It should come as no surprise that photos are essential when listing a home. But how critical are they?
Statistics released by the National Association of Realtors indicate that potential buyers spend 60% of their time reviewing images of a listing and just 20% reviewing a listing’s property description. An overwhelming majority of potential buyers believe images are the most useful element of a listing, and since scouting for properties has largely become an online endeavor, it’s no wonder that photos garner such influence.
While smartphones have come a long way with their ability to capture stunning photography, with settings that improve resolution and allow for the manipulation of exposure, experts in the field still recommend that sellers rely on the skills of an experienced, professional photographer. In fact, an entire industry of real estate and property photographers exists for this sole purpose.
Homes with high quality photography have been known to sell faster, earn more social media shares, inspire more interest in visits to the property, and potentially increase the sales price. And listings with videos have seen upwards of 400% more traffic than listings that don’t include video, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Here are a few things to consider when capturing high-quality photos for a real estate listing.
The view from above. While most experts agree that interior photos should not be taken from above, they also agree on the tremendous upside that comes with photographing the exterior of a property from above. Thanks to the proliferation of drone usage, aerial photography and videos have become a listing element that is now more accessible for sellers to include. A look from above, be it still or video, allows potential buyers to get a good feel for the footprint and layout, while also providing a peek at the adjacent properties.
Tidy up, everywhere. Exterior shots should be free of any clutter, including hoses, sporting equipment, or other items that may distract a buyer. Indoors, be sure to dust, clean the windows, and remove personal items from view. Buyers want to imagine themselves there. Personal items belonging to someone else make that a more challenging task. One expert suggests that even when you believe you’ve decluttered the home enough, go through and do it again.
Check the time. Twilight, also known as the “magic hour,” is that fleeting time of day that happens to be the darling of photography — when the light is just right, creating an idyllic shot. It is this time of day when a photo of the front of the property, or other outdoor spaces, may be ideal. It’s also a small window of time that requires some experience with lighting to truly get it right. When it comes to indoor photos, experts recommend using as much natural light as possible, which means the photos should be captured during the day.
Mindful framing. While it may be tempting to get close-up photos of certain elements, that intention may not transfer well to the person viewing it. Experts suggest aiming to include three walls in each photo, which would likely mean shooting from a doorway. Create consistency with your listing’s photos by shooting at chest height, avoiding strange angles and keeping a wide view.
High-quality photos and potential videos draw a buyer like a moth to a flame to your listing. If your agent is not having professional photos taken at their expense, quite frankly, that agent is probably not the best person to get the job done. Listings need to be showcased and presented to the public properly and your agent should want to spread the word about your home, their skills, and attention to detail as an agent, and the best way to accomplish that is through high-quality, professionally shot and edited photos and videos.
If you’re considering a home purchase or sale, the team at Halpern Residential is ready to help. We keep an eye on market trends so you don’t have to and we bring our best practices to each client in each situation. Moving or investing in real estate is an exciting time and we’re ready to help you with it. Contact us today so we can learn more about how we can support your needs.