As a licensed Real Estate Agent here in Washington State, and as a Realtor, well... you can imagine that there are a lot of rules and regulations about marketing properties. A lot of legal requirements, such as the exact words that are used to describe a property.
What you may not imagine... are the new rules about photos for a listing that appears on the MLS system - the state-wide database that all of us Real Estate agents rely upon. As recently as a year ago, the Washington State MLS (NWMLS) would (for free) send someone out to take a picture of any new listing in the MLS!
Well, those days have passed. Now it's the responsibility of the Listing Agent to take the digital photos that accompany a new listing. And that same Listing Agent has up to 5 days to post those photos to the MLS, so other agents can see them.
What does this mean to you, as a property owner? Lots! Simply stated: when you list your property with a Real Estate Agent, you should ask about their background in photography. You should ask to see examples of the work they've done in the past. Again: there's only a 5-day 'time window' for the photos to be taken and uploaded to the NWMLS database.
What if its raining? Dreary-overcast? Can your Listing Agent compensate for weather conditions, and make the photos look great? Will your Listing Agent come back on a better day, and take new pictures?
Kellie and I take pride that all the photos of our listings show the properties to their best advantage. Personally, I have a lot of experience in digital photography (in the past, I've written user's manuals for a wide range of photo-enhancement software for both Windows PC and Macintosh computers).
Let me show you a couple of examples. The first is one of our recent listings, taken on a sunny day. The sky was average, and the lawn (as captured by the camera) didn't look so hot:
Next, I fixed the lawn (how it really looks), and added some clouds to the sky. A bit of touch-up here and there... well, see for yourself:
Check our website. You'll see what I mean. It's your property, and your listing. Remember: 79% of all home buyers begin their search in the Internet. First impressions are everything!