How to Take Great Pictures of a Home for Sale

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty 0225179163

You already know that a listing with pictures attracts a lot more attention than one without but do you know how to take great pictures of a home? Whether you are an agent or a person that is trying to sell their own home it’s vital that you make a big first impression and pictures are the best (and maybe only) opportunity that you will have to do just that.

The truth is that more home buyers than ever before begin their home search online and homes without pictures are often passed up immediately. Why? Well, imagine that you are looking for a new home and you are online checking out what’s available in the area that you are searching. Would you bother to click on a listing with 0 pictures? Your first thought might be “Why are there no pictures – what’s wrong with this house?” and that’s exactly what might happen to you if you are the seller or listing agent.
First Things First
One of the most common mistakes that I notice when I look at pictures of a house for sale is poor picture quality. Top of the line equipment is not necessary to take good pictures of a house but the average cell phone camera won’t cut it either. It’s worth the investment to buy decent equipment. I would recommend no less than a 5 megapixel camera to get some clear and acceptable pictures. As you know these types of cameras are very inexpensive today and can be purchase in any electronics retailer for a very low cost. Of course you can spend whatever you like but if you’re buying the camera for a one time use than I would keep it to the bare minimum. You’ll get good pictures and you might even find other used for your new camera. A tripod will help to keep you from ending up with blurry pictures due to a shaky hand but it’s not an absolute necessity.
Take Pictures of What Really Counts
Keep in mind that people want to see the home that is being advertised, NOT what is in it. The house should be free of clutter and reasonably clean. Allow the person that’s seeing the pictures to imagine their things in the home instead of seeing too much of someone else’s. Try to include colorful items in the photos that attract attention such as brightly colored artwork, flowers, etc. It’s amazing what a dash of color can add to a neutral colored atmosphere.
The Brighter the Better
Any professional photographer will tell you that nothing is better than natural sunlight. Try to schedule picture taking day on a sunny day if possible and be sure to open curtains to allow as much natural light in as possible. A dark cloudy day produces very dull and gloomy pictures that just aren’t very appealing to look at.
Some Hints to Remember
When photographing a room it almost always looks better if the shot is taken from the doorway looking into the room. Exterior pictures of single family homes look better if shot from an angle instead of directly from the front. This allows viewers to see the depth of the home instead of a “flat” 2 dimensional view of the front. Try not to include obstructions on the outside if possible. Items such as telephone poles, electrical wires and dumpsters do nothing to make a home look appealing and actually detract from what should be the center of attention, the house itself. Be sure to take a LOT of photos. That way you can pick and choose which pictures look the best. That’s one of the advantages of today’s digital cameras, pictures are disposable and of course there are no printing costs involved so click away!
Make Improvements if Needed
If you have a home computer than you have free software to enhance any pictures that might need a little improvement. I’m not familiar with Macs but I know that windows based pc’s have basic editing software already installed that allows you to easily make simple changes to pictures to improve their appearance. It’s worth your time to do a little quick editing if needed to make the pictures look as good as possible.
There you have it! Now that you have some very impressive pictures to show home seekers you are ready to sell that home in record time!
Posted by


Valorie L Easter



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jay Benson 01/27/2014 09:23 AM
  2. Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties 02/15/2014 09:22 PM
Home Selling
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Natural sunlight has a whole wonderful psychology to it. It works well! :)


Love and light,


Jan 27, 2014 12:38 PM #18
Rosie Moore
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX
Excellent tips! It is important to take wide shots instead of extreme close ups of a room. Buyers want to see how spacious the rooms are to ensure their furniture will fit. Pictures should show the floor plan and how rooms open up to other spaces in the home. Captions are equally important to highlight the selling features of the home.
Jan 27, 2014 01:11 PM #19
Jeffrey Hogue
Jeffrey Hogue Realtor Group - Reading, PA
Real Estate Pro in Pennsylvania Since 1993


Have a look at these...

Your post is very nice. I could not agree more.

