The Better the Property Photos, the Higher the Sale Price

Real Estate Agent with Engel & Völkers USA

The Better the Property Photos, the Higher the Sale Price

October 12, 2010 by Melissa Tracey · 24 Comments
Filed under: Home Trends, Staging Tips 

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Photographer_camera imageSo it looks like you better invest in a digital SLR camera or find a professional photographer to make your new best friend, at least if you want to sell a home for more money, according to a new study by Redfin, a Seattle-based real estate brokerage.

Digital SLR cameras are professional-grade cameras with detachable lenses and that tend to have more manual settings, which often help you capture higher quality photos than its cheaper point-and-shoot rival.

Redfin found in an analysis of more than 100,000 listings in the Boston metro area and Long Island, N.Y., that homes with professional photographs sold anywhere between $934 to $116,076 more than those shot from cheaper, point-and-shoot cameras. That's probably enough to start making you feel a little insecure about your photographs if you're not using a professional or a high-end camera.

What's more, homes with professional photographs were found, on average, to be viewed 61 percent more online than others in that price range shot with a lower-end camera. The listings that used digital SLR cameras also commanded a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot, according to the Redfin analysis.

Digital SLR cameras, however, were only found to increase the likelihood of a sale for listings $300,000 and above. In other words, buyers don't seem to judge a house by its photos as much for homes under $300,000.

Digital SLR cameras don't appear to be too popular in the real estate market, even when shooting luxury listings. Eighty percent of the listing analyzed were shot with a point-and-shoot camera; only 15 percent of the listings used a digital SLR camera.

What's most surprising, only about half of the listings in the $1 million-plus range were shot using a professional SLR camera, nearly split with low-end camera usage in that price range.

Realtor Magazine will be hosting a webinar at 3 p.m. EST on Nov. 18 on photography, "Capture Your Listings Through a Lens." You'll learn best practices in real estate photography, what capabilities you want in a camera, and how to digitally edit photographs. Register here.

What do you think - does it take a high-end camera or professional photographer to sell a house for higher dollar? Or do you think a point-and-shoot camera can do the job? Some real estate professionals are even using the camera on their phone to capture images of their listings for their marketing, according to the study. What do you use for your listings?

This has been Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine ( with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


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John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

David - Excellent information and tips on better property photos higher sale price. Thank you for a very good blog.

Dec 08, 2010 05:24 AM #1
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes

I think good photos are very important and while an SLR might not be necessary I do think that shooting a house with a cell phone camera is a major disservice to the client. I am considering an upgrade to a SLR, some of them will do video as well which I think would be great for video tours.

Dec 19, 2010 01:49 PM #2
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David Stewart

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