Taking Great Buyer-Worthy Listing Photos

Real estate is all about first impressions. Whether it is driving past a for sale sign or seeing the property online you want the property to POP! 

It is STRONG ENCOURAGED to hire a professional photographer with an expertise in real estate photography. Ask to see a portfolio of their work and find the right person to capture the true essence of the property. You want to have high quality images that grab the attention of potential buyers. We have a few tips to help you get your home ready for its moment in the spotlight, follow the link to get your home photo ready!

1. Capture your photos during peak lighting hours. ie. you want to shoot during daylight hours where the natural light is at its most complimentary. A new trend arising is sunset shots outdoors that showcase how your looks lit up in the evening. These make for beautiful stylistic shots but interior shots taken at nighttime if not scheduled accordingly could suffer due to limited lighting conditions. 

2. Declutter. It is important that the first impression your photos offer is a mountain of possibilities that please the eye. It is very easy for a viewer to get distracted and disinterested when there is too much going on in the photo. Mess is very distracting. Considering packing up your things sooner than later to open up each space. You can store nicely packed boxes and totes in the basement, at a storage locker or maybe your beloved parents! Tidying makes a huge difference. Things like a messy bed, a massive collection of products in the bathroom, or food and dishes all over the counter and in the sink can turn people off from giving your property the careful consideration it deserves.

3. Remove elements that limit perspective. This can be a bit of a confusing statement and we have often heard clients wonder why removing things from the home matters at all. One of the common tips you will here is to remove photos of you and your loved ones in your home. There are a few reasons for this. 1. a potential home buyer may recognize you and that history can get in the way of people moving forward on putting in an offer on the home of someone they have opinions about 2. You want a buyer to envision themselves and their idea of what a family looks like within that house. 3. Safety. Your home is going to be listed on a wide range of platforms with tons of eyes on it. There will be many people walking throughout your home and as much as we work on safety in the industry you want to limit potential risk to your client by keeping sensitive and personal information about them to an absolute minimum. Consider who the perfect buyer is for your home and remove the elements that take away from their viewing experience. If you are a fan of maximalism you may want to choose to remove pieces and décor that are too loud for the space to speak for itself (remember your stuff is coming with you, make it easier for them to see their personal style in the room),

4. Make sure all light sources have uniform lighting. Even though you are using as much daylight as possible your interior lighting will be on as well. You want all of the bulbs within each space to be the same tone and strength. Go through and make sure that pot lights are all working, decide on cool or warm lighting for each space, and test out each rooms lights before your shoot. 

5. Remove signs of pets in the house. We get that this seems silly and our pets are the sweetest souls, so who cares if someone knows Fluffy has been living his best life in that condo. BUT, pets are a very controversial element in the home buying world. If you have carpets, a potential buyer may already be calculating how many times the floors will need to be shampooed for them to TRULY believe that all signs of cat are gone. 

6. Don't forget about the outside! Take a little bit of time to do a tidy up of the yard. Depending on the season you will want to highlight elements that make the exterior attractive. Clear off porches and decks, tidy up the yard and consider some landscaping, clear out the vehicles from your driveway and parking spaces, hide your garbage, recycling and compost binds from the frames of your shots, set up your entertainment spaces so that they can create a warm and inviting space. 

7. Stage your home. You may have a eye for design so look at carefully organizing and styling only the necessary pieces within their appropriate spaces and remove the rest. Choose elements that compliment the space the are in without distracting the viewer too much. Staging a home is more about creating a feeling within a room than it is about choosing statement pieces and eye catching decor elements. The right styling can help someone scroll through your photos effortlessly impressed and eager to see it in person.

8. Use a high-quality camera. Having a skilled photographer is the first step but if the photographer does not have the appropriate gear, the images that are returned to you may be a bit lack lustre. Opt for a full-frame camera with at least a mid-range zoom lens. A wider lens will likely be needed for tighter spots but be cautious of distortion. You will also want a tripod to help curb any shakey hands and motion getting in the way of taking the shot. 

9. Our top tip - when in doubt hire a professional. Whether it is a photographer, a home stager, landscaper or professional cleaner its okay to outsource work to others. Packing and moving is stressful enough as it is. Your REALTOR will be guiding you through the whole experience, and your photos are the first interaction that buyers are having with your property. It is worth taking the steps necessary to show it off beautifully with the least amount of added stress on you.