Have you ever seen a Zillow or Realtor.com listing that is full of blurry and dark photos? Or what about the house that is a mess, full of clutter and in need of a thorough cleaning? Now ask yourself -- how fast did you click to the next listing? Don't let that happen to your house.
With this article, we want to reinforce why professional real estate photography is so important when selling your home. So, we asked our real estate photography partner, Meero, exactly what their team expects from a seller and their home.
Thanks to Hanna Zakouri, Producer at Meero we have great tips for home sellers on how to prepare your home before the professional photographer shows up and why it’s crucial that your house stands out online with a strong and beautiful real estate photography.
Here are two more reasons why professional photography is worth the investment when selling your home.
- 95% of buyers today search for their next home online, so why not start strong with an amazing and enticing home listing?
- According to the Wall Street Journal, buyers spend 60% of their search time looking at photos, and only 20% of their time reading listing descriptions. The majority of people are visual by nature, and process images quicker than words. Regardless of what the description says about new updates or the great school district, the photos are the first thing buyers pay attention to. If the listing was a movie, the photos are the leading actors while the copy and details are the supporting features. Bad photos can deter buyers so quickly. Risking a sale with amateur photos is not worth the risk.
The ultimate goal is to sell your home in a timely manner for a great price, right? While there are multiple variables that influence a sale (e.g. initial pricing, the current market, multiple offers, inspection reports, your timeline, etc.), photography is one you can control. The more you prepare a home for sale before a photography session by decluttering, cleaning and organizing, the more likely potential buyers will schedule a tour.
Real Estate Photography Q&A
What are a few things every homeowner should do before you arrive?
Before photographers arrive, it’s essential for homeowners to clean and organize the home as if they were showing it to a potential buyer.
We suggest hiding or removing clutter from key areas like countertops, tables, and stairs, and removing any personalized items, such as family photos. It’s also a good idea to refrain from putting up any holiday decor until after the photoshoot! While you could decide to stage your home, a clean and clutter-free house is a blank page. Buyers can easily visualize their own furniture and decor instead of a particular style that might turn them off.
For optimal photo quality, it’s best to open any blinds and curtains to let natural light into the home.
And what about during the shoot?
If the home is occupied, we kindly ask that family members go outside or into other rooms so the photographer doesn’t have to work around them. Ideally, pets should be crated or put outside for the duration of the shoot.
What's the biggest mistake a homeowner can make preparing for your visit?
Having an abundance of holiday decorations almost always leads to a reshoot. Likewise, homeowners with messy rooms, unmade beds, construction outside, and clutter abound will likely be unprepared for a photoshoot.
In addition, homes with half-finished renovations, such as ongoing painting or reflooring, also will likely require a reshoot. We recommend waiting until remodeling is finished to book a photo shoot!
What about during or after?
Homeowners should avoid planning any events in the home before or after a photoshoot and ensure the home will be vacant for the entire day of the shoot. A shoot should only last between one to two hours, but we want to leave some wiggle room in case time runs over! We also recommend scheduling any cleaning services the day before a shoot rather than the morning of.
What is the best time of day to take real estate photos? What is the worst time? Why?
We always recommend having a shoot take place during the day, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, to capture as much natural light as possible.
Taking photos between 10 am and 2 pm can surprisingly cause harsh shadows to appear in your photos, so we recommend avoiding booking shoots during this window.
What would you tell a seller who wants to use their own photos for the online listing?
We always recommend that sellers work with professional real estate photographers, as they better understand key production processes, distortion issues, and the output of images. Poorly shot images with bad lighting and distortions could lead to decreased sales or even accusations of false advertising. Using professional photography will help sellers get more engagement with their online listing and ultimately increase the chances of a successful home sale.
Is it better to have more photos or less in a listing? Do you provide the order the photos should be uploaded to the listing?
A property is a major purchase, and including as many images in a listing as possible tends to be more appealing to buyers. Viewers tend to stay on property pages for longer sessions with additional images to peruse. It also conveys transparency so potential buyers will not feel misled by hidden aspects of a particular space. Additionally, it allows potential buyers to virtually immerse themselves in the property to give them the ultimate viewing experience!
Photography of your home can show off the best or the worst of your home. Don’t gamble on your sale, and take photos of your house yourself (and please, do not pose in them either). We recommend working with a professional who understands how to show off your home’s best features.
At Door.com, premium real estate photography is included within our flat fee and has endless benefits. We employ professionals, like our partners at Meero, to show off your home in the best light to attract the right buyers. If you’d like to learn more about our home selling experience or speak with a real estate agent, please contact us.