Photo by Derick Moreno | 239Listing.com
How often have you snapped a picture to be later disappointed by how the image captured — or completely failed to capture — the scene? The same goes for photographing your properties when they go up for sale. Nearly 85% of homebuyers find photos “very useful” in their decision process. (Many real estate agencies are now taking things a step further, and turning to video and 3D tours to help their properties stand out.) But taking a quick snapshot of the home’s attributes is different than staging the scene to give potential buyers a sense of what makes the home unique and valuable. Here are a few ways professional photography can help move your listings:
A photo is not just about its subject. Your photographer will carefully select the focus of the image and then decide what other elements to include for context, how much of them, and from what angle. Staging also plays heavily into composition. Perhaps the current homeowners have chosen a less-than-ideal location for their kitchen table, but the right eye can arrange things for ideal photos. If properly composed, a photo will guide your — and your potential homebuyers’ — eye across the home’s architecture and unique features. Some basic rules of composition, such as the “rule of thirds,” might seem straightforward enough for the camera enthusiast to successfully accomplish, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Artists can spend entire semesters studying theories of composition.
The average living room has extraordinarily different lighting needs than does the average photo studio. Even with natural light streaming through the windows, it’s difficult to prevent the cozier rooms in house — such as living rooms and bedrooms — from looking dark and dismal in a photograph. A professional photographer can use ample extra lighting and and fill flashes to bathe the rooms in light and capture detail in every corner, which gives potential buyers a more realistic view of the property before even scheduling a tour.
After you’ve selected your most attractive and accurate representations of the home, there’s still a bit more work professionals can do to give the photos an extra boost. If you had to shoot on a cloudy day, your photographer can turn that sky blue, or further enhance the balance and contrast to ensure bright colors pop and shadows disappear.
If you still aren’t convinced, a 2013 report from Redfin found that houses listed with DSLR photography — not just your iPhone camera — sold for $3,000 to $11,200 more than similarly priced homes with less professional pictures, especially for homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million. Plus, these DSLR-photographed homes tend to sell significantly faster than their point-and-shoot/cellphone camera counterparts.
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.