A lot has changed in the last 20 years in our world. For those of us who have been in the real estate industry that long, a lot has changed in how we buy and sell real estate. Twenty years ago real estate agents still relied in MLS books with black and white photos of homes. Homebuyers would seek out weekly open house ads in the newspaper to see what was on the market. Realtors would advise their clients to make the best impression to buyers driving by… to enhance the home’s “curb appeal.” Buyers weekends would be consumed with driving from one open house to the next. But in today’s fast-paced world, homebuyers rely more on the internet for their home search. Their shopping experience begins on big real estate websites like Realtor.com or ColdwellBanker.com. Curb appeal is still important but that first impression is now expressed through real estate photography online.
Professional photography should be the driving force behind all of your marketing efforts. If your broker whips out an iPhone to take photos for MLS, consider this a big red flag. As buyers are clicking through dozens of local listings, you only
have a few seconds to capture their attention. If the photos of your home are not exceptional, buyers may click right by it. Most Realtors today use a professional photographer. This is quickly becoming a minimum expectation with the larger
real estate companies. A professional photographer has the right lens to capture room size, vaulted ceilings and those tough to shoot small baths or closets. The best Realtors take this a step further and have more than one photographer on their team to provide enhanced photographic services like twilight photography to capture a dramatic sunset, aerial drone images, regional aerials taken from a plane, local lifestyle and cultural images, Matterport virtual tours and high definition video. Every home has a unique story which should be told and good photography is worth more than 1,000 words.
Good photography is about more than just the photographer. A seller should start by making sure the home is thoroughly cleaned and decluttered. They should think like a retailer like Williams Sonoma or Restoration Hardware. Those companies would not dream
of taking photos of a messy home. Marketing photos should show your home in it’s best light, not become a magnifying glass for its flaws. A home should be properly staged to ensure the images showcase the best possible use opportunities for each room. If your home already looks like a Pottery Barn catalog, this may be done by your Realtor and photographer to get the best angles in the images. Or if your home could use a little style TLC, your Realtor may enlist the help of a professional stager.
The bottom line is your home is one of your largest assets. Don’t put it on the market without great photos or with images taken by an amateur. Even in strong seller’s markets, it’s still important for your home to stand above the competition through professionally taken, well-lit photography that entices buyers to want to see more.