Professional Real Estate Photography is Crucial to the Selling Success of Your Home

Nowhere is this more true than on the web where the majority of home buying searches are conducted- “web appeal” is the new “curb appeal”, the lure that draws buyers in. Today’s prospective buyers are used to quality imagery in other marketing venues. Appealing photos will rivet the prospect’s attention, whereas homes with so-so photos may well be passed by.

When selling your home, you hire a Real Estate agent to do the best job marketing of your property. Agents are experts in the business aspects of the selling process; research, pricing, advertising, negotiating and closing. But, the centerpiece in your listing-pictures-is a photography expert taking them?

Grabbing a point-and-shoot and photographing a home seems to be a reasonable option. Often, one can get good shots simply though luck. However, many aesthetic and technological difficulties must be overcome in order to result in the consistently great photography needed in today’s multiple-photo listings.

Internet display systems, known for showcasing still photos, panning slide shows and virtual tours, are another tool available to realtors. These products are only as good as the photography used within. Use poor photographs and you get a poor photo housed in a slide show or tour.

Photography is a highly specialized industry-all photographers are not the same. A good portrait photographer does not necessarily make a good real estate photographer because the photographic challenges and thus, training, are different. Architectural photographers are not the best choice because they charge a significantly higher rate that cuts into your realtor’s bottom line. Professional Real Estate photographers give you similar results at a good price point.

Top-of-the-line equipment aside, professional real estate photographers have more than just a good eye. They know exactly where to put the camera, and are skilled in holding it straight. Professional photographers are experienced at reliably producing multiple uniformly-good shots of every house. Exteriors are taken from the best angle and trumpet blue skies and puffy clouds. Interior shots are well-composed, evenly lit and clearly convey accurate visual information about the space you are looking at.

Photos rarely emerge from the camera ready for display. They require post-shoot processing and this is where the Real Estate professional photographer excels. Great real estate photographs “pop” off the screen or page. They look and feel bright, light, open, and inviting. When done well, the viewer does not know why they like them, they just do!

Ask yourself which listing you would rather be: You are viewing two comparable listings, one with a few photos that are somewhat dark, feel cropped too closely and a little hazy. The other listing has clear, detailed photographs of the outside setting and main rooms of the house. It’s clear which is going to generate more interest, showings and a potentially quicker sale.

So what can you do to get the best photography for your listing?

Examine the existing listings of your prospective agents. Do they feature excellent photos? Are there a half dozen or more pictures on the web listings? Professional Real Estate Photography is done at the agent’s discretion. If the agent you choose doesn’t use professionals, insist that they do. Those that do see the results. And so will you.

For Sale By Owner Tips For Success

For Sale by Owner (or FSBO) signs are popping up through cities across the nation. Seems the homeowners are becoming more determined to compete with, or eliminate the real estate Agent. Each FSBO has their reason for not using an agent. Some have had a less than pleasant past experiences with agents, and feel they can do a better job at getting their property sold. Others must sell their home on their own, simply due to the declining property values; they can not afford to pay an agent. Also there is the “experienced” home seller; they have purchased and sold before therefore they do not feel the need to share proceeds with an Agent.

What ever the reason, home sellers are determined to act as their own agent. Here are a few tips for you FSBO sellers to consider when selling your home.

  • CLEAN and STAGE. You must keep your home extra clean and clear away the clutter. Fancy up the curb appeal by manicuring the lawn and add some flowers for a splash of color. Use a pressure washer to clean up the exterior (in our “red clay” country, so many homes have a shabby or premature aged appearance due to the clay formed around the lower half of the exterior).
  • ADVERTISE. You must get your home in front of buyers. Dropping a sign in the front yard and telling the neighbors you want to sell, will not cut it. You must utilize the publications in your area and invest money in advertising. Also, you must get your home online. There are several online resources; some are free to homeowners, that will allow you to list your property on high traffic websites. This is a technology based world, and buyers look for homes online. Avoiding the tech savvy world, is only avoiding potential buyers.
  • PRICE ACCORDINGLY. The number one mistake FSBO’s make is pricing the property. Most buyers prefer to enlist the services of an agent (read my blog regarding Buyers Agents) and will not purchase a home without representation. Buyers who are willing to purchase direct from the owner have one intention in mind; ironically the same intention as you FSBO’s…SAVE MONEY. Don’t become greedy, because buyers are educated these days and they have the power to pull comparable home sales in your neighborhood. Today’s buyer will also realize that YOU are not paying an agent, so they expect that your property should be priced far lower than a listed home.
  • ALLOW a BUYERS AGENT to SELL your property. Understandably, some FSBO’s feel the Agent is the “enemy”. Often, homeowners become inundated with calls from agents requesting to list the home; coupled with prior unpleasant experiences, this may cause the homeowner to resent agents. Not all agents are looking for the listing. If you are clear upfront (and in print) that you will offer a percentage to a buyers agent, this will give more exposure to your property. If an agent has a buyer, and you want to sell, working together will net the desired end result for everyone. True, you will have to sacrifice a portion of your proceeds; however, it may make the difference between “for sale” and “sold”. Having your home sit on the market will net you ZERO proceeds. Offering a percentage to a buyers agent will save you money since you will not be paying a listing agent, not to mention it may reduce the time on the market which ultimately adds money in your pocket.

Ultimately, a listed home will likely sell faster and for a higher amount than a FSBO property. The key is to find an Agent that will work with you, and for you. Your prospective agent should be able to offer a guarantee, which will release you from your listing agreement should you feel they are not fulfilling their obligations.