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As a homeowner who is thinking of selling, I invite you to puruse the MLS and look at how homes are marketed. As a buyer, you and I have seen many photos of homes that we both have wondered “why?”.

Why is the photo upside down? Why is the photo so dark?  Why am I looking at a shoe in the closet? Why is there a photo of a house number? Why am I looking at a water heater? Why is the photo so small?

The simple truth is that photos on MLS and social media sell the home. The better the photos, the better the price. And what seller does not want more walk away dollars?

According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors, 94 percent of Millennials and 84 percent of Baby Boomers use the Internet in their home search and 40 percent of homebuyers start their online home search. In 2016, the percentages have only strengthened. During my 13 years as a Realtor, my listings presentation always emphasized that the professional marketing photos need to capture buyers imagination, tell a romantic story of the home and create a feeling of warmth and familiarity.

When you are ready to sell your home, why would you not hire a professional photographer? Homes are difficult to photograph due to lighting fluctuations, room size distortions and, at many times, a lack of expertise. This is not the time to pull out the iPhone and tripod and snap away.

5 Top Reasons To Hire A Photographer

Avoid Ugly Listing Photos
Everyone loves photo shop and how easy it is to be lured into the world of edits. As professionals we know there are two words of utmost importance to avoid “material misrepresentation”. Its OK to make the pool water blue or the sky blue, but it is not OK remove or alter anything permanent.

Show Off The Best Features
The first five photos are the most viewed and many Reatlors are of the old mindset that the exterior shot first. Rather, consumers are clearly saying show me the money shots. When I am ready to set up a photo shoot with my photographer and my client, we are looking for the “wowzie” shots. It could be the backyard with pool or lake view, or the gourmet kitchen with onyx counters and custom chandelier or, perhaps, the foyer with the grand staircase adorned with custom iron wrought banister and cascading chandelier.

Accentuate The Best Photos
We talked about the importance of the first five photos. Now let’s talk about creating the right balance of photos. How many photos is the right amount. The one goal is to not overwhelm or bore the potential buyer with photos. All buyers want to see very basic photos: kitchen, living room, dining room, owner suite, yard and landscaping. A good Realtor and Photographer will capture these rooms but in a way that compels the buyer to want to see more. Fifteen photos is generally a good number for an average size home. A larger home will call for twenty-five. There is absolutely no benefit in having a buyer click away. So let’s keep the buyer engaged to schedule an appointment to view the home in person.

Picture Perfect
Preparing a home for the photographer is a team project with the seller, Realtor and photographer in tow, I always give my client a “To-Do” list for the photo shoot. And then I rely on my photographer to direct the shoot. I also know that I will be enlisting my clients help to stage the rooms. What does that look like? Removing all throw rugs, removing all items from the shower, placing the toaster in the cabinet, etc. The camera catches the smallest items and then “Voila!” , it looks enormous and awful in the photo. Simply rule, everything off the counters, out of the shower, off the tables, and more.

Shoot High
Elevation is incredibly important for perspective and integrity of exterior shots. Sometimes, a drone is necessary depending on the property and its features.

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