You’ve taken care of curb appeal – Don’t forget about “web appeal”

By
Home Stager with A1A Home Staging LLC

My neighbor's house is for sale and so is mine.  Recently an out-of-town realtor contacted me to schedule a preview of my home prior to bringing an out-of-state client.  During the realtor's visit, I asked her if she was also previewing my neighbor's home down the street.  It is a nice property and priced to sell.  The realtor did not have plans to view the other property, in part because the photos on the MLS did not attract the buyer.

This is the exterior of the home as shown on the MLS:

 Exterior shot of home not showing best angle

 Here is a picture I took of the home:

 Angle shows better view of home

 A dramatic difference simply by moving 20' and capturing a different angle. 

Statistics indicate that 84% of buyers shop the internet before viewing homes in person.  It is reasonable to assume that many homes are missing out on potential buyers simply because the photos (if any!) do not lure the buyers into looking any further.

Home stagers know the importance of good photos for marketing.  As a home stager, I take several photos from several angles of every room I have staged.  I provide these photos to the listing agent for their use in marketing materials.  Home staging isn't just indoors.  I also take many pictures of the exterior of the home, working to show the curb appeal and not just the curb.

Yes, it takes time to not only take all these pictures, but to review them as well, but in today's market and the internet age it is imperative that listings have "web appeal" - sensational photos and a lot of them.   

Comments (18)

Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Anita: Very good points, brought home by your excellent use of pictures (great pictures are also valuable in blogging). Good luck selling your home.

Jul 05, 2008 06:22 AM
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Where's the front door?   All those stairs and railings are intersting.  Is that the front of the house?

Jul 05, 2008 09:29 AM
Janis Gaines
Staging Sells Eugene Homes - Eugene, OR
Home Stager Eugene OR - The Notably Well-Dressed H

I find that I am spending more and more time on my pictures these days and I try to impress on my clients that these 2D pictures are of primary importance when marketing homes. Thanks for the reminder that so many people see homes FIRST on the internet - not in person!

Jul 05, 2008 09:01 PM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Michelle, thanks for the good wishes.  Blogging is new to me and I am kind of stumbling my way through but learning as I go!

Virginia, I neglected to indicate that this is a house that is one lot away from the beach.  The angle I took is the side of the house facing the beach.  You make a very good point about the front door.  It is on the other side of the house in a darkened little porch and would have made a better picture than the garage doors, but is not the best side of the house.

Janis, I know what you mean about pictures taking a lot of time.  I especially have problems when I want to photograph a room with windows that have a view out the windows.  I want the room and the view to show but have to take a LOT of pictures before I figure out the right adjustment. 

THANKS EVERYONE for taking the time to comment!

Anita

Jul 06, 2008 10:44 AM
Barbara Cluck-Miksits
BCM Home Staging LLC - Ridgewood, NJ
Home Staging - New Jersey

Anita, So true! I take pictures of all my staged homes and share them with the listing agent. I want the propertyto have every possible edge over the competition. Buyers are home on MLS shopping for the next house. Presentation, presentation.

Jul 08, 2008 01:17 AM
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

I did a similar blog, and a webinar on the subject.  My only tip (advice I was given):  Be careful about using photo's from the MLS, some agents get really T.O.'d!!!

Jul 08, 2008 04:00 AM
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

Web appeal is HUGE and unfortunately clients do not even take the time to view the home if they don't like what is on the internet. Some realtors I have worked with refuse to update pics after the house is staged. I JUST DON'T understand that.

Phyllis Pafumi

Jul 08, 2008 07:57 AM
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

Web appeal is HUGE and unfortunately clients do not even take the time to view the home if they don't like what is on the internet. Some realtors I have worked with refuse to update pics after the house is staged. I JUST DON'T understand that.

Phyllis Pafumi

Jul 08, 2008 07:57 AM
PropertyMinder (AccelerAgent)
PropertyMinder, Inc. - San Jose, CA
Modern Tools for the Modern Agent

The takeaway from this post is that "home staging isn't just indoors."  As with any wide angle photograph, the goal is to show depth of field.  I recommend using an orange filter over your flash. Open the aperature two f-stops (e.g.  from f16 to f8) or quadruple your exposure time (e.g. from 1/1000 to 1/250 second). An orange filter will increase contrast and darken the sky.  Color correction (setting blacks, whites) can also help an image pop.  This effect mimics sunset (at 2 p.m. in the afternoon). Sto-phen is an easy fix.

