Selling property: Tips for a ‘best-selling’ photo shoot
How often have you browsed through property websites or apps and been mesmerised by a photograph so “incredibly awful” you can’t decide whether it was included as a joke or someone had a momentary psychotic breakdown?
“Not all homes are created equal and not all photographers are brimming with talent, but neither factor should ever result in potential buyers’ jaws dropping in appalled astonishment when they set eyes on a property listing for the first time
The easiest way to fix this is to replace the photographer - but more challenging is a home’s interiors.
The main culprits are dirt, clutter and disrepair, but sometimes homeowners spring the “oddest surprises” on photo day, she says, from a sink full of dirty dishes, hairy dog beds to hunting trophies and a ‘stripper pole’.
Many beautiful homes have “dreadful cellphone photos” and given that the majority of buyers start their home searches online, it’s essential to ensure top quality images to “make the perfect first impression”.
“need to say a thousand words” and highlight the best features so a home stands out from the crowd.
“Unprofessional photographs could take thousands off the price and could even cost you a potential sale, because someone who might’ve fallen in love with your home during a viewing didn’t shortlist it based on the unflattering pictures.”
Get your listing noticed
According to Redfin, a US real estate agency, homes with professional photographs taken with a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera get an average of 61% more page views than other equivalent properties - at all price levels. They also have a 47% higher asking price per square metre and are more likely to sell than homes being marketed with unprofessional photographs, particularly luxury homes.Research shows that the quality of listing photos and the expertise of the person taking them impacts on home sales.
JP van der Berg, founder and MD of property search engine app Props can, which offers realtors a platform to showcase their market stock with both photos and 360-degree virtual reality views, says nothing is more important than "spectacular imagery" when reaching out to prospective buyers online - “you have at most three seconds to engage them” before they flip to the next property that matches their search parameters.
Sellers should also check whether the digital marketing channels their agents use are as visually appealing on mobile devices as they are on computer screens, says Van der Bergh.
Image dos and don’ts
There are a few basic image dos and don’ts that’ll offer homeowners the best chance of a quick sale at the best possible price:
- Never allow blurry photos as this gives the impression that sellers don’t take pride in their homes - or worse, they have something to hideFor example,stage a dining room table with superb linen, glassware and crockery fit for the swishest dinner party, which shows the entertainment potential, and make outdoor living spaces pop with bright lounger cushions, complemented by colourful cocktails on side tables.- “As the person who knows your home best, highlight your home’s lifestyle features.
On the flip side, sellers shouldn’t feature too many personal items that could make a home seem uninviting and cluttered.
Visser says to help decide what should stay and what should go - and potentially increase the final sale price achieved on your home - you could consider hiring a professional home stager for the day before the shoot.
Photographer Fiona Barclay-Smith, who specialises in luxury home and architectural shoots, says good lighting is critical for good results. “The right light can make a property look bigger and more attractive. I like to have as many lights on as possible – even in broad daylight as it creates a different atmosphere.”
Visser says personal and valuable items, such as works of art, should be stored safely before a photo shoot.If you are listing an apartment or a townhouse, you should also show photos of community areas, like the pool, gardens or clubhouse.To lighten and brighten up a home for a photo, Barclay-Smith says draw back the curtains, replace heavy draperies with mini blinds, increase the wattage of the bulbs in light fixtures and consider painting the walls in light, neutral colours.
Photographs should be recent, showing the current state of the home, and seasonal photos aren’t the answer either – wintery landscaping being marketed in the middle of summer instantly says your home is stale and has been sitting on the market for ages.
“To give potential buyers a good feel for the home, sequence the photos as a walk-through - from outside the front door, into the entrance hall to the living areas, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. And then show any other areas such as a study, a cinema room or a sunny cour
To ensure that you work with a real estate brand that recognises and values quality, and how they shoot your house will be a good indicator of their general standards.
Author: Property 24