Pictures are a must-have in any listing. The more photos you have the better your listing will stand out against your competition. Sellers used to use curb appeal to make a good first impression with buyers, but now home buyers are starting their home search online looking at pictures. How a home looks on the internet is now the best way to impress those buyers. Pictures will help them to determine if the home is a good fit for their family.
In a survey by the National Association of Realtors, home buyers rated photos as the feature they use most when searching for a home on the web. Online listings with bad pictures — or worse, no pictures at all – will cause the buyer to rule out your home and move on to other listings.
Some home owners, especially those with higher end properties, opt to hire a professional photographer to get the best shots, or have them design a virtual or 3-d tour. While others choose to take photos themselves. Hiring a professional photographer can run a seller a few hundred dollars, so this option might not work for sellers on a budget.
If you prefer to take a shot at photographing your home yourself, we have put some guidelines down for you.
Tips on Photographing your home
• Use a decent camera. A cell-phone camera won’t cut it if you want quality shots, you want a digital camera with five megapixels or more to produce the best photos.
• Give your home a look over. You want to show off the space, not what’s in the room. Make sure your home is clean, and clear out distracting items like toys, refrigerator magnets, clean off ALL counters in kitchen and bathrooms, making sure all cleaning products and toiletries are put away and out of site. Make sure your toilet seats and lids are down.
• If cleaning off your counters leaves you feeling like your home is looking lifeless, accents like a vase with fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit can zing it up. Open the curtains and turn on all the lights to make a room look bright and spacious. Avoid taking photos on rainy days or at night, for this will not make for great photos. When taking exterior shots, take pictures on a day with an overcast so the sun doesn’t put shadows on your home.
• Choose the best angles in the room. The ideal way to show off a room is to shoot from a corner or entrance and include as much of the room as possible. You want the room to look spacious. Don’t be afraid to move furniture around or remove a piece to get a good picture, you can always put it back after. Be sure when taking photos of your home that your reflection is not showing in any mirrors that maybe in the room. When shooting your home’s exterior, stand at an angle to the home rather than straight-on, allowing buyers to see the home’s depth. Try to avoid photographing objects that obscure your home, like trash cans, the family dog or the kids toys. If the exterior property is large, you may want to think about using a drone to take some pictures or video.
Always keep in mind that there are specific copyright rules that apply to your marketing in print, online and even on social media. Using someone else’s photos or videos without permission can put you at legal risk.
If you took the photo.Then you own the copyright and you can do anything you want with the photo.
If a professional photographer or previous listing agent took the picture, they must give you written permission.
You only have the right to use the photo in the specific ways that the photographer has agreed to even if you have paid them for the job.