Listing Photography – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

You may have seen our Facebook post about real estate photography gone horribly wrong. That link gave many people a good chuckle, but can you imagine if it was your own home? Sadly, many real estate agents, for one reason or another, choose not to use professional photography.  Beyond the studies that show that listings with professional photographs sell faster and for more money, we want buyers to make an appointment to see your home to verify what they see online, not walk through listings that don’t meet their criteria.  Better photos result in better qualified showings.

DSC_0009Putting a home on the market involves more than just snapping a few pictures, putting a sign in the yard, and posting to the MLS. It’s entirely likely that the day the photographer arrives at your home it will be the best your home has ever looked.  The landscaping will be fresh, everything will be put away in it’s place, the clutter gone or packed away (you’re moving anyways so you might was well get an early start), you may have had staging done with your possessions or rented furniture.  All the things that put your home in the best light.  We’ve heard more than once, “We should have done this years ago.”

Let’s consider our latest listing. This home has a great layout and with 3 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths and great location.  It’s a desirable property. I’ve seen other agents take pictures with their cell phones and call it good, but not only is that risking bad photos, it’s risking not having the best ones.

I took these pictures with my Samsung 5S on HD mode. It has a decent camera (for a phone), and I’ve been happy with most of the photos I’ve taken with it. But check out the ones below. I purposefully took some of the angles that I’ve seen on agent’s websites. They’re often odd angles, or include unnecessary elements for that particular photo. You’ll also notice a dreadful glare. It kind of looks like “kitchen glamor shots,” right?

Cell Phone Camera
Cell Phone Camera
Cell Phone Camera




Cell Phone Camera

I also took a “photographer’s angle” for comparison. It may not look bad, and you may be thinking “I could cook in there.” But, it also doesn’t look great. It has the same glare issue, and the colors are dulled, but a homebuyer might not realize this by the photo alone. They may not know how beautiful it is.  It might be the perfect kitchen for the buyer but it was passed over simply because the photos did not match their perception.

Professional Photo by NWPix

If you look at a similar angle from our team’s professional photographer, you’ll see what a difference that experience and camera makes. Buyers are more likely to see themselves cooking, entertaining, and living here. The colors are bright and it has a solid angle that shows how the home’s natural light and open layout adds to this room.

There are exceptions to every rule.  A skilled digital photo editor could make a go of my cell phone shots with the right equipment and time.  Most people would believe they were taken by a professional.  The problem is, that person probably isn’t a Realtor.

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