Imagine buying a home you’ve never seen before.
You wouldn’t, right?
Open house may still the best way to get house hunters excited about a property but a good online listing is just as important. That’s because their search almost always starts online. Homes showcased with stunning imagery will stand apart from the rest and capture the attention of more homebuyers.
You’ve decided to sell your home and you’re preparing to list it yourself. You want maximum exposure and a quick turnaround. If hiring a professional photographer isn’t part of the plan, make sure you’ve got some good advice for doing it yourself.
For real estate pictures, the general goal should be to enhance what’s good and make what’s ugly appealing.
Are you trying to emphasize architectural design or ambiance? Do you want to appeal to working professionals or families? Understand the needs and wants of your target audience and compose photos accordingly.
Finally, what are your specific goals for this home sale? Maybe you inherited a home in Nashville and want to sell fast. Or, you’re lived in the house for decades and you’ll take nothing less than asking price. These situations affect your ability to produce the right content for great listing.
Tools and Resolution
A top-of-the-line camera and cutting edge equipment isn’t necessary to take good pictures of a house, but a smartphone isn’t going to cut it either. A digital camera with at least 12-megapixels is worth the spend, even for small budgets. A tripod is important for eliminating the unsteady hand and reducing blur.
Have a look at other listings, especially of homes in your area. What do you like about them and, will that angle or style work for the features of your house? If your home doesn’t have a second floor, don’t waste time admiring the artful down-angle shots of staircases. Also, pay attention to what doesn’t work. Look at the unappealing listings and inspire not to copy whatever’s going on with those.
Since there’s no way to photograph a whole room in one picture, choose the most interesting features. Rearrange furniture and give the area a deep clean. Walk full circles around your subject and take a lot of shots.
It’s fine to list without furniture but keep in mind buyers are interested in a home, not a building. For a plain kitchen, you might place flowers on the countertop for a splash of color. Don’t bring them into sharp focus though. The purpose is to include subtle depth to a bare room. by taking them from different vantage points Add warmth to a stone fireplace with holiday pines.
The Right Light
Space and natural light are two qualities homebuyers are always looking for. Sometimes the architecture of your home will help you out with obtaining photo-quality lighting. High ceilings, big windows and bright walls might let you get away with using existing light. For indoor shots, turn on all the lights in the house and open curtains. Plan to take pictures when it’s sunny to get the most from natural daylight.
Neutral colors are best for open house because they appeal to a general mix of buyers. With photography, you can be more creative with the occasional bright color or two to make your listing pop when viewing on a screen.
Shoot in the horizontal or landscape orientation whenever possible. The human eye is a lens that sees in a 4:3 aspect. If you stick with that ratio and keep compositions tight – you’ll get the appearance of space rather than minute details. Get familiar with wide-angle techniques and how to manipulate your camera’s zoom features – especially for exterior shots.
No outdoor furniture? No problem, you can still make the exterior look inviting and welcoming. Zoom out and focus on a charming garden, great landscaping or the generous acreage of your property.
If you want those impressive aerial shots, start shopping for drone. If it’s in your means, it’s probably worth the investment, especially if you consider using one to create fly-over property videos or interactive walk-throughs.
Avoid taking photos of pets, holiday decor, or anything personal and specific to current inhabitants. This can be hard when it’s your house and you’re emotionally attached. It’s helpful to get a second pair of eyes on the scene before you start taking pictures of family pictures still hung on the walls.
Picture-taking for a great property listing shouldn’t be stressful. Nor does it have to be complicated. There’s plenty of formulae for the perfect shot every time but don’t let the “rule of thirds” or the “golden mean” stop you from trying different things. Photography is produced by humans, for humans after all.