Jan 27, 2014 03:02 PM #20
Jeffrey Hogue
Jeffrey Hogue Realtor Group - Reading, PA
Real Estate Pro in Pennsylvania Since 1993

Did you take your own photos? I do and it takes up to 5 hours to do an estate home. I use the strobe flash method. Just curious. Not many agents have mastered this discipline. I am always debating getting someone else to do the work but cannot find anyone better. I live in a reasonably small town which may explain it.

Jan 27, 2014 03:05 PM #21
Andre R. Aragon
Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Photographer

Hi Valarie - All good tips here. I love seeing this conversation featured! I agree if one shoots their own listing photos, that a decent camera is a good start. Phones are just not there yet for interior photos. Great post!

Jan 27, 2014 07:49 PM #22
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great suggestions as there are so many just terrible photos floating around out there. Here's my #1 tip: hire a professional to do your photos!

Jan 27, 2014 08:31 PM #23
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The brighter the better works for me....Also, I take more rather than less too

Jan 27, 2014 10:12 PM #24
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Almost all the real estate photos I see are taken from eye level. Agents should try taking photos of a room from a slightly elevated position once in awhile, in addition to shooting rooms at an angle.

Jan 27, 2014 10:21 PM #25
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Could not agree with you more Valorie! Bad pictures can kill a sale before it even starts. 

Jan 27, 2014 10:58 PM #26
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens, Associate Broker/REALTOR

Really great advice, Valorie. I can not tell you how many times a day I see horrible, dark photos on MLIS. Makes me sad for the seller.

Jan 27, 2014 11:04 PM #27
Tony Morganti
RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
CRS, ABR, SRES - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

Great advice to help us all take better photos.  Good photos are so important to how a property is presented online especially.

Jan 28, 2014 12:13 AM #28
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

Excellent tips but I still believe in hiring a professional to do my shots.

Jan 28, 2014 12:31 AM #29
John Owen
Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage - Oshawa, ON
Broker serving Durham Region, Ontario

Agreed that better photos but think that if you don't want to invest in quality equipment (dslr, lighting, lenses) then it's better to hire a professional.

Jan 28, 2014 01:30 AM #30
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Absolutely!  I just wonder why we still either see no photos or really, really bad photos. Do these listing agents really just not see how bad their photos are?!

Jan 28, 2014 03:07 AM #31
Devin Keays
Keller Williams The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV

It's amazing to me how lazy people are when posting pics (sideways, upside down, messy house, dark, etc) or the fact that people post 2 pictures of a home. Especially a high priced home, they're doing their such client a disservice. Great post.

Jan 28, 2014 03:44 AM #32
Lee Jinks
Jinks Realty - McAllen, TX

Valorie,  I completely agree with your recommendations, but I see a problem with the whole idea.  I used to make these recommendations myself, but one day realized that making equipment recommendations and providing tips was tantamount to recommending paints and brushes and providing tips to the average person in order for them to create a masterpiece.

Listing photos have become too important in today's market to rely on adequate photos.  To compete, listing photography must cause the potential buyer to desire the property enough to set an appointment.  It is my current opinion that all listings deserve professional quality photography.  So my conviction is that listing agents should become competent in real estate photography or hire a professional photographer.

Jan 28, 2014 07:33 AM #33
Brian Clinger
Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt - Cascade, MI
Brian Clinger ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES

Thanks for the tips.  I do all my own photos

Jan 28, 2014 10:06 AM #34
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Valorie...Great advice and tips to help getting great photos...ha my Camera processor packed it the middle of taking a New listing interior photos...Professional photographer to the rescue, been using her ever since...although mine were good too...or so I thought.

PS: Kerrie sent me over in her weekly Rain Bucket post.. Congrats for being mentioned there and Inman News!

Feb 08, 2014 12:42 AM #35
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County
It is so important to have an accurate photo depiction of a property.
Feb 16, 2014 07:58 AM #36
Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!

Valorie, Thank you for the excellent tips and advice.  It is so important to have great photos of our listings, as often this is where the buyer get their first impression of the home.

Feb 16, 2014 10:19 AM #37
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Valorie L. Easter

Valorie Easter & Co, Charlottesville/Albemarle Rea
What is my house worth?

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