Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Once, when I was house shopping for myself, I ran across a listing photo of a bedroom. In the center of the bedroom floor was a lone sock. I stared at that photo for a long time. Not admiring the spacious size of the master suite, but wondering about that sock. How did it get there? Why was it there? Had it given up on finding its mate and crawled out of the drawer to end it all? Did it smell bad? Did it smell so bad that the real estate agent was scared to even kick it out of the picture?
The Sock Scenario is a perfect summation of real estate photography and staging. What an agent may breeze past can become a point of negative focus to a buyer. I don’t remember the house. But I remember that sock.
If your Agent walks in with an i-phone to snap your listing photos, you’ve got problems. We are educated on the nuances of the real estate transaction, not the art of photography. “So what? It’s just a picture.” Don’t be ridiculous. You’re reading this on the internet. It’s all about the internet. It’s only about the internet. It’s where people will make their first (and potentially last) decision about your listing.
What’s up with an Agent who can’t be bothered to kick a sock out of a photo, clear off a kitchen counter or pick up a towel off the bathroom floor? Bad real estate photography is legendary, much of it is due to the actual property itself. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the darn sock.
Quick staging, good lighting and a professional photographer (and I’m talking someone who knows how to shoot real estate, not weddings) is the key to making a great first impression on the internet. I recently sold a house for clients that started as a FSBO. Cute house, cute interior decorating, and they did their best on the photography. When I took the listing, my first step was a call to Jack, my trusty architectural photographer. Which picture makes you want to go see this house?
Amazing, isn’t it? I spent all of 10 minutes on staging. Removed some side chairs, removed throws and spare shoes, BOOM. With Jack’s photography, it’s a different room that really lets you see the potential of the home.
Lighting is key. I don’t know how or why, but it’s key. I can’t shoot a picture of my dog inside the house on a sunny day without pulling my hair out. He always come out looking like a black blob with a halo of angelic light surrounding him. Trust me, there is nothing angelic about that dog. A photography pro can use that natural light streaming in to take your room from blobby to brilliant:
Even “front of house” photos benefit from a professional’s touch:
“Professional photographers cost money.” That’s right. And as you can see, they’re worth every penny. As a Realtor, I am happy to pay for the expense to have my clients’ homes professionally photographed. My job is to present their home in the best possible light to potential buyers.
Did you know that 92% of buyers start their search on the internet? When you’re running through your “What qualifies you to be my Realtor?” checklist, LOOK AT THEIR LISTING PHOTOS. This will tell you instantly if they understand and respect the importance of electronic marketing to make sure your home sells quickly, for top dollar.