Updated 8/16/17; Originally published 5/2/16
- Many agents in the Fort Hood Area do not use professional photography
- Professional photography is worth it, 1000x over
- The pictures are the second most important element of marketing your home (after price)
Earning Your Buyer’s Eyeballs
Buyers are emotional, not rational. Their brain defers to their 5 senses to evaluate a home, even when they “think” they are being rational. Therefore to market a home, you must appeal to all five senses.
Foremost among those senses is sight – because your home on the MLS or Zillow or Realtor.com will be the first thing that your future buyer sees. It is your first impression. The photos are the tiebreaker between getting on the showing list and being left out entirely. They are the second most important part of selling your home after picking the right price.
Don’t mess it up with amateur photos.
Professional photography is an absolute must, and I do it for all my listings. Here is why:
The following are agent photos versus professional photos:
Wow. Is it even the same house? The lighting on this home made it extremely difficult to capture the front of the home in the shade. But the professional photographer was able to capture it with different exposures, and create a far superior photograph.
The agent made a good try, minus the fact that it looks like it was done on a camera phone and makes the kitchen look claustrophobic (never take listing photos with a portrait orientation!). There are also some weird purple hues in the background. The professional photographer, instead, was able to capture the kitchen much more beautifully.
Kudos to the real estate agent for trying – it looks like he or she has whipped out the panoramic picture on their iPhone and done a fairly adequate job of capturing the whole room, though it creates some weird bends in the wall. But in the end, it looks sloppy, especially when compared to the professional’s simpler approach, where you can see the trees and pools through the windows. Marvelous!
The agent got a good picture of most of the yard, but couldn’t do much about the sun glare, apparently. You can tell there is a pool, but is there any concept of how big and pristine it is, especially when compared to the professional’s shot? Shot in different seasons, the professional’s is still better even with the bare trees.
The home in these photographs sat on the market for over 3 months without an offer, using the original photos. After the listing photos were updated with professional photos, it had multiple offers a week later and sold for over the asking price. No price drop at all.
Get Eyeballs to Get Offers
- The most important places to get your home seen is online and on the MLS
- Ensure your agent is maximizing opportunities for buyers have to discover your home
- Some marketing is more important than others
Many agents don’t use professionals because it is expensive, or they feel they can do it themselves. An agent must either pay for photography themselves and hope the home sells so they are not losing money, or add it as an additional expense to the seller. It’s ironic – agents lecture for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) that they should use a professional real estate agent, and then neglect to take their own advice by going the amateur route on photography.
I don’t charge the seller anything extra for professional photos. They increase the odds of my listing selling and at a better price. From a purely selfish perspective, I earn more than the cost of photos if I am selling more homes. And from a less selfish perspective, I am better serving my customer, the seller, and building a business and brand that earns results for my clients.
So ask your agent to do professional photos, or find one who already will (wink! wink!).
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