With increasing numbers of prospective home buyers searching for homes online, listing photos can be a big reason why homes get clicks … and showing appointments. In the rush to get a home listed, it can be tempting to take a few quick photos just to get the information uploaded as soon as possible. However, taking your time with listing photos can pay dividends by making the house more appealing to online lookers. Here are some tips for taking listing photos that have the best chance of making a positive impact and a good impression:
- Choose the best light. Visit the home during different times of the day and take some practice photos to see when you get the sharpest shots. Natural light is usually best, but keep in mind that very bright light can sometimes cause distracting glare and shadows in photos.
- Coordinate the time and date of the photo shoot with your clients, and ask them to remove clutter and personal items from rooms. Let them know if you plan to also photograph closets and storage spaces.
- Arrange furniture to make rooms look as spacious as possible. Unless glare is an issue, open curtains and window treatments to let light in.
- When framing your shots, focus on each room’s strongest features. For example, if a living room has a pretty fireplace or a wall of windows, you’ll want to be sure to center the frame around that. You may need to include more than one photo of each room to get the best angles.
- Don’t be afraid to photograph details. For instance, if a home has a beautiful mantel, woodwork, or other attractive architectural features, be sure to take close-ups of those.
- Take more photos than you will use. This will enable you to choose the best shots of each room.
- Ask yourself what you would like to see if you were a prospective buyer. Maybe you’d be interested in the big laundry room, or the fenced back yard. Take pictures of what would appeal to you if you were considering the home.
- Remember to take exterior pictures, too. Patios, landscaping, and water features can attract interest to listings.
- Take the time to put the photos in a logical order. You might want to start with an exterior photo followed by a shot taken from inside the front door, or you might want to put the home’s best feature in the first photograph. Remember, the idea is to get prospective buyers to click through and to form a good impression of the listing.
- If a home warranty is being offered with the home, take a photo of a placard, sign, or logo to show prospective buyers that this valuable coverage is included.
- Sign up for a basic photography course, or look for online tutorials. Even if you’re just using a cellphone for pictures, knowing how to frame shots and how to use some of the available tools and settings can help improve your pictures.
Another good idea is to continually look through listing photos in your area for ideas and to see what other agents are including. With a little time and practice, you’ll be able to instinctively know which angle is best, and which shots are likely to attract the attention of homebuyers.