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Sell the home, not the furniture!

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I know it's a funny title for my first blog on Active Rain, but it's all I could think of after 7 years of photographing Real Estate in SCW. It's a common scene.  

Most people by now own a simple digital Point and Shoot camera. They are great for family and fun, but their typical narrow "field of view" lenses (usually 35 mm) make almost any room seem small. This is because you are only able to photograph a small portion of the room which is only 1 or 2 walls and some furniture.

My trustworthy camera and photographer guru of 10 years states that Real Estate photos should give the widest, brightest shots you can get.  I couldn't agree more.  The wider the better - if you can show three walls in a room, do it...it gives the viewer the perspective of being right in the room.  Our eyes have decent periphery and excellent dynamic range, so when you see a poorly lit, narrow photo it tends to tell your brain that the room is small and dark.  Not a good thing when selling Real Estate ;)

A narrow view is like you're taking photos of the sofas, tables, TVs, and beds...not the home itself.  It's not your fault - blame it on the camera! The focus tends to be what's IN the room, not the room itself.  But if you are selling the furniture...

I know this topic has been brought up many times before, but it cannot be stressed enough...quality photos really do capture the viewer's interests and tends to keep it there.  Even more important, get the quality photos BEFORE you list the home.  I think of it this way - what's the first and last impression one makes when searching for homes on the Internet?  Is it the number of bathrooms?  square footage?  I think it's the pictures...buyers have already searched for a property in a particular neighborhood and within their price range, so now they want to see the goods!  I say give it to 'em.  Poor quality photos could lose interest - permanently. You can update the photos a week or two later and you'll benefit from the new lookers - but what about those that saw your listing a week ago?  Or will they skip over it saying "oh yea, that's that one we looked at".  

"It's too expensive for these small homes!". Not true! If you're paying more than $100 for professional photography (including all the photos you need - MLS accepts 25) with a professional interface, you're paying too much. The photos last forever - compare cost to other marketing methods - like a weekly ad in the paper. If you take photos yourself, take time to search online for tips and tricks for taking better photos - there are a ton of sites out there that will give you good, honest reviews on equipment and helpful hints. OH yea...don't forget what you get in return - referrals.

Here is an example - the before photos first taken with a decent DSLR at 35 mm. After photos are taken with a much wider lens and better lighting. Capture their interest and KEEP it.  Why did we choose this home and not the countless mansions from over the years? Professional photos (whether you contract out or invest in the time and equipment yourself) benefit ANY home...not just the high-end homes. In fact, it's the smaller homes that need more help - as you can see it makes this unassuming ranch not so unassuming anymore!



Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

YOur after photos are wonderful!  Great difference!

Dec 05, 2008 01:18 AM
Rob & Jeannie Steward - Realtors®
RE/MAX Advantage - Nashville, TN
We Work TWICE As Hard For You! - Ashton Group

Great before and after shots Pat. I always bring floodlights and a step ladder to shoots. Your photos are working for you 24/7. Make them the best that they can be!

Dec 05, 2008 01:29 AM
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Pat, a picture is worth a thousand words! Nicely done.

Dec 05, 2008 01:33 AM
Pat Laemmrich
WhirligigHD - Madison, WI

stepladder and floods - that's thinking outside the box!  You can spend a lot of money on high-end equipment, but it's always the stuff sitting around the garage that's best. I don't recommend hanging onto the floodlight and camera while balancing on the ladder ;)

Dec 05, 2008 01:37 AM
RE/MAX Advantage Realtors, Searcy, AR - Searcy, AR

Great post!  Pictures do make a difference in marketing a home.  Good job!

Dec 05, 2008 01:39 AM
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Pat--Great first post! And you hit on one of my pet peeves in this industry when people photo the objects in the room rather than the room. Bedrooms and bathrooms are the worst! Great after pictures!

Dec 05, 2008 01:40 AM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

What a difference, Pat.  Thank goodness my hubby is a professional photographer - I offer this service free to all my listing clients.  It makes a difference!

Dec 05, 2008 01:42 AM
Rich Mielke
REMAX Results, Frederick MD - Frederick, MD
REALTOR, Frederick Maryland Real Estate

Photos make the difference in catching and holding the buyers attention in the marketplace.

Dec 05, 2008 01:44 AM
Kristal Perrone
Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division - Rochester, NY
Associate Broker

Hi Pat- welcome to Active Rain.  The after pictures are great. 

Dec 05, 2008 01:48 AM
Lee and Katherine Keadle
Carolina One Real Estate - James Island, SC

I love it when agents have a picture of a bedroom (like you've posted above), and all you can see is a bed.  It would be better to have no picture of the bedroom in those cases!

Dec 05, 2008 01:50 AM
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

The befores are mediocre. The Afters look great! There is just no comparison! Nice post topic!!

Dec 05, 2008 01:51 AM
Nate Rowe
Oakstone Properties, Homes in Richmond VA - Richmond, VA
Realtor, Homes in Richmond VA

Very nice photos.  I have a digital camera but it does not have a wide lens.  What kind of camera do you use?  I would love to be able to take pictures like that.

Nate Rowe  Homes in Richmond VA



Dec 05, 2008 02:01 AM
Kirk Westervelt
Van West Realty - Greenville, SC Realtor -Short Sale Expert! - Greenville, SC
Kirk Westervelt, Broker In Charge, Van West Realty - CDPE - Short Sale Agent - Home for Sale - Greenville, Simpsonvil...

Hello and welcome to Active Rain! I encourage you to learn from others, share your knowledge and experiences with all of us, enjoy yourself, and try to log in and join us in the Active Rain community as frequently as possible. I look forward to your future blogs and comments! Take care, --Kirk.

Dec 05, 2008 12:05 PM
David Painter
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC

Good to have you on Active Rain.  This is a good site for gathering information and interesting to see what others are blogging about.

Dec 05, 2008 01:31 PM
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. - Windsor, ON

Hi Pat, Welcome to AR, Be a Blogholic and start writing your own blog soon on AR. All the best for your RE business. This is the right place for customers, friends, realtionships etc.

Best - Sash 

PS: FREE blog traffic strategy video...Hope this will help you... click here

Dec 05, 2008 02:10 PM
Everard Korthals
---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors--- - Lancaster, PA
Mountain Realty

Welcome to Active Rain. This is a great place to learn and share with others. IF ever you were to have any questions then feel free to contact us and we'll try to help. Please take a look at our blog for links to valuable information in our sidebar that you can use to navigate this extensive network. Subscribing to our blog is also a great way to read our blog straight from your home pages. We also suggest taking a look at the Active Rain Wikipedia group for resources that may be valuable to you. We hope you have a great day in the Rain! All The Best-

Sincerely, Active Castellum

Dec 05, 2008 04:18 PM
Charlottesville Solutions - Charlottesville, VA

I see that you are new to Active Rain and I just wanted to welcome you. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do and that you find it a great resource.

Dec 28, 2008 01:38 AM