They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but when it comes to real estate, they may be worth a lot more.
“Because so many buyers do the 20 second ‘yes or no’ to homes as if they're looking for their next mate on a dating website, sellers need to recognize that how they present their home is of utmost importance,” says Rhonda Duffy, a top listing agent in the U.S. and broker of Duffy Realty of Atlanta.
While photos of the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, family room and even the backyard are a staple, in today’s competitive market, standing out among the crowd is more important than ever. And that means showcasing the photos—and emotions—that will draw in the most people.
According to Duffy, the most important photo is one that showcases the front of the house. Before snapping the shot, spend some time cleaning up the area, removing any and everything that may take away from the overall appearance of the house and property itself.
“Inspect this photo for anything negative such as a view of the neighbor’s house, the crack in the driveway, the overgrown bushes and the lack of mulch,” says Duffy. “This photo has to be ‘manicured’ to the hilt.” Also, be sure to wait for a sunny day to snap the picture—and make sure the sun is behind you. Taking the same photo at night when the home is lit up is another great option.
Photos that provide a view of what’s seen when sitting down are another type of photo that Duffy insists should make the cut. “If the favorite view in the home is sitting at the breakfast table looking outside, that view should be included.” By incorporating photos with different viewpoints, prospective buyers will get a better feel for the home and its surroundings. These photos will also make great keepsakes once the home has sold.
And last but not least, “make sure the photos express an emotion,” says Duffy. From the quiet reading nook in the family room to the cozy screened-in porch, eliciting emotion will go a long way toward attracting a wide range of interested buyers.
The foundation of all other advertising, property photos—if done correctly—are a great way to capture attention and drive traffic into the home. While the photo types discussed here are just a few examples that will undoubtedly provide an added edge, it’s important to not overlook the basics when taking photos. That means making sure rooms are neat and tidy, the lighting is just right and the photos follow the flow of the home. No one wants to see unmade beds, clothes strewn all over the place, dishes in the sink or toilets with the lid up, so be sure to look at each room through the eyes of a prospective buyer before the camera even comes out.
By Paige Tepping