These days we all have good quality phones in our pockets. With the number of pictures we see from friends on social media, we all think we are Ansel Adams. Home sellers want to snap some pictures from the corner of the room and we think buyers will flock to our beautiful home. Using that logic, models could just stand in their living room and have their BFF snap some pictures to sell clothes. Just like Versacci doesn’t use an iPhone to sell high-quality clothing, you don’t want to use cell phone photography to sell your house. Your agent shouldn’t be doing it either. The right look and lighting done by a professional can make a difference in how buyers perceive your house.
Why Photography Matters
Almost half of the home-buyers start their purchase online, and that was before COVID where, for some, the entire home buying purchase has moved online. This means that their experience was driven by the quality of the listing and the imagery used. You have one chance to make a first impression. Great pictures, and sometimes videos, are part of that.
Odds are that if you or your agent aren’t professional photographers, you don’t have the equipment and an eye for the best view of your home. We learn to look past things in a house we see every day. Perspective matters.
Great Photography Can Make You More When You Sell
A RedFin study found that homes in the $200,000-$1million range could earn $3,000-$11,000 more for homes that had professional photography for the listing. While not a huge amount, that can make a significant difference and could attract higher quality buyers. This isn’t a bad return for something that costs just a few hundred dollars.
Homes have weird angles and strange spaces. The lighting isn’t ideal. They can be difficult to capture well, especially when it’s important that you capture the right views both inside and out. Professional photographers do this every day.
It’s More than the Camera
While having a great camera can help, most of us have great cameras on our phones, especially for the lower resolution viewing online. What we don’t have is an understanding of lighting, angles, perspective, and set-up that a professional real estate photographer can bring.
A professional does this regularly and knows the feedback that they get on the images and the listings. They will stage your house in the best way possible to make sure that potential buyers get the best view of their house that they can.
Selecting the Right Photographer
If you’ve decided to hire a photographer, the easiest place to start is with your realtor. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you stop there. Consider asking around, maybe look at listings in your area and find some that really stand out (good or bad.)
Here are a few things you can do to help you find a great photographer. Follow these recommendations for the photographer recommended by your realtor. They are motivated to sell your house for the best price possible, but, according to some estimates, as few as 35% of realtors regularly use photographers. They have access to more resources than you do and know the market, but they may not know the best photographers.
- Get Samples – Ask for samples of the photos. Make sure their work is what you want. Ask for samples of comparably-sized houses. If you have a 3,000 sq ft house, then it doesn’t mean much that they can take great photos of huge mansions with lots of natural light and big rooms.
- References – Ask the photographer for references. See what others say that have worked with them.
- Meet Them – You don’t necessarily have to meet them in person but have a call with them. Ask about their successes and failures. See what they think are best practices. Do they care? Can you work with them?
Selecting a photographer isn’t a difficult task but look at your options and get some ideas. Then select one and move ahead with selling your house with great photography to go with it!
New Methods of Home Selling Photography
These days, there are a few extra options that sellers haven’t had before. A couple of popular ones include using a drone to do so outside shots in a wider area. Some sellers like to use a virtual tour.
Drone photography has become very affordable and can be really good to show off a great yard or a nice neighborhood. Well edited videos can give a terrific overview in a just a couple of minutes. It’s a great way to show off that amazing curb appeal.
A virtual tour uses imagery to give a buyer the feeling that they are walking through your house. It’s a great way to show someone your home but it is more difficult to stage well than static photography. These are becoming more and more popular.
Great Photography to Sell Your Home
Whatever you decide, get the best images that you can. They make a difference in how your listing is perceived. Buyers use the imagery to determine whether or not to even go see your home. In a day when many sellers are using great photography, you can be at a disadvantage without great visuals to go with your listing.