- Episode 14 -
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In real estate, those pictures are worth thousands of dollars.
The serenity of the ocean or the majestic mountains encasing every window of the home could mean the difference between a buyer just “wanting” to see the home and the buyer “picturing” themselves in the home. Images bring about emotions and emotions sell homes.
According to market statistics, 92% of all buyers start their home search on the internet and of those surveyed, 95% admitted that they chose the homes to see because of the pictures that were part of the listing. That same statistic-group admitted that if the property didn’t have any photos, or only showed the outside of the building and not the unit for sale, they would normally skip the property and in most cases not even provide it to their agent to research further.
So what makes a picture stand out from all the other thousands of pictures that buyers see while on their house hunting journey?
Besides being a Realtor, I am an award winning “amateur” photographer, and ever since I got my first Polaroid camera when I was 7 I have been snapping shots of everything, including photos of my listings. I try to look for the shots that will put the buyers IN the home – ones that show the balcony overlooking the water, with tag lines that say “imagine having your morning coffee with this view” or an amazing backyard with the pool that screams “Family barbeque anyone?” You want to use the photos to stir up memories of days gone by or of moments yet to come.
I once tried staging a listing around the holidays to center on the kitchen – shots of the huge island in the middle had baking pans and cookies sheets with the caption reading “Can you smell grandma’s chocolate chip cookies coming from the stainless steel oven?” Another time I had an actual shot of a turkey in the oven, and with the oven light on, the description read “Imagine Thanksgiving dinner in your new home?” Both showcased the amazing kitchens, but they also conjured up recollections of those past holiday gatherings and these reflections made the phone ring off the hook.
You never want to portray the home as something it isn’t, like taking a picture of a huge backyard when it doesn’t have one. Or showing a granite countertop when the kitchen in the home has Formica. The pictures have to be real and true to the property because you can’t misrepresent the home – but you can portray it in a way that hits the emotional homerun.
Try shooting night photos from outside looking in where the lights are turned on low. How about a shot of the pool with reflections in the water of the white puffy clouds overhead? Angles from staircases are always popular, especially if they are open to the rooms below. Bright blue skies can be best for the outside shots but what about at dusk when the sky has that beautiful pinkish glow? The ambiance that you portray is priceless.
And whatever you do, always remember to put the toilet lid down when photographing the bathrooms and never, ever shoot yourself in the bathroom mirror!
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›