Do real estate listing photos matter? Absolutely.
Today, buyers are busier than ever and may not have the opportunity to do a drive by (unless they’re seriously interested). Instead, the first impression buyers most often get of a home is from the MLS listing photos. With limited time and countless listings to review, buyers will quickly move on if photos don’t reflect well on a property.
Properly lit, high-resolution photos are the only type of pictures you should use in a home marketing campaign. Like any sales effort, it’s important to put your best foot forward. If an agent takes property photos with a smartphone, it’s often a red flag to buyers. These pictures are fine for informally sending photos quickly back and forth between agent and buyer, but they don’t measure up to what an experienced photographer with a good camera can achieve.
Staging and prep
Because of the importance of a good first impression, sellers and their agents should spend as much time and energy on the photo shoot as they do on creating curb appeal or staging an open house. This means planning the shoot well in advance.
As a seller, you know when your home gets the best natural light. Make sure the photos are shot then. Have the home fully cleaned and in top shape before the shoot. As with an open house, fully declutter the home. Imagine the photo shoots retailers and catalog companies do to showcase their products. Would they release a catalog with photos of stained living room furniture or with improper lighting?
Often, after buyers have toured your home, they return to their computers and look at the property again. High-quality photos that show the home well will keep them interested, perhaps even encourage them to come back for another look.
If you or your agent don’t have a good-quality camera and real estate photography experience, hire a pro. Yes, it’s another expense, but consider this: When you put a home on the market, you’re competing against lots of other properties. If those properties are highlighted with attractive, well-lit photos and yours isn’t, you’re going to have more trouble getting potential buyers in the door.