Selfies, vacation photos, and pictures of our adorable kids and pets: all of these can be captured, and no one would have ever guessed a while back that it was a smartphone camera that took them. But what about listing photos?
Listing Photos and Creating The First Impression
According to a recent by Redfin’s Emily Hochberg, first impressions are everything, especially in home buying. But if you don’t think having listing photos professionally taken can make a difference, think again. A 2013 Redfin study found that homes professionally photographed with high-performance Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) sold quicker and for thousands of more dollars than homes shot with amateur photos.
While the iPhone takes great photos, it’s still a far cry from being replaced with a DSLR, which offers a higher quality image with higher pixelation. But just as you need the photos taken with the proper camera, you also need the right kind of skill to show off the home.
Redfin photographer Drew Larrigan says, “The number one thing people get wrong with listing photography is having the mindset that anyone can do it and deliver a beautiful photo. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work you don’t see. Larrigan is referring to layers of High Dynamic range (HDR) to create a great shot, using multiple exposures. “This allows us to highlight shadows and bring out brightness or darkness through the windows.”
Reminder on Taking Listing Photos
Do you buy products online using the photos to make the decision to “buy now?” This is no different but with much more at stake. Comparing the difference between amateur and professional photos is like comparing the photos of an eBay seller trying to sell a vintage designer dress after having laid it out on the dining room table. A professional photo would use just the right lighting, place the dress on an attractive model, make sure the right expression is on the model’s face, and use angles that show off the clothing’s best features. So it makes sense that professional photos of a home will entice people to visit the home, giving them the feeling that they know what they are getting before they even set foot inside.
Larrigan reminds us that there are more and more shoppers buying from out of state and abroad, making offers sight unseen. With DSLR images they can see every corner of the home the properly taken. But where skill “enters the picture” is what is most noticeable. Amateur photographers will try to represent how an area of the home looks not realizing they are not focusing on what is most desirable about it. For instance, they may try to show the front door with the dining area, but in the process, miss all the wonderful entry storage and an expansive hallway. Proper lighting and attention to detail can make a huge difference. Without it, a bedroom can look small, and a photo of a bathroom can miss key features, like an upscale shower head, a gleaming vanity and custom lighting.
What should you use for Listing Photos?
The 2013 study showed that the use of DSLR cameras are proven to sell homes quicker and for thousands of dollars more than homes shot with amateur photos. Hochberg points out how the data revealed that professionally photographed homes priced in the $400,000 range sold three weeks faster and for more than $10,000 relative to their list price, than their counterparts with amateur photos. It also found that homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million sold for $3,400 to $11,200 more relative to their list prices when photographed professionally with a DSLR camera. Luxury property? “At the high end of the spectrum, professionally photographed homes for more than $1 million sold at prices similar to those with amateur photographs,” she says.
Source: Redfin, TBWS