Wondering how to choose a home stager? It all starts with asking the right questions,…
You’ve done the decluttering, created curb appeal, and turned your house into a dream home with smart staging—now make sure your listing photos sell with these top tips.
Buyers today typically spend hours browsing real estate listings, searching for the perfect home-to-be. And, invariably, the most desirable listings have jaw-dropping photos. Their photos make prospective buyers eager to get a closer look (and even put in offers without stepping foot in the house)!
Not only do homes using amateurish snapshots look like their sellers are less serious, they raise doubts about the house itself.
Prospective buyers start to wonder if there are other things about the house that are not quite up to par or properly maintained. These four tips will help remove any doubts about YOUR home, and make sure your listing photos sell as hard as possible.
1. Get the light right
We process a great deal more with our eyes than we’re aware of, as our brains are editing and zooming in all the time. In setting up and taking the right listing photos, it’s important to guide the eye—and that starts with the right lighting.
Do whatever you can to fill the rooms with as much natural light as possible—like these photos from Jeannene Matthews at JR Photography—this will help them look more expansive, and more welcoming.
Yellower or darker paint tones will tend to look dingy and blah in photos (that’s one reason we recommend brighter and/or whiter shades in staging). See our recent post for more detail on lighting your home for showings.
And don’t forget the simple things:
- turn on lights indoors and out;
- remove window screens (which make windows look dirty);
- and be sure your windows really have a squeaky, no-streak, clean finish.
TIP: If you can get your hands on some of that old stuff called “newspaper” (LOL), that’s a cleaner’s secret tip for giving windows a final polish. If not, try Armor-All auto glass cleaner, or Method window cleaner.
2. Feature the “features”
Part of the art of staging is guiding prospective buyers’ eyes to what we want them to see (and potentially minimizing the impact of less-beautiful attributes). As noted above, photos should do similar work.
Ensure feature elements of a room or setting are focal points in your photos too: a beautiful window wall, attractive fireplace, unique architectural detailing, or stunning outdoor entertainment area should pop from the screen as people scroll.
Sometimes this can be achieved by lighting (or reflectors in conjunction with lighting); other times it’s by how the shot is framed.
Your photographer will most likely bring some great ideas, and its especially helpful at this part of the process for him or her to have an opportunity to work closely with your whole real estate team on the home’s selling game plan.
3. Choose the right day and time
Do your best to schedule the shoot on a bright, but not necessarily cloudless day. While thick cloud cover and/or rain will convey a gloomy look, harsh sunlight isn’t ideal either because it can create deep shadows.
That’s also why the TIME of day matters. Have your photographer scope out the home in advance, if possible. Then, together, try to firm up the shoot day and time with the help of a good weather app, like Dark Sky or your local weather source.
Sometimes a beautiful sunset can add a lovely look, because it could catch someone’s eye in the feed, but that can also overwhelm the home itself. Be sure your final shots help people fall in love by asking for a few clear, bright, “life is beautiful here” shots where the home is the undisputed centerpiece.
4. Go wide (but not too wide)
Chances are good you’ll be working with a professional photographer. Those we work with typically recommend a zoom lens that can capture 16-24mm.
That range offers an all-encompassing perspective to best capture what viewers would likely see in person. (Note that the lens may vary depending on the camera being used, too. If you’re into that sort of techy detail, here’s a good article that goes into it in more detail.)
When you’re in an area like Raleigh-Durham, where there’s a particularly high number of out-of-town buyers searching for a house, you might also consider a 3D video tour. This is a really effective way to showcase your home, and give people an experience that’s the next best thing to being there.
To make sure your listing photos sell… put your best foot forward
When you’re selling your home, that (ahem!) First Impression, makes all the difference. Researchers have discovered why: it turns out that once we see something we like, our brains aim to find reasons to prove us right and back up our initial reaction!
So declutter, create curb appeal, get your home professionally staged, and make sure your listing photos sell! And for those in the NC-area, we’ve partnered with JR Photography to offer a high-value package to help you put your home’s best foot forward. We’d love to be part of your home-selling team!