Real Estate Photos(Did you really want the cat in the picture?)

Bad photos of homes for sale can cause the money and effort put into staging the property go to waste – don’t let it happen!

Poorly staged home

Once a home is staged and ready to be listed, it’s time for photos to be taken for marketing materials and, most importantly, the online photo galleries.

And here’s where many homes lose an edge that they should have had.

Briefly – because a picture is worth a thousand words (and there’s a link to ‘before and after’ photos below) here are some mistakes you can see in most online photo galleries:

Top Online Home Photo Gallery Mistakes

1) Not preparing the home sufficiently beforehand, especially by de-cluttering.

De-cluttering is one of the best things you can do to prepare a listing for sale. Remember that the camera adds the proverbial 10 pounds to items in the home too, and when in doubt, remove!

2) Bad photo composition, making rooms look small or boxed in.

The goal is to feature what sells, and these days that means open floor plans. When you’re framing your shot through the camera, keep in mind that the online viewer can see only that, not the surroundings that you’re aware of.

3) No point to the photo – an inexplicable shot of part of a bathroom counter, or of a non-essential room that will never photograph very well.

Some rooms can’t be left out of your online home photo gallery (for example, the kitchen, main living area and master bedroom are key rooms.) But if there’s a secondary room that it’s impossible to get a good shot of, ask yourself which is more likely to turn buyers away: Having the photo, or leaving it out? Often it’s a shot they won’t miss if it’s not there.

4) Photos that accentuate an undesirable feature.

Sometimes agents inadvertently highlight a feature that discourages online viewers. A prime example is a camera view that makes it obvious that a main window looks out onto a neighbor’s unkempt lawn, or that a backyard is low on privacy.

Give the home a chance! Let buyers see the big picture in person, rather than turning them away before the showing ever happens.

5) Using a camera with a too-narrow lens angle. (The standard 35mm lens is not wide enough to take the best interior shots – a 24mm lens gives a much better result.)

No, we’re not talking fish-eye lens here. The fact is, a 24 mm camera view is much more similar to what you see in person than the view through a 35 mm, which makes every room look smaller than it really is.

6) No editing of photos to correct lighting and color imbalances – this is HUGE. It takes quite a bit of time, but is well worth it for the final result.

Nearly every interior photo needs to be lightened, and often color hues need to be shifted in order to correct unrealistic grey, blue or purple tones that resulted from the flash. (All cold colors that tend to be less appealing overall.)

But seeing is believing. Here’s a better photo of the scene we were going for above:

Well staged home
This was taken with a 35 mm camera, not a 24 mm, but just de-cluttering and choosing a good angle for the room composition still made for a great photo that showcased the openness and natural light.

Irene Nash
 

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