In the old days, house hunters would only see a blurry exterior photo of a home before they physically went there with there realtor. Other than the barest details (bedrooms, bathrooms, and square feet), buyers were completely unaware of what awaited them behind the front door. That seems inconceivable today. With 80% of buyers starting their search on the Internet, interior photos are not just expected, but vital to draw people to your listing. We know that lots of folks get real estate photos terribly wrong, but what makes a good photo? Here are some tips to make your home look its best online.
Before You Shoot
Put the camera away. There are some things you need to take care of first.
Pack up all the extra stuff on the surfaces of your home. From kitchen counters to coffee tables, every surface should be cleared. Don’t forget the refrigerator door! You may also want to pare down your furniture, too. The goal is to make your home look spacious and airy. If you feel like your home looks too bare, a vase of fresh flowers can add some freshness without distracting from your home.
Clean Like the Queen is Coming
Or in my case, like your mother is visiting. It is time to deep clean your home. Steam the carpets, wash the walls and windows, and scrub scrub scrub! This may be a good time to call in a professional cleaning service.
Time to Take Pictures
Okay, your home is looking good, it’s time to photograph it in all its glory!
Put the iPhone DOWN
This is not the time to take pictures with your phone. Use a decent digital camera or borrow a DSLR from a friend. While you’re at it, pick up a cheap tripod. Using one will make your photos sharper and more professional looking.
Let the Sunshine In
Try to photograph your home on a sunny day. Pull back the shades, open doors, and turn on every light. Using as much natural light as possible will make your home look bright and inviting. Avoid using the flash on you camera, which can create dark shadows.
Pick the Best Angles
Most rooms look best when you photograph them from a corner or a doorway. Put your camera up high so you can get the entire room in the frame. Taking photos of one room from multiple angles can help buyers understand the layout of your house. When you photograph the front of your home, do so from a slight angle instead of head-on. Don’t be afraid to include some detail shots, too. If you have original crystal doorknobs, a stained glass window, or any other feature that would impress buyers.
Time to Edit
You’ve probably got dozens of pictures now. Time to narrow them down and fix them up.
Choose The Best
You should try to end up with about 20-30 photos of your home to post online. I would say that more is generally better, but if you choose a few pictures of each area of your home, including the exterior and basement, you will probably end up with around 25.
Edit Photos Lightly
You may need to brighten your pictures, or crop them to make them look better, but never do something that will mislead the buyer. So, no Photoshopping out a crack in the basement, or a telephone pole in front of your home. Buyers will not be happy if they feel deceived, and they’ll be hesitant to go into contract with a less-than-honest seller.
We post listing information and photos on all the top real estate websites to make sure that buyers can easily find them. Make sure your realtor has access to lots of different sites so that your property can be seen (and purchased)!