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Preparing Real Estate Listings for Photographs: What to Do and What to Avoid

January 9, 2013

In today’s competitive real estate market, real estate agents constantly have to explore ways to highlight their listings to make them stand out. With 80% of homebuyers using the internet to search for homes, proper online pictures of listings are essential. After all, the listing pictures are the “first impression” the potential homebuyers receive and it is imperative to make a good first impression. In fact, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers rated photos as the feature they use the most when searching for a home on the web. Photos are powerful tools for marketing, and they can have a positive effect on the price of the home and selling time as better photos command higher listing prices and get more online attention. Both real estate agents and sellers should follow these do’s and do not’s to attain flattering pictures that will expose the home in its best possible light.


Camera_Image_for_BlogInvest in a decent camera or hire a professional real estate photographer. For those not using a professional, always use a tri pod to keep the camera steady.

Camera_Image_for_BlogShoot exterior shots in the middle of the day to create the best lighting, but make sure the sun is behind you. If tall trees create shadows in the picture, shoot on an overcast day.

Camera_Image_for_BlogFor exterior shots, use a wide angle lens and stand on top of a ladder or car to create the best possible angle of the home.

Camera_Image_for_BlogStage the outside of your home for the photo by mowing the lawn, planting some mulch, or placing potted plants by the front door.

Camera_Image_for_BlogRemove cars, trash cans, dead tree limbs, and outside holiday decorations out of view from the photo. Remember to take pictures of the back of the house and yard, as well.

Camera_Image_for_BlogStage the interior of your home. The idea is to show off the home’s space, not distract potential buyers from what’s in it. Remove clutter from the area before photographing it, clear counter space, remove fridge magnets, hide children’s toys, make beds in the bedrooms, hide trash cans and trash, close toilets in bathrooms, move appliances around, and put away the dirty dishes.

Camera_Image_for_BlogBe sure to photograph the entire house. Buyers want to see pictures of the front of the house, back of the house, living room, kitchen, dining room, family room, master bedroom, other bedrooms, bathrooms, and the best features of the house, like an exercise room or a home theater.

Camera_Image_for_BlogUse as much natural lighting as possible, turn on all of the interior lights, and use the flash on your camera to make the colors and the room look brighter. Face away from open windows to avoid back lighting, and let the flash create even light. Close the drapes or blinds if the camera’s light meter is being fooled by the bright exterior light, or turn off the flash if it turns out making the room look dark.

Camera_Image_for_BlogChoose the best angles and compositions for the photographs. For instance, shoot rooms from a corner doorway to include as much of the room as possible, provide context, and make the home appear more spacious.

Camera_Image_for_BlogKeep a few personal items in the images. Buyers should see that someone actually lives there. Add color with vases of flowers or bowls of fruit and set the breakfast or dining tables.

Camera_Image_for_BlogMove furniture around when necessary so that they don’t block architectural features, like a fireplace.

Camera_Image_for_BlogMake sure to capture special features of the home, like new floors, fresh paint, or spectacular views of a golf course, beach, lake, or mountains.

Camera_Image_for_BlogFor empty houses, use a prop like a chair to give an empty room a sense of scale. Photograph rooms that are together, such as the master bedroom/bathroom to add interest to the image.

Camera_Image_for_BlogTake lots of photos! Experiment with a variety of angles and camera settings for every shot, and post the picture that presents each area of the house in its best possible light.

Camera_Image_for_BlogImprove photos by using basic photo-editing software. Crop out ceilings or unnecessary backgrounds and adjust the brightness or contrast.

Camera_Image_for_BlogFor condos and apartments, take shots of the amenities offered, like the pool, gym, tennis courts, and more.

Do Not:

NO_CAMERASMake the home look like something it’s not. Ensure you don’t mislead buyers. For instance, a wide-angle lens can make a room look deceptively large. Buyers will be disappointed and irritated to learn the actual size of the room is much smaller.

NO_CAMERASAvoid including animals and people in images. This includes both live animals and taxidermy, like deer heads on the walls, as well as anything else that can distract homebuyers from the point of the photo.

NO_CAMERASDon’t get too personal with staging. The purpose of staging a home is to create a neutral canvas on which a wide range of buyers can visualize themselves and their lives.

NO_CAMERASDon’t use wide-angle lenses in interior shots. It will distort rooms to make them look much smaller or larger.

NO_CAMERASDon’t use a camera phone!
Refrain from tilting the camera up or down. It will cause objects to have odd, unnatural shapes.

NO_CAMERASAvoid taking shots of the back of a chair, book cases and other furniture. Position yourself in angles that show the front of the room, or rearrange the furniture if the best angle to photograph the room will expose the back of furniture.

NO_CAMERASMost importantly, don’t omit a photo of the property altogether. Take plenty of photos from every room at every angle, and use the best shots.

Listing photos are both the seller and the real estate agent’s main way of advertising the property. In order to generate interest in the home and sell it quickly for the highest possible price, it is crucial that listings include as many images as possible that illustrate the attributes that would make a home desirable to live in. Listings that portray an untidy home, or worse, listings that have no picture at all, turn off many prospective buyers. Although this might seem like extra work and time, the payoff in the long run will be worth it!





One Comment leave one →
  1. July 29, 2013 11:50 am

    I pay a visit every day a few websites and information sites to read articles,
    however this web site provides feature based content.


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