For buyers today, a picture speaks a thousand words. Never has it been more important to sell a home than to have excellent photos on line of the listed property. Buyers, who are actively looking, will spend hours pouring over their computers viewing hundreds of homes that are on the market. So, when selling your home, ask yourself these questions before you list your property.
Do my photos show my home’s strong points?
Are photos clear and well focused?
Am I including enough photos?
Buyers will only spend a few seconds on a property if the photos aren’t any good. If they can’t make out a room, if they see a home that is messy or only one or two photos, then they will move on to the next house. Photos are often selected by real estate agents and sellers who want to showcase what they believe are the best parts of the home. If there are only a few select shots that are dated, then buyers, correctly perhaps, think the rest of the home is the same way.
The key is to wow potential buyers at the beginning. Here is a list of what you should consider when using photography to sell your home:
1. Use a professional photographer: If at all possible, this is a great way to showcase your home.
2. Best foot forward: Always make sure your home is spotless. I can’t tell you the number of bad MLS photos we have seen where clothes are lying around, food is out in the kitchen and cars are parked in the driveway. Remove everything that is personal, including toys, knick-knacks and anything of value. Make sure magazines and newspapers are off the tables. Consider placing flowers in certain locations.
3. Spend extra time with kitchen: Buyers will study these pictures the longest. So make sure the counters are bare and again, that it is spotless.
4. Turn on the lights! Make sure the blinds are open and the lights are on. The last thing a buyer wants to see is a dark and dreary room. They won’t be able to click to the next property fast enough.
5. Don’t ignore the outside: Buyers want to see the outside of your house as well, so don’t forget the front and back yards. Do you have a terrific view that is the envy of your neighbourhood? Then don’t forget to include that as well. And don’t limit the outside shots to just one or two. Again, buyers assume that if only one photo of the front of your home is used, that there may be something wrong with it.
6. No false advertising: With computer programs such as Photoshop, don’t airbrush anything that can be misleading. For example, if you have a neighbour whose home is an eyesore, you can’t delete it from your photo. Rather, take photos that diminish or don’t include the property.
For buyers looking at properties online, ask yourself a few questions. This could be helpful in determining if you want to take it to the next level and make an appointment for a showing. The number one rule: Don’t pay attention to side-angle shots.
1. Is there enough space in the kitchen for table and chairs if you desire a sit-in kitchen?
2. Is there enough room for your furniture in the family area?
3. Does the layout of the home fit your lifestyle?
4. Does the house get much light?
5. Will the bedroom fit your larger mattress if you have one?
If you are taking the photos yourself, here are some ideas that professional photographers follow:
Stand in front of your home and take a good, hard look. Are the shades even in the windows? Does it look better to have the curtains open or drawn? If you don’t have flowers in the planter, consider removing it. Remove any toys or lawn equipment or even any accessories that take away from your home. Yes, that includes the gnome display. Make sure cars are parked away from the home.
Once inside, photograph rooms that are special and unique. If you have a great eat-in kitchen, then include that. Also, make sure you include the rooms that all buyers want to see: master bedroom, kitchen and family room. Again, rooms must be well lit and tidy. Remove any furniture that is in the way of a special feature, like a beautiful window or fireplace.
Again, quality is important. As Windsor realtors, we suggest taking as many photos as you can, then select the best ones. Remember, the whole point is to catch the buyer’s eye, and not for the wrong reasons. Whatever you do, don’t use a Polaroid or a camera phone snapshot. They won’t do your property justice.