As a Windsor real estate agent for over 25 years, I am often amazed when I walk into a home and can’t believe what I see. There are times when I view the marketing materials for a property that show such bad photography that I don’t have high expectations for the home. Yet when I walk inside, I’m amazed at what the photographs didn’t show! Like an exceptional fireplace, great architectural features or a wonderful eat-in kitchen. Instead, the brochure shows an average bedroom, a small bathroom and a backyard which clearly hasn’t been mowed. Why did the brochures include these photographs and not the ones that clearly show the striking features of the property?
It goes without saying. Your home can be the best on the block, but if the marketing materials are bad, then basically, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Let me explain further. As I have mentioned on this site many times, 90 percent of home buyers start their search on the Internet. If they see real estate that is photographed poorly, they won’t put that home on their short list. The best thing a real estate agent can do for their client is to make sure a home is presented well both online and in advertising. When a real estate agent wants to show a house that the buyers weren’t impressed with online, we have to say to them, “Trust us. This house shows better than its photographs.” And nine times out of ten a buyer will reluctantly show up only to be pleasantly surprised. But it can be a struggle to get them there.
These are my suggestions for promoting your home in the best possible way for those buyers who are looking online:
1. When shooting photos of the outside of your home, make sure all cars are out of the driveway and not parked along the curb.
2. Remove all toys, yard equipment or anything else that doesn’t belong there.
3. Shoot up close and make sure shade is not falling on the home. You want the house to be the center of attention, so crop out the sidewalks and street.
4. You want buyers to see your home, not your overgrown plants, trees or unkept landscaping. So make sure the outside looks spotless.
Now let’s talk about the inside of your home. As I mentioned above, don’t focus on taking photographs of rooms that basically look blah and not very exciting if you have other features that are worth showing. As I said, I once walked into a home that had a beautiful updated kitchen. While the brochure mentioned it, there were no photos! For me, this was the best-selling point of the house, yet it wasn’t even featured.
1. Open up windows and blinds. You want the seller to see a home that is bright and airy. And don’t forget to turn on the lights as well even if it’s noon on a bright sunny day. The brighter, the better.
2. As I also mentioned above, if you have an outstanding fireplace that always draws oohs and aahs from family and friends, then make sure you photograph that as well. For many buyers, a fireplace is mandatory when purchasing a home so this is a great way to draw buyers into your home.
3. This is the real frustration when viewing photos that need work. Why would anyone photograph a home that is dirty or cluttered? We see it all of the time. Buyers don’t want to see your laundry basket on a couch, nor animals on a chair. I have even seen photos of dirty dishes in a sink when a kitchen is being photographed. So make sure all rooms are spotlessly clean, toilet seats are down, kitchen counters cleared, beds made and clothes not left out hanging on a banister or thrown over an empty chair.
4. It’s hard to remember, but when shooting into mirrors, make sure the flash is off and you are not in the picture. You would be surprised how much we see this.
If able, use professional photos whenever necessary. These photographers know exactly how to focus on your homes best features. But if this isn’t necessary, then take a look at some homes online that are for sale and ask yourself what attracts you to a home by the pictures they display. See what they focus on and try to capture this for your home.