Do Pictures Sell Houses?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with VirtualTourCafe, LLC

 

Do Pictures Sell Houses?

Do you really need good pictures, or a professional photographer?  Can't you just snap two or three photos with your iPhone or point and-shoot camera, load them to the MLS and "poof" the house is sold?  Well, in some cases... maybe, but is this the image you want created to represent you, your brokerage, and your marketing skills?  Is this how you want to brand yourself and your agency?

Real estate marketing has changed and unless you are changing with it, you may be falling behind it.  And when you fall behind something, eventually you get run-over by those on your heels.  The key to success in real estate has always been and continues to be, price it right and market it well.  You are the expert on how to price it right.  So just what do we mean by "market it well"?

House For Sale PictureWe are going to borrow a paragraph out of the text "How to Photograph Houses by Stan Barron".  The booklet was written for members of; The Institute For Luxury Home Marketing, founded by Laurie Moore-Moore.  In this booklet, Stan says:

"Selling a house is not a real estate function...it is a marketing function, and pretty photographs sell more houses.  Think about the marketing used for professional products you are exposed to.  Have you ever seen a bad photograph (taken with a point-and-shoot-camera) in an ad for a BMW?  Of course not.  Ever seen a badly composed shot in a cosmetics ad?  Never.  Good photographs are worth the effort."

So, with the most expensive asset most people will ever own or sell, is it not only good business sense, but the agent and brokers responsibility to represent the client in a professional manner that includes photographs that highlight the homes features, and marketing that exposes it to the public, even more so than the BMW dealer?

So, how do we take good or even great pictures?  Tomorrow we will take up this topic and share some tips, tricks and suggestions on how to take great photos for your listings… or maybe you should hire a professional.  What do you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Do you hire a professional or take them yourself?

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Ambassador
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tim, I think that great photos are important for all homes, from the mansion market to little condos.  I'm lucky to work for a firm with a professional photographer on the staff.  I take decent photos, but he takes photos that say "Buy this house!"

Nov 07, 2012 10:58 AM #1
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Patricia, thanks for the comment.  That is great that you have a photographer on staff, I think this is something more brokers should consider.  I would bet your houses sell faster than the average on market time for others, have you compared?  Thanks again!

Nov 07, 2012 12:22 PM #2
Ambassador
3,667,895
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tim, I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week!

Nov 11, 2012 12:40 AM #3
Rainmaker
571,518
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Tim,  Great topic,  I'm not sure pics sell houses but I believe that bad pics allow buyers to move on to the next listing !

Nov 11, 2012 12:49 AM #4
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Patricia, Thank you so much, I feel honored!!! Have a great week :)

Nov 11, 2012 12:50 AM #5
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Bill, I think that is a great perspective!  I like your thinking... Enjoy your Sunday!

Nov 11, 2012 12:53 AM #6
Ambassador
1,537,333
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
Hi Tim, Photos do act as an editing tool to disqualify properties in the on-line search. Photos do not substitute for the impression garnered by actually experiencing the property. But because photo quality is not equal, many times better properties can be overlooked because of inferior photos. When properties are well cared for, upgraded and made market ready with good staging, they will get the most attention and very often lead the market in a fast sale.
Nov 11, 2012 05:19 AM #7
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Hi William, I couldn't agree more.  We have to help get them to the property with the photos, and then the property experience can take it from there.  Great comments, thank you!

Nov 11, 2012 05:44 AM #8
Rainmaker
773,471
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

There is no doubt about it for me! When we bought out last two houses, we looked at literally dozens and dozens of homes online, narrowing those down to just three or four that we actually toured in person. We bought one of those. I wouldn't buy on photos alone, but I know we disregarded many homes based on the photos (or in some cases the lack thereof).

Gretchen

Nov 11, 2012 07:18 AM #9
Rainmaker
421,057
Catherine Ulrey
Keller Williams Capital City - Salem, OR
Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist

I think sometimes people forget that we are in the advertising business.  We have to sell ourselves AND the houses!

Nov 11, 2012 07:37 AM #10
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Gretchen, it's great to hear your comments coming from the buyers perspective!  I think you have a great point about the use of pictures to help narrow your search.  And the extra benefit these days of saving on gas cost and helping the environment at the same time!  Thank you for your comments.

Nov 11, 2012 07:52 AM #11
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Catherine,  Yes, you are so right!  Real estate is very much a marketing and advertising business, both for the agent and the properties!  Thank you for your comment, and great profile picture!

Nov 11, 2012 07:55 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,059,673
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent post, Tim.  I found it through Patricia's weekly favorites.  As a Home Stager....obviously I agree with you...pictures do sell houses.  Hiring a professional is the best way to go.  Another thing to consider....many home stagers are very good with a camera and include "after" pictures as part of their service.  I do!

Nov 11, 2012 08:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Sharon,  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and letting me know where you saw it, that was very nice of Patricia!  That's great that you are also good with a camera, very helpful to the agent!  Thank you for your comments.

Nov 11, 2012 08:24 AM #14
Rainmaker
632,522
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Hi, Tim! Pictures get buyers into the home so that they can like it and buy it. The photos need to be clear and flattering without being misleading. If the photos look better than the house in reality, the potential buyers will feel cheated and mislead; if the photos are a true representation of the house, potential buyers often become actual buyers. 

Nov 11, 2012 11:28 PM #15
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Hi Maria, I could not agree with you more!  Leave something to be discovered, and use pictures that are true to life, good quality, good composition, but not the surreal images like I see with (some) HDR or Photoshoped images.  Thank you for your comments.

Nov 12, 2012 12:33 AM #16
Rainmaker
609,557
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

Do Pictures Sell Houses? – Maybe not, but bad pictures might keep a potential buyer from even looking at the house. I have seen pictures in the MLS that make me think the house will be very unattractive, cluttered, smelly and not worth viewing.

Nov 12, 2012 11:51 AM #17
Rainmaker
146,754
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

John, Yes, I think I have seen those same pictures!  Thank you for your comments.

Nov 12, 2012 12:26 PM #18
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Tim Denbo

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