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5 Common Photo Mistakes in Real Estate

Let’s face it. There are many, many homes for sale at any given time. Standing out from the crowd requires a variety of factors, but perhaps the most important factor is the way a home shows in photographs. According to the 2009 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, fully “97% of homebuyers who searched for a home on the Internet found photos to be among the most useful features.”

All of this means that you are playing a numbers game when marketing a home on the Internet.  The more potential buyers who come to look at a home, the faster you’ll sell that home.  How do you get more buyers?  Make the home look more appealing.  Here are five commonly found mistakes in MLS photos that are keeping you from getting through the doors of your listings:

  1. Photographs aren’t straight
    The buyer can’t tell whether it’s you or the home that’s crooked.  Keep vertical lines vertical!
  2. Photo doesn’t show enough of the room
    That point and shoot camera you’re using, or worse yet, the iPhone you’re using for a camera doesn’t have a lens with a wide enough angle of view.
  3. There are pets or pet accessories in the photo
    Plenty of buyers see animals or animal accessories in a photo and instantly think of their allergies or how the home may smell less than fresh.  Do you really want them to eliminate your home from their search?
  4. Rooms that are a mess
    Messy rooms indicate lazy behavior and neglect.  Potential buyers then wonder, what else have the current owners neglected?  Has the maintenance been kept current?  Is the roof leaking?  Is there possibly an HVAC issue?  A clean photograph says that the owners were respectful and on top of things in maintaining their home.
  5. Too much or too little flash
    In the first situation, it’s hard to tell whether a nuclear blast has gone off and made everything white or is attempting to hide something.  In the second, a potential buyer wonders whether they’ll be living in a cave.  Neither is good.

I’ll discuss how to solve some of these issues in future postings.  Until then, there is a very simple solution.  Hire a professional.  Your client has hired you, because you know how to quickly sell their home for top dollar.  They’ve also hired you to know when to bring in someone who knows who to photograph their home and make it look like the next buyer’s dream home.

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