Today’s real estate market relies heavily on the use of technology, especially online listing sites. Your real estate agent may have your home listed on several different sites, each of which will feature a description of the home and the asking price. But we all know that a picture is worth 1,000 words and potential buyers will decide whether or not they even want to look at your home in person based on what they see in the images in your listing.
That means they need to be good. Really good.
Who is Taking the Pictures?
First, determine who is going to take the pictures. You might do it yourself, but unless you have some photography experience (at least a little), you may want to let the pros handle the job. Your real estate agent may have a higher-end camera and some training on how to take pictures for real estate listings; knowledge that will help her to highlight your home’s assets. If all else fails, invest the money in hiring a professional photographer. You’ll end up with dozens of photos and can choose that look best.
If you are taking your own photos, please – pretty please – put away the cell phone camera and use a real digital camera. The minimum number of megapixels should be five – the more the better. See if you can buy or borrow a tripod, too. This will make it easier for you to get crisp, clear, focused images – especially when you start to photograph some of the more intricate details throughout your home.
Staging Your Home
Staging is almost more important for the photos than it is for showings. People who have the time to sit and look at listings online will tear apart homes that look cluttered or messy. Get rid of anything that would distract a potential buyer from the home itself. Remember, showcase the space – not the stuff you’ve put in it.
Make sure you go all the way back to the curb and take a shot back into the property. The outside of your home is what will make the first impression, and it matters – both online and in person. Make sure you keep the angle of the photo even so that it does not look like your home is on an angle or hill. Use the roof line of the home against the top of the frame to ensure you’ve got a straight, even image. Make sure you take a focused image of your home’s entry way – the welcoming point in any home and the first place your buyers will really analyze when they arrive.
Use as much natural lighting as possible, taking pictures on a sunny day. Natural lighting will create an accurate depiction of the colors in your home and decreases your need for the use of flash. Take multiple pictures of every room, even the ones you don’t think are important – like the bathroom.
Angles, color, lighting, and even distractions in your image all make a difference. Talk to your real estate agent about the things you can do to get the best pictures possible, and use as many as allowable to give your potential buyers something to really consider.