Are Your Marketing Photos Black Tie with Style or Hoe Down Ready?

Real Estate Agent with Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes




         The old cliché in real estate is location, location, location, but the marketing cliché of today is great photos, great photos, great photos.  Marketing dollars need to get stretched and I get that but the place to skimp is not in the photos that get placed on the web for sellers. 

         According to an article today that was posted in AGBeat: “ The NAR report focuses in on the critical nature of photography, with 85 percent of home buyers finding property photos to be “very useful” on websites….”


Kitchen with Realtor Digital


        Here are some tips to make your property listing shine above the rest and stand out when a buyer is a click of the mouse from buying a house:


            1. Unless you have a gift in the photography realm- hire a professional.  A good photographer that understands great marketing photos should be number one on your list of vendors.


            2. Unless you have some version of a Photoshop program on your computer revert to #1. 

                                                                                            Realtor Attempt

Kitchen photo Professional                              

            3. Stage the home.  Furniture, plants, artwork, and splashes of color add depth to your photos.  Buyer’s interest will wane with bare walls unless the home has stunning architectural features to maintain interest


           4. Light is your friend.  Turn on all the lights, open drapes and pull up those blinds. 








             5. Don’t forget the neighborhood amenities. Buyers would like to know if there is a community center, park, pool, golf course, unique shopping district, or views.  Show what is unique to the neighborhood.


            6. Daytime is not your only option.  A good pro can take amazing night shots with lights on in the house and sometimes if the home has a Plain Jane appearance a night shot will bring out the best in a home.


            7. Buyers need help “seeing” potential.  If listing in the dead of winter try adding some photos from the homeowner of the landscape during summer.


Realtor backyard 28mm lense

                                                                                  Professional backyard photo 

            8. Sometimes photos tell too much.  If the basement is unfinished with drab flooring and studs for walls or the garage is nothing but a storage bin consider skipping those photos as they might deter from the rest of the highlights.  It’s ok to elaborate on the features of a basement or garage under property details but photos are the place to show the best assets.


            9. The photo shoot would be a great time for pets and kids to play outside.  The only items needed in the photos are the features of the home not the residents.


           10. Don’t be afraid to try again.  Marketing photos are not a one shot deal like a wedding. If you find a few shots are not capturing exactly what you had anticipated, try again at a different time of day or maybe from a different angle.  The majority of sellers will cooperate knowing that you are seeking the best possible presentation of their home.




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Show All Comments
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

Good posting, Lorraine!  It gets real old when viewing the pics off the MLS, and find what a broker had uploaded as a photo, that you cannot even see what it is!  They seem to miss the point of presentation, when it comes to marketing their client's property!

Nov 23, 2011 04:58 AM #1
Jeff Ragan
Ming Tree, Realtors Real Living - Eureka, CA
Luxury Agent, Northern California

Excellent ideas, Lorraine!  I continue to be amazed how many Realtors take photos with the lights off! 

Nov 23, 2011 05:04 AM #2
Christian Quiero
CQ HOME STAGING - Saratoga Springs, UT

Love your post!  it is very true, I wish more people understood the importance of presenting your property well.  Some times even experienced agents don't see it.  Glad you are not one of them :). I believe that when sellers see their gloomy,            non-staged home in the MLS compared to another house with great pictures and that it is staged and with a great curb appeal, they can perceived it as if they are in disadvantage with the competition(and that is completely accurate), and that could hurt the trust they have deposited in their agent.


Nov 23, 2011 05:26 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Lorraine- excellent advice and judging by some of the photos I've seen on the MLS, there are some out there who could take a lesson.  I especially like #1 and #8.. sometimes it's best to just not include a particular area. 

Featured in Bananatude


Nov 23, 2011 06:22 AM #4
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

I have written very similar posts in the past so I do agree with you 100% on this topic.  One little thing I might have done differently is on photo #2 maybe take a step or two to the right and then pan left to catch the sink and window.  Those tend to be focal points in a kitchen and if at all possible I make sure to include them in the shot.

Nov 24, 2011 03:20 AM #5
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that your Black Friday won't get too stressful and mess up the rest of your weekend!

Happy Black Friday!

Nov 25, 2011 03:12 AM #6
Lorraine Sayer
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes - Colorado Springs, CO
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX

Dan it is frustrating to see great listings get poor marketing and such an easy fix too...........hire a pro.


Jeff:  It would also be in the best interest of the seller to do a walk through prior to shoot to get the home picture perfect!


Christian:  I couldn't have said it better.  I would hate to receive a phone call from my sellers asking me why their photos were dark, out of focus, and just not as good as the other agent's photos.............

Nov 28, 2011 07:56 AM #7
Lorraine Sayer
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes - Colorado Springs, CO
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX

Kathy.....I'm humbled-I've arrived- a feature in Banana Tude~   Thanks for the kind words and yes sometimes we can't hide what is shown in photos.  If it doesn't add something to the marketing no sense taking a picture.  We all know what an unfinished basement looks like. 


Thanks for dropping in Mark.  I think showing my humble attempts and then showing the same pic from a professional's camera helps to see the difference immediately.  I'm a huge before/ after fan anyway!! 


Russel a pleasure as always!  No Black Friday for me.......I was safely tucked away behind closed doors and no where near those mad shoppers. 

Nov 28, 2011 08:02 AM #8
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Lorraine Sayer

Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX
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