Selling your Home? Our Photos help Get People in your Door
When clients contact me to help them sell their home, I tell them that we will usually have a few weeks of preparation work to do before we can put up a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and before we have that first open house.
We will spend that time doing touch-ups, updates and cleaning and de-cluttering so that the home looks spotlessly clean and sparkling when buyers visit.
A large part of that clean-up work these days is not just to make your home look great for when buyers enter. It’s also to help get people in the door in the first place, with the help of the professional photographs that I arrange for my seller clients.
Good photos are absolutely crucial these days to getting buyers to even consider looking at your property, and that’s why I arrange for experienced photographers who know how to make your home look its best for the camera.
Before we take those photos, we usually spend a few weeks on beauty treatments to give your home the ‘wow’ factor that we hope will impress visitors when they come to look at your home.
I arrange for a professional home stager to visit and help you get ready. She and I will work with you and give you some help if necessary to make your home look its best. In most cases, this involves de-cluttering to give your home a clean, spacious and airy look. It can mean adding new coats of paint in pleasing neutral tones in some rooms. If you’re selling an older home, it could perhaps involve some updating of lighting fixtures or window treatments.
My stager and I will sometimes re-group artwork on the walls, re-arrange furniture to create a better flow or remove an area rug to show off those gleaming hardwood floors.
By the time we are finished and we are ready for the photos, many sellers tell us that they can’t believe their homes could ever look so good. We love to hear that. If you’ve shopped for a home, you probably know that most buyers will make a decision within minutes of entering a house. So that first impression is important.
Once we have completed the preparation work and your home is in pristine condition, I arrange for professional photographers to immediately come and take photos that will show your home at its best.
Back in the pre-Internet days, buyers often relied mostly on their agents’ advice, perhaps with help from small black-and-white photos in newspaper advertisements to decide whether a property was worth visiting.
But since the arrival of the internet, real estate listings websites and social media, good photos have become essential. Buyers today have almost always spent hours browsing the web even before they have contacted me for assistance with their search. They look at websites to get an idea of what’s out there in their price range, and they make notes of the locations they want to visit.
If those photos look amateurish or a home looks cluttered and uninviting, potential buyers who are surfing the web will click “next” and will not even visit your home.
Photos are even more important when a city is in a buyers’ market, as Ottawa has been through the spring and summer of 2015. Because inventory of homes has been high, sellers have been in strong competition. When other sellers have put work into making their homes stand out in photos, you can’t afford to post photos that don’t do the same.
I’m proud of the photographs that we produce for my seller clients. If you’d like to see a few samples to get an idea of how your home can look, visit my website, www.nancybenson.com and click on the “Listings” section of my homepage.
Click on a few of those properties, and you’ll get an idea of how we have staged the homes and of how good the photos are. Buyers looking at my listings see an extensive selection of photos and can also take a “virtual tour,” with slide shows of a home outside and in. This helps buyers feel as if they have already been inside the home before they even visit, and it gives them a great taste of what to expect in your property.
When photographers visit your home, they will take several shots and angles of both the inside and exterior. The photographers choose the best photos and upload them into a virtual tour. Anne Bullen, who looks after the website postings at Nancy Benson and Associates, downloads the photos and begins the process of marketing the property.
Anne ensures that photos of your home will be seen not just on my own website and on the printed glossy brochures that we create to give buyers when they visit your home, but also on many other websites where people look for homes. These sites include kijiji, craigslist, Used Ottawa, Ottawa Living. We also spread information about your home on social media including Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter and Youtube. I receive calls and emails from people across Canada and abroad who have seen one of my properties, not necessarily on my own website but on one of the many other sites where we post photos.
“Sites vary as to the number of photos that can be uploaded, so I pick and choose the main ones that will catch a viewer’s eye, and we always include a link back to the virtual tour site,” Anne explains.
“Properties are posted to social media when they are just listed, when a virtual tour has been posted, when there is an open house, if there is a price adjustment, and when the property is sold,” Anne says.
Anne also sends my clients weekly service reports, letting them know about the marketing that has been done on their property that week. The reports include the feedback we have received from buyers who have visited your home, to give you an idea of what people have liked or what they might not have liked.
So as you can see, there are excellent reasons why we spend so much time getting your home ready to look its best for the cameras.
If you’d like to contact me about selling or buying, you can reach me through my website, at www.nancybenson.com, or by calling my office at 613-788-2556.