Quality listing photos are important in that they are often the first impression homebuyers receive when searching for a home. In fact, buyers spend 60 percent of their time looking at listing photos, and only 20 percent of their time on the listing and agent description. Whether you’re a Realtor® or just trying to sell your home on your own, professional looking photography is key in making a good first impression.
Use a Quality Camera
Many smartphones have good quality cameras, but megapixels aren’t the only thing that makes great-looking listing photos. The camera should have a lens that zooms out to the widest focal length of at least 24 and 28mm. It’s not a bad idea to invest in an inexpensive camera and tripod at any electronics retailer.
When most people view listing photos, they want to imagine the space as their own. This is hard to do if your personal belongings are scattered throughout the picture. Take the time to stage your listing before the photo session begins, in order to remove any sense of the space being lived in. Remove rugs, tidy up shelves, and organize desks, and take away anything that may distract the viewer from the home itself.
Turn your camera’s flash off for inside shots, as the flashing light will reflect off of mirrors and other surfaces. Instead, use natural light as much as possible; the best time to take listing photos is during the day when the sun is out, so you may have to plan for it. If there is a room or area of the home that does not have an abundance of natural light, try using lamps with different brightness to produce contrasting light.
It’s important to showcase the listing photos in a way that makes sense. Think of it as giving a home tour, only through pictures. Logically, most listing photos begin with the outside of the home and move into the foyer or living space, then the kitchen, and so on. Online viewers may be turned off and move to the next listing if the arrangement of your photos is disorienting.
Show the Best Parts
It may be tempting to highlight every square inch of your listing from every angle, but the key to powerful listing photos is in the economy of what is shown. Focus on key areas of the home and try to keep it to a maximum of two pictures per area - you don’t want to overwhelm viewers with multiple pictures of similar spots.
More homebuyers than ever are now beginning their home search online. Having stunning, organized listing photos will help you attract more attention and have potential buyers eager to schedule an in-person tour.