One of the first steps that buyers take when they begin their home search is to look online at properties for sale. In fact, more than half found the home they ultimately purchased is from an online search. Since more people are looking for homes on the internet before visiting the property in person, it is important to make a great first impression. While an enticing description helps, professional-quality photos reveal so much more to potential buyers, giving them a glimpse into the home’s condition and its unique features. Below are 5 tips to help you achieve great listing photos:
1. Shoot in the morning of late afternoon.
These times usually offer the best natural lighting. Avoid unflattering shadows by keeping the sun at your back while taking photos. If your home faces east, you’ll get the best shots in the morning. Conversely, if your home faces west, you’ll get the best shots in the afternoon. Use a flash if your home is mostly in the shade.
Highlight your home’s landscaping or outdoor lighting by taking photos 45 minutes after sunset, when the sky looks its best. Turn on all interior and exterior lights for the best shot.
2. Focus on the details.
A picture paints a thousand words; make sure it leaves a positive impression. On the outside, keep your landscape groomed, put away toys and lawn ornaments, clean your windows and make sure the path and driveway are clear. While trees and weather may reveal the time of year in which photos are taken, keep the decorations in and around your house as timeless as possible. For example, if you’re listing your home around Halloween, remove scarecrows, pumpkins and ghoulish decor during the photo session.
Inside your home, move large or non-essential furniture and deco to another room or storage area. This will give buyers a better view of your home and its features. Also, remember to keep it clean and clutter-free.
3. Shoot from multiple angles.
With digital photography, you’re not limited by the photos you can take. Shoot from various angles around your property and around the rooms of your home to highlight its best features. While you may not use all the photos, you’ll have a wide selection to choose from for your listing.
4. Tell a story through staging.
Help potential buyers picture themselves living in your home by staging it. Adding items to a shot allows the home to feel lived in, but not cluttered. For example, if you’re photographing the front porch, set out a rocking chair and table. If you’re photographing the living room, place a throw over the back of the sofa and a vase with flowers on a side table to convey the feeling of “home” and comfort.
5. Hire a professional.
If you are intimidated by the process of taking the photos yourself, hire a professional photographer. Not only do they have the skills and expertise to highlight your home’s best features, they also have the software to make the photo look great as well.