Your Photos Create Expectations...
But What Are They Saying?
We all know the value of photos in real estate marketing. They are particularly important in today’s real estate world given the high percentage of buyers looking online at listings in their home search.
Listing photos create expectations for buyers.
But what are those expectations upon seeing your seller’s listing photos?
First and foremost there is, hopefully, the desire to see the home, based on the visuals in the marketing. High quality, professional photos, and even well done photos by the agent – yes there ARE some – will encourage potential buyers to email or call their agent for a look. And perhaps with the expectation that THIS is the right house!
The photos will hopefully also set an expectation the home is well-maintained and clean, and the sellers have cared about their home. Oh joy, we could move right in!
I believe great photos also set an expectation the sellers are serious about selling, since they appear to be doing all the right things from a marketing perspective and getting the home show ready.
Lastly, there is the expectation the house in person will reflect what is seen in the photos – what you see is what you get. Hopefully that IS the case.
But let’s travel over to the dark side…
What about those ugly photos? You know, photos of cluttered or messy rooms, obvious maintenance issues, or things that are just plain odd?
Or the contrast, where buyers see either very limited or poor quality photos, and the listing is missing key rooms often important to buyers – like kitchens, living rooms and the master. Or there are no photos of the back yard.
So imagine the expectations set by those types of photos!
The buyer simply chooses to move on, fully expecting the home that will not work for them for a host of reasons, is simply not appealing, or requires a ton of work because, well, imagine what else we are NOT seeing?!
Or the buyer chooses to take a chance, meanwhile expecting their worst fears to be confirmed…and they so often are.
The problem is that even if the buyer does decide to take a look, and expects all sorts of other issues, that then gets mentally converted to a negative impression and probably a low offer perhaps before they’ve even stepped through the door.
The expectation from that ugly set of photos? That home is not worth what they are asking.
Bad photos can also create an expectation about the seller as well as the agent. They don’t care, they’re not motivated or serious, they are hiding other issues, they’ve let the house go.
All of which could also mean the buyer may expect difficult times with their purchase.
Or that they can get a killer deal because of the home's condition.
And if the agent is sloppy about their listing, and photos, what else might the buyers, and their agent, expect in negotiations and the process of getting through the transaction.
All that said, you are not going to have beautiful photos if the home is not looking show ready to begin with. But poor photos will really do a disservice to a home that's in nice shape.
So be real careful about those listing photos, the message being conveyed, and setting expectations that work counter to getting the home sold quickly and for a great price.