A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. Don't judge a book by its cover. These are phrases that can and should be thought of when listing a property (NOTE: This is for agents as much as sellers).
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
It's obviously old news by now that the majority of buyers look at properties online. Knowing this, it astonishes me more and more when I, as an agent looking for properties, do not see any pictures of a listing on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)! And usually, when I do see pictures, they have poor resolution, poor lighting, rooms are messy, and the perspective is terrible (I love the pic of a wall with a big piece of furniture - WHAT IS THAT?).
To market a listing, the first line of fire is the photo shoot! I would estimate the majority of listing agents take photos either after they sign the listing or when they put the sign up. I would also guess they downplay the importance of the Photo Shoot! I like to get my sellers excited about the photo shoot, as if it were family picture day. This is a very critical part of the process, and we want to demonstrate an impressive product from the start!
WHY I DON'T TAKE MY OWN PHOTOS:
Point 1: By education, I have a degree in Biology and by trade I am a Real Estate Broker. Nowhere in my past experience am I qualified to be a photographer. If the pictures are SOOOOO important, then why do so many agents opt NOT to hire a photographer? I get seller's attention by using a photographer. So not only should you have plenty of photos online, they should be high quality images and rooms should be staged. Can you imagine a builder having the sales agent running around taking photos of empty rooms with a $99 digital camera?
Point 2: It is impressive. A seller is putting the trust of their most prized possession in an agent's hands. It is much more professional to have a team of skilled technicians handling various aspects of the listing. Sellers love it!
Point 3: It really is not that expensive. Out of the gate, I expect to lay out between $200-$300 which covers photos, sign installs, marketing riders, etc... That does not include other online marketing.
Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover
Actually, in the world of listing properties, many people do! Sellers need to be aware that a lot of buyers make a decision about a property after viewing it online. Some properties MAY NOT EVEN be shown after being viewed online. Buyer agents know what I am talking about. Make your listing impressionable at a buyer's 1st glance by putting some time, money and effort in the photo shoot. Then it's up to the seller to ensure the property looks as good on a daily basis.