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….”
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.
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.
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.