Getting a house ready to put on the market takes a lot of work. From repairs to finances and everything in between, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the entire process. But if there’s one thing you can’t afford to do, it’s minimize the importance of your online listing.
In today’s real estate marketplace, online listings – including customer-facing websites like Zillow and agent-facing platforms like the MLS – are how you generate interest, attract prospective buyers, and secure showings that ultimately produce offers. And if you want your real estate listings to pop, you can’t afford to mess up your listing photos.
The Importance of Listing Photos
When selling a home, first impressions are everything. To most people, this means curb appeal is the priority. But in a time where the majority of buyers find listings online – not by driving around town – it could be argued that listing photos are equally as important (if not more) as immaculate landscaping and a cheery front porch.
According to research curated by RISMedia, homes with high-quality listing photography sell 32 percent faster than the average home. And for homes in the $200,000 to $1 million range, high-quality photography increases the sale price by an average of $3,000 to $11,000.
“Eighty-seven percent of homebuyers who searched for a home on the internet found photos to be among the most useful features of REALTOR® websites, according to the 2018 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers,” RISMedia explains. “Digital photography and virtual tours allow REALTORS® to serve their clients like never before. Digital images can quickly and professionally showcase a listing, and today’s technologically savvy clients appreciate the convenience of a virtual tour for both long distance and local moves.”
But just as good listing photos can propel a listing, bad photography can negatively impact impressions, suppress leads, and lower the value of a property. Thus, if you’re going to sell a property, you need to take listing photos seriously.
6 Common Listing Photo Mistakes
If you spend enough time browsing online listings, you’ll learn to differentiate the good from the bad. Here are some of the listing photo mistakes homeowners and their agents should avoid when selling a property:
Not Enough Photos
When homebuyers are browsing online listings, they want to see as much as possible in order to make an educated decision on whether to schedule a showing. Unfortunately, too many listings feature too few photos.
Research shows that homes with one photo spend an average of 70 days on the market, while properties with 20 photos or more spend just 32 days on the market. If you want to sell quickly, be thorough. Somewhere between 20 and 25 photos is the sweet spot.
If there’s one aspect that can make or break a photo from the start, it’s the lighting. Not only are dark photos hard to see, but they also make spaces feel constricted and gloomy. Too much light, on the other hand, will wash out an image. You need just the right amount.
For interior photos, it’s best to shoot during the day. Turn off lights, uncover windows, and shoot with the light source (windows/doors) to your back. Similar principles apply for exterior images.
“A sunny day is the best canvas for your exterior shots,” real estate photographer Lauren Schroeder mentions. “Try to schedule your shoot during a time of day when the sun will be shining on the front of the house. Ask your client (or check Google Maps) to see which direction the house faces. You want capture the front exterior in its best light, as it’s almost always used as the featured image for the property’s listing.”
Clutter and Disorganization
Nobody wants to see all of your personal belongings. Prior to taking listing photos, be sure to declutter and organize your home. Fewer items in the home make it easier for prospective buyers to see the potential in the space. You may even want to clear out everything and use virtual staging software to put a few luxury designer items in the photos.
Blurry and/or Low-Resolution
Listing pictures shouldn’t look grainy, blurry, or distorted. With today’s technology, you can even get high-resolution images from a smartphone. There’s no excuse for using an old camera with poor specs.
To prevent blurred images, use a tripod. This enhances the stability of the camera and gives you the chance to take pictures with longer exposures.
Wrong Cover Photo
Your cover photo is the little thumbnail that people will see when they run across your listing online. If the cover photo isn’t enticing, you’ll see a steep decline in your online traffic and leads.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is either using an interior shot as the cover photo, or relying on a Google Street View image. Both will negatively impact your results. You need a custom, high-resolution image of the front of the house.
Too Much Photoshop
Photoshop is great for cleaning things up and making an image pop, but too much photo editing will actually diminish the quality of your images. It can also lead a prospective buyer to think you’re hiding something. It’s best to take good pictures that don’t require a ton of revisions. You’ll save yourself time and get better results.
Sell Your Home With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we recognize that success is often found in the details. If you want to sell your home quickly and at a higher price, you must pay attention to every aspect of your listing – including photos. When you work with our team, we guarantee professional photography that will make your listing pop.
Working with Green Residential comes with other perks too. For example, we’re the leading flat fee real estate agency in Houston. That means we don’t require a 3 percent commission. Instead, we charge a flat rate that could potentially save you thousands of dollars at closing.
For more information on our home selling services, please contact us today!