*By Keith Loria
According to a study by the National Association of REALTORS®, 98 percent of homebuyers who searched for a home online listed photos as one of the most useful features of real estate websites.
After all, this is the age of the smartphone and tablet, when photos are running wild on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so when buyers come across a listing with no visuals, it will send a message—warranted or not—that there’s something wrong with the home.
While some agents work with a professional photographer who has the equipment and lenses to make a house look its best, others take the shots themselves. In some instances, agents will have the seller supply the images.
Regardless of who is taking the photos, before the camera even comes out, make sure the house is in pristine condition. This means removing clutter, adding some color and getting the house as tidy as possible.
Once you begin taking photos, be sure to capture enough angles to give a good overview of the exterior, interior and even the surroundings. While some listings simply show just the kitchen and bedrooms, it’s important to include enough photos to really grab the attention of prospective buyers. In fact, the more photos you show, the more time potential buyers will spend looking at your house online, upping their interest.
Photography experts recommend taking shots of the home around sunset to give your photos a deep, warm glow. And if possible, shoot interior shots with the sun’s light shining through.
One mistake people make when taking photos of their home is that their verticals are not completely vertical, so it looks as if the room is going to fall in. If you use a wide-angle lens and shoot up or down, it can look like the walls are converging instead of standing parallel to one another. Therefore, it’s important that the person shooting knows what they’re doing.
It’s also a good idea to use a tripod when shooting to ensure that you get the steadiest images possible.
When shooting outside, be sure to take photos of the front and back of the house as well as any features such as a deck, pool or garden, which can be used as selling points. Last but not least, make sure the lawn is properly trimmed and remove any clutter like trashcans or sports equipment before you photograph the outside of your home.