Jul 08, 2008 04:20 PM
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Anita,

From the web to the curb to the interior. It's the natual progression of showcasing a property. You can clean, de-clutter and stage your brains out but if you neglect the web it's all for naught!

Jul 08, 2008 04:34 PM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Barbara, Phyllis, Anne-Marie and Susan:  EXACTLY!  Thanks for helping me get the point across.  It also amazes me how many listings have NO PICTURES at all.  When I see a listing that just has a picture of the exterior I immediately wonder what they are trying to hide.  If I were house hunting on the web, I would simply hit the little "X" because it didn't capture my attention. 

Phyllis:  I cannot understand why someone would not want to take the time to replace photos (and add more!).  I am giving a PowerPoint presentation to a group of realtors in a couple of weeks.  I will be sure to mention this.  Perhaps I can get feedback on why (is it difficult or time consuming?).  This is also a great reason why STAGING SHOULD HAPPEN FIRST!

Anne-Marie:  Thanks for the photography advice.  I will search for an orange filter.  Paint choices and photography are my two biggest challenges :-)

Greg:  Thanks for the tip.  I did think twice before I posted this.  I don't want to insult anyone but the realtor's reaction when she saw the house in person versus what she saw on the MLS was so incredulous, I took the risk.  I am really assuming the photographer was in a hurry and just didn't think it through.  The quality of the photo (lighting, etc.,) was fine - it just wasn't the best angle for the house.

Jul 09, 2008 01:15 AM
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

I'm working on a project and the Homw Owners were SHOCKED when I told them that over 85% of Buyers "shop" the internet before loking at homes.  It's no wonder their home has been on the market since OCT. 2007.  Their penthouse has the most amazing views, and not one photo of the property website showed ANYTHING of what you can see from almost every room.  Web presences is VERY important.

Jul 09, 2008 01:53 AM
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Great job! Thank you much for sharing. It is great to see the different views and ideas other people have  on presentation. Yours is much better than the other Realtors.

Jul 09, 2008 08:37 AM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Connie and Terrie, thanks for your input.  I receive emails daily of new listings and sometimes I just laugh out loud over the photos I see.  The most recent was taken with the camera at such an angle, the house looked like a one story Leaning Tower of Pisa!  I am taking Greg's advice to heart that realtors don't react well to their photos being critiqued, otherwise, a contest of worst MLS photos similar to Tori's worst for sale signs, would be fun.  On a postive note, a publisher of a newsletter for realtors in Virginia is using my pictures for an article.  My post was really intended to help and not to get any realtors ticked off.  Take care.

Anita

Jul 11, 2008 03:47 AM
Anonymous
Brad

Anita,

This is great example of perspective and its importance.  The first picture is something I consistently see locally and it is very bothersome, because the value of great photogrpahs is not really sinking in.  With a large amount of properties to look through, bad photogrpahs can really turn someone off and the property ust gets looked over.  Professionals do it themselves, but don't see buyers out there doing this which is a huge disconnect.  And besides that, it is not providing the best level of service to a seller who has invested in the professional to get their property sold.  Great job.

Brad

Jul 30, 2008 04:19 PM
#15
Kym Hough
www.Staged-to-Sell - Danville, CA
Staged to Sell East Bay - Danville, CA

There is a great stat about how many photos on the web effect the sale of a home. the more photos the better DOM there is and the better price there is...it's the same information you are providing here! Kym

Jul 30, 2008 06:16 PM
Delete my account
no one - Central, AZ
Delete My Account

Lighting is everything!  Check out my website www.cr8iveimages.com and go to portfolio and than select landscapes.  Hope you like.  I have been a photographer for the past 17 years, and a Mortgage Consultant for the past 5. Go Figure!

 

 

Aug 01, 2008 06:02 PM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Hi Everyone - sorry to take so long to respond.  I've just returned from the land of no computer or television in the NC mountains. 

Brad, I completely agree.  Thanks for your comment. 

Kym, I'm always looking for those stats to share in my presentations and newsletters.  I get a lot of positive head nodding when I talk about it, but I still see a lot of listings with bad, little, or no photos. 

Jason, awesome website.  Thanks!

Anita

Aug 08, 2008 06:24 AM