Bad Real Estate Photos
Let me just start out by saying, lousy Real Estate photos are my pet peeve. I cant tell you how may times I've seen a great home misrepresented right off the bat by a terrible photo. When the lead photo is a picture of the front door, or of the street I'm guessing the Realtor@ took the photo themselves thinking man this is a great door! Wow, look at that fresh asphalt. That'll get them interested!
Modern technology has come a long way in the last ten years. Your Android and I-Phone can have the ability to take wonderful, color, dramatic and even breathtaking pictures! But does your Realtor® really no how to use this technology to capture the essence of your home? Do they have a technical eye? If they don't, then they could be doing you a huge disservice by taking their own photos. Now don't get me wrong, I know several agents that take wonderful photos. They use the proper equipment, lighting and have the technical knowledge and the artistic eye to bring brilliant photos to your marketing package.
Do The Photos Really Make Difference?
The answer is absolutely. Site like Zillow and Realtor.com allow users to browse dozens of homesites in as little as a half an hour. And you know what is going to get them to click on your property? You got it, that first picture. So make that first one a good one. Buyers might be interested in your Rose bushes, or your driveway and garage, but thats probably not going to get them to move much past that. Once they've clicked on the first one you want the first fifteen photos to tell the story of the home itself. This does not mean you have to get a shot of every room, that can unfold later. Make sure you have a mix of exterior, kitchen, master bedroom and living area in the first fifteen. Got a great backyard, or newly remodeled bathroom? Make sue you highlight these also. If they get up to fifteen and you have peeked their interest, there is a good chance they'l move on to the rest of the photos.
And do I really need to explain how important it is to have good photos for your listing? You've got some homebuyer flipping through online listings, alone, and trying to make a split second decision as to whether or not they want to see your home. You bet those photos make a difference.
Should I Ask That My Realtor Uses A Professional Photographer?
95% of the time I would say yes. If your Realtor tells you they'll do it themselves then I would ask to see some of there other listings photos. Then compare those with other homes similar to your's that you can find online. But like I mentioned earlier there are Agents out there that do a fantastic job. Make sure you know the difference.
What are the tell tale signs of an amateur photo shoot? Here are a few things to look for:
Out of focus
Stupid closeups - e.g. a doorknob, a door knocker
Stupid subjects - e.g. a hallway
Shot with a standard focal length lens
Poorly staged - may even have people, animals, trash, or clutter in the photos
When Don't I need Pro?
In my opinion if you're selling a home in poor shape, there is no reason to hide it, it's going to show when they open the door. Standard photos can be okay for this, but consult your Realtor® for their opinion. Your area may have an abundance of similar homes in the same condition that investors, remodelers or others hat are looking for these type homes. The other times I'd say a pro is not needed is with vacant land. If you've got a standard lot with no special features or over the top views standard photography can be adequate. Although I do use a professional photographer on some of my higher end luxury lots.
It's likely you are paying the standard commission fee to your Realtor@. In my practice part of that fee goes towards marketing and in my business that means professional photography.