April 2020

6 tips for real estate photos that will entice potential buyers

While curb appeal still matters, nowadays the first thing buyers see are the online listing photos. That's why it's critical to take photos that will catch the eyes of buyers and make them want to see more. Whether you're using a professional photographer, getting photos from your client or doing your own photography, here are some tips on how to make those images irresistible.

Put yourself in the buyer's shoes

When homebuyers look at listing photos, they want to get an overall sense of the home's space. Start with a good exterior shot that highlights the home's curb appeal. Inside, step back and get as much of each room into the picture as you can. Ideally, each image should show at least two corners of the room from about a chest-high viewpoint. Avoid the common mistake of zooming in on empty corners or using odd camera angles that don't show your listing at its best.

Set the stage, inside and out

Most homes could use at least a little sprucing up. Be sure things are cleaned and decluttered, inside and out. Even the prettiest landscaping may need a little raking or pruning. Inside, you may need to box up personal belongings and rearrange furniture to complement the space. If the home is empty, try to bring in a few pieces of furniture to help buyers understand the scale of each room and imagine themselves living there.

Choose the right equipment

Many cell phones have high-quality cameras, but a good digital camera will capture sharper detail and give you options like a wide-angle lens. A tripod also helps ensure clear, sharp pictures. If you do decide to use your phone's camera, make sure you understand all of its features so you can get the best from it.

Make the most of the light

Dark photos are a turnoff for buyers, so choose a bright day for your photo shoot. Then open all the blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. If needed, add light by turning on interior lights, or even adding a lamp or two just for your pictures.

Try some tech

If you're good with technology, there are a number of ways to enhance the visuals for your listing by cropping the images, adjusting brightness and contrast, and correcting colors. Check out some of the popular software that's available for free, such as Darktable, GIMP, Picktorial or Photoscape X.Footnote1

Don't overdo it

Too many photos can be overwhelming, so save your photos for the most attractive features of the home — the ones people will want to see in person. Avoid endless closeups of appliances, breaker panels and details that, while important, don't really draw people in. And while it might be worth showing a photo or two of common areas like pools or playgrounds, you don't need a full tour of the neighborhood.

A note from your lending specialist

As we head into peak home buying and selling season, don't forget that I'm here for you and your clients to answer any home financing questions you may have.

1 "The best free photo editor in 2019," Rod Lawton, Digital Camera World, January 9, 2019.

More from this month's issue