Be A Photo Savvy Seller
The practice of idly “window-shopping” for a new home has become more and more of a hobby for people as online realty information has become detailed and information-rich. Users can quickly get an idea if a house may be right for them without the timely trips to the actual homes that were the hallmark of house-hunting in the past. Even casual browsers will save and bookmark homes they like the look of or indesirable neighborhoods to track the price or number of people who are interested.
What draws people to a home when looking at online pictures is very simple. The photographs. Much like online dating, the pictures are what makes the first, and potentially last impression. If the pictures are poor quality, or make the home look unappealing, most buyers will never go any further than that listing page. Even the most beautiful upscale home can be rendered uninteresting or unattractive by badly staged or awkwardly framed photos.
What are the most important qualities to convey the look and feel of a house online through photographs? First of all, the exterior or “curbside” photo should be the first photo a potential buyer sees, and it should provide the “wow” factor that will make the viewer want to see more. Freshen up the paint, add a pop of color to shutters or door. Add landscaping to increase yard appeal. Update the old garage door, a simple renovation deemed to add the most value for money. Also, choose the best time of day for your photo, when the light is not too bright or too dark, so your home looks its most appealing.
The backyard is another area where your photos have the potential to grab the interest of an online viewer. Many homebuyers have been drawn back to a listing again and again out of a love for the peaceful, serene outdoor areas depicted. Large or small, make the most of your outdoor spaces with decorative plants or flowers, or add an eye-catching feature like a fire pit or a fountain that browsers will imagine sitting by in the summer. For the other interior photographs, use natural light as often as possible. This makes the house look bright, warm and inviting. Avoid photographing on rainy days or in the evening, this may result in a gloomy effect. Shoot from the corners of doorways, to include as much of the room as possible.
While the front exterior photo is often the most important, the kitchen is also a top priority, not only because it is considered by many the “heart” of the home, but because it is an area that can easily start to look outdated over the years. If yours is modern and pleasant, it’s well worth capturing a perfect photo or two to highlight it. Even if your kitchen is not the most updated area of your home, you want to clean and polish every surface until it gleams before photographing it, the shine will suggest to buyers that everything is as good as new.
An important note; even though you want to show your home in its best light, don’t make it look like something it’s not. Going back to the online dating analogy, when you meet someone in person, it’s immediately obvious when they have used a photo that isn’t representative of their actual looks and it sours you on the date right away. Similarly, if you use tricks like a wide-angle lens to make your rooms look significantly larger, buyers will be disappointed and irritated when they come for a viewing and see that the apparently massive bedrooms they saw online are actually quite small.
Lastly, be sure the text that accompanies your listing plays up the same features as your photos. A picture may be worth a thousand words but, a
few actual words that can make the features and highlights of the home clear always help.