A picture speaks a thousand words, right? Which is why when it comes to putting your property on the market, and hoping for a fast sell, professional, high quality images are imperative.
You can’t sell a secret, nor a lie, so the importance of advertising and marketing a property in its true light to ensure that you get the best result cannot be understated nor underestimated.
Why Are High Quality Property Photographs Important?
Curb appeal was once the most important element in generating awareness to a new house sale. However gone are the days when the first impression of a home for sale was the ‘drive-by’. The initial interest may have been generated by a call from an agent or an advertisement in a local newspaper. With our increasingly busy lives, potential buyers may not have the opportunity to do a ‘drive-by’ the property. Instead, their first impression is more likely going to be gained from an online listing accompanied by photographs. When agents have a list of potential buyers on their books, they will send initial listings accompanied by photographs to alert the buyers to properties that meet their requirements.
We have found that buyers will quickly lose interest if photos don’t reflect well on a property, or their specific criteria. Photographs entice the buyer in, allowing them to imagine their lives in the home, therefore it is important that they are of good quality and that they really convey the property’s best features. Professional real estate photographers know what areas will look best, what lighting is needed and what angles are best to capture the most desirable attributes of your home.
How To: Photograph Your Home To Sell Fast
What do you need?
In order to capture the very best photographs of your home, we would advise the following equipment:
● A digital camera
● A tripod
● A back-up lighting option (natural lighting may let you down depending on the time of day, and the interior lights may not cut the mustard! - Oh, and you should never use the camera flash!)
What rooms should always be included?
The main points that we would advise that you always get photographed of your home are as follows:
● Kitchen and Bathroom: It has been proven that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses - so good representations of these rooms are absolutely essential
● The Master Bedroom
● The Backyard (if you have one)
● The best view from one of your windows should also be featured
● At least one image from the front of the house
The custom features that make your property unique
With these, a good photographer, together with your agent will know which custom features will add to the appeal of your property.
Tip: The accompanying marketing campaign should consider the property’s target audience and aim to reach all possible interested parties with the images taken and used. To do this, most campaigns will include traditional and digital elements, plus good old-fashioned agent’s skills. Studies have shown that after the internet, a sign at the front of the property still remains one of the best drivers of potential buyers.
Good lighting is key
It’s no secret that natural light is always best when it comes to taking a good photograph. It can make a huge difference to the visual aspect of your property, and provide a true representation of what the home looks like, without any artificial light.
Start by opening all blinds and curtains in the home to allow the natural light to pour in. Prioritise your photographer to visit at the brightest time of the day (morning is usually best for this!)
If you find that you need some help, try turning on a lamp or side light to add warmth to the room. A lamp provides soft light, as opposed to a main ceiling light which can often come up harsh on photographs.
It’s all in the angles
The angle of a photograph can totally make or break the shot. A good photographer will be able to identify which angle of a room is best to shoot from, and what they should steer away from. Remember you want to showcase as much of the home as you can in these images!
Tip: Looking to add depth to your image? Aim to include at least three walls in the frame. Most of the time this is best achieved in the doorway of the room.
Tidy the property before your photographer arrives
When you are taking your images to place your property on the market, you always want to ensure that it is clutter free, and doesn’t look too “lived in”. These images may be on the market for a while, therefore you want to ensure that they do not show any personal possessions or that they won’t “date” quickly.
Before your photographer arrives, remove excess furniture that makes the house look ‘busy’. Remove any ornaments (unless they make a specific statement to the room), any family/friends photo frames, children’s toys, handbags etc.
Tip: Set the scene with candles, a vase of flowers and a book / newspaper for a personalised-free ‘lived-in’ finishing touch.
Further reading: Presenting your home: How to achieve the price your house deserves.
Don’t forget - Prepare the exterior
The exterior is the first thing a potential buyer will notice when they come for a viewing at your property, so don’t forget to take caution with this when your photographer arrives. If you have a front garden area, spend some time tidying up the grass, flowers and pavement. Give your front door a quick clean, ensure that your house number is clear and visible, and any ornaments, toys or garden equipment is cleared to avoid any key distractions.
If you have any garden furniture, for example a swing chair or a bench, for the purpose of the images, why not plump a few cushions on them to brighten the area up. If your property has water features, ensure that these are turned on for your images.
A final word…
A final word on the importance of good photography: Images are not just important as an online introduction. Photographs continue to play an important role after an initial viewing. Buyers will often return to their computers and look at the property again online. At this point, they bring first-hand knowledge of how the property feels, the flow of the rooms, and they are starting to picture how their furniture will fit. This is often the point that seals their interest, as they envision themselves living in the home.
If you are looking for a professional estate agent to market and sell your home, find a Fine & Country office in your area.