuff in it. Put away items that could be distracting, like toys or laundry.
Lighting is another factor to consider. Better pictures can be taken when there is more natural light in the space. Open the curtains and blinds and turn on all the lights in a room to make the space appear open and bright. It is also a good idea to consider the weather and time of day you take photos—a more beautiful day makes for more beautiful pictures.
There are numerous photography tips and tricks that can be helpful to learn, and there is always the option of hiring a professional to take the pictures. However you choose to get them, give prospective buyers a good first impression with good, quality photos.