In the world of home selling, the first impression from a potential buyer can make or break an offer. And these days, it’s all about these impressions online via photography.
In 2017 the National Association of Realtors® came out with an eye-opening study about the impact of digital listings. The data showed that in 1981, 22 percent of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home. The top way to gather information was from trustworthy sources such as family and friends.
Fast forward to this day and age. Nearly 44 percent of potential buyers looked online for properties first, and only 6 percent depended on friends and family. Millennials now make up the largest group or 66 percent of the first-time home buyers. An astounding 99 percent cited using the internet as their primary source of information.
To state the obvious: if home buyers aren’t sold on the images, they will more than likely move on to another option. To make sure you increase your chance of selling your home while decreasing the time it sits on the market, we’re providing you some of the most important photography tips and tricks to list your home.
When photographing exterior product images, there are two perspectives to shoot from: angled perspectives and straight-on elevations.
Both scenarios are legitimate depending on the elements that surround the home being photographed.
Always look to achieve the highest quality image of the product and its environment. Photograph from multiple angles to choose from multiple image variations. Most importantly, remember to consider both the orientation and the image ratio. These key factors impact the effectiveness of your photography.
If the home you are looking to sell is very long, consider using a perspective angle. If done correctly, a perspective angle can capture the entire home in one image. Shoot from a corner, rather than directly facing the door, to get an angled shot of the home.
Taking a photo from above is a great way to show off a large property. This can be done from a high point, such as a balcony, or from the top of a hill if accessible. You can also provide potential home buyers depth by encapsulating the entire essence of your home. Include your full backyard and its amenities, like a swimming pool.
Or, if you feel like stepping up the photography game, consider capturing your home from an aerial perspective. Include a visual of not just your home, but your entire community to show off overall quality.
Just don’t include any images with underdeveloped land or construction zones. Most customers are probably not going to find an empty plot of dirt or bright orange construction cones appealing.
Straight on Elevation Image
Capturing a home straight on, at an elevation that encapsulates the entire home, is great for simplifying an image and giving the subject a striking presence. It also keeps the focus on the home, rather than its surroundings.
It’s important to always keep the home in the very center of the photograph. Real estate agents recommended taking photos from multiple angles, while keeping your home’s interior as the focal point.
Keep your home’s curb appeal top of mind. Buyers often decide in a matter of minutes (or seconds) whether they want to keep looking or move on to another listing.
As much as possible, avoid photographing objects that obscure your home, like poles and wires. Your entire home should be the focal point of the shot, so avoid cars or other objects that block your line of sight. Remember to always provide equal spacing. For example, showing too much street could make your picture seem sloppy and cold.
Another important aspect that leads to capturing a great shot has everything to do with the time of day. Determine if day or night best showcases your home. If you are proud of your outdoor lighting, take images at dusk. Or, if your crown molding, large bay windows and barn door garages are brag-worthy, take your photos early in the morning after sunrise before the sun’s harsh rays can detour a potential customer.
Pro tip: Include images of your community amenities to capture a home buyer’s imagination. Make sure to provide a variety of visual content that highlights the stand-out features and surroundings.
Interior imagery is a very important visual for potential home buyers. This creates the imaginary sceneries of a customer picturing making your house their home.
It is important that your shots are natural and create an authentic vibe. This can be achieved by using the “dusk and dawn” general rule of thumb for the best lighting. Don’t forget to stage your home properly.
No matter how great the photos, it won’t matter if the objects in the images are not properly displayed. The human eye is naturally drawn to a focal point, so frame the shot, take a look, and remove any unnecessary accessories.
One thing to keep in mind is to remove your family and pets. Buyers want to picture themselves in your home, not you, and definitely not your long-haired cats. Be careful when shooting the bathroom, too. Shoot from an angle to avoid including yourself in your photos.
Day Time Interior
When done correctly, capturing an interior image during the daytime creates the added benefit of ample lighting to the photograph.
When it comes to photographing the interior of a home, always aim for soft light. This creates a comforting and natural glow, versus harsh lighting which creates a dramatic or moody aesthetic.
Certain times of day can create soft lighting or harsh lighting. Make sure when using this method to balance the lighting to avoid overly dark shadows or bright highlights. To determine the difference between the two types, harsh lighting beams into the room, reflecting off the walls and floors.
Consider using lamps and daytime window light to make your photos as bright as possible while still looking natural. A general rule of thumb is to always look for soft lighting. This means capturing your photos either early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Pro Tip: If you need to take an image during a time of day when the sun shines into a room, you can soften the light by pulling curtains or closing blinds. If curtains or blinds are unavailable, consider hanging a sheer piece of material as an alternative.
Low Light Interior
Low-light photography is not strictly reserved for capturing images at night. It is about your sources providing less light than the current outdoor daylight. The best time of day to capture these images is after sunset when you are able to have a clear view of your surroundings, but can tell it is getting dark when you’re indoors.
And, when done correctly, they can provide unique individual images of your interior that could stand out to potential home buyers. On the other hand, capturing the perfect image of this kind is based on numerous factors. Most photography pros recommend investing in a quality camera with a higher shutter speed for best results.
Pro tip: The way you hold the camera determines the outcome of the quality of your image. Keeping your elbows together and not leaning forward enables you to hold the camera for long, as well as lower your shutter speed.
Important Interior Showcasing
When capturing an interior image, there are a few main principles that could make or break the selling of your home.
First, you should always capture an image with a center-balance focus. This creates a strong interior imagery. For the most success, make sure you are capturing images of rooms with open spaces and depth, such as a large family room. Or, consider certain viewpoints featuring more than one room. These are great ways to showcase your home.
Or, if you are trying to showcase a smaller room, use perspective photography, similar to the perspective external imagery discussed earlier. By positioning yourself where you can use the camera to look down on the entirety of the room, you open the space.
Last, but certainly not least, clear the clutter. This doesn’t mean recreating the interior décor of your grandmother and plastic wrapping your couch. But it does mean being more meticulous with the details others could notice.
Straighten the pillows, hide the fridge magnets, wipe off the mirror, smooth out wrinkles, refold blankets, etc. Selling a home is about making the customer “see themselves” in the home.
Keep the décor neutral. If you want to add pops of color, go with bright flower arrangements. And, if you do need an extra eye for your staged home, this is where your grandma comes in handy.
Sure, creating the perfect images to draw in a potential customer is vital. An unkempt yard, driveway, kitchen, garage, etc. is going to make a potential customer hit the “next” button.
But this also doesn’t mean decorations similar to that of a model home. Fake fruit aside, it’s important to make sure your home captures the imagination of a potential customer through the creation of a space that provides all aspects of a home. Make sure to showcase a bit of unique décor and accessories. Your listing should be warm and pleasant, while at the same time stylish and organized.
Do you have any additional tips and tricks for capturing the perfect image? If so, we would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave your response in our comment section below!