Do Professional Photos Matter When Selling Your Home?

Real Estate agents have different strengths and weaknesses.  Some agents are great at getting referrals, others are great at pricing homes, marketing, negotiating or managing the transaction, among other things.   Depending on the situation, any or all of these things could be important for a homeowner in determining a good fit  as they search for a listing agent to sell their home.

Which brings us to one very important aspect of evaluating a listing agent- do they provide professional photos?  And, do professional photos matter when selling your home?  In my opinion, professional photos are one of the most important pieces of putting together an effective marketing plan.  Let’s start by thinking about how you’ll get people in the door to see your home.

As you can see in the chart below, the internet is the primary source buyers use in today’s market…

Importance of internet home search

 

Why do professional photos matter?

Whether it’s national portals like Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com, or local sites like ours at Kayfisherandassociates.com, the first showing you’ll get will be online.   It drives me crazy to see a home with photos that are dark, obviously taken with the agent’s phone, and some even with the LIGHTS OFF!!!  Come on agents, at least turn the lights on!  I can’t imagine a world where I would think that’s o.k. as an agent.  Knowing how many potential buyers will just click through to the next listing makes me sick for these sellers who probably have no idea how many showings they are missing.

Professional real estate photographers know how to get the right angle and get the best lighting to capture the true feel of the room.  They also use a wide angle lens, which brings more of the room into the frame, making it look larger online while also showing more features of the home.  Your agent may be the best negotiator in the world or the best at working relationships, or even the agent with the most market knowledge of anyone around.  But in today’s world, buyers want to see high quality photos when looking at homes online.  Don’t give it to them and you suffer with less showings and as a result, a lower amount of offers.

In the end, the proof is in the results.  Here are a few examples of the same spaces, amateur vs professional photos:

Amateur kitchen photo

 

Professional kitchen photo

 

Amateur bath photo

 

Professional bath photo

 

Amateur photo great room

 

Professional photo great room

As you can see, the difference between amateur and professional photos is stunning!

What if I’m in a hot market or neighborhood, do professional photos still matter?

What if you are in a hot neighborhood where homes are selling in just a few days and prices are going up constantly?  I say that’s all the more reason to have an agent willing to provide professional photos.  The more bodies that walk in your door, the more potential buyers will see your home in person and fall in love with it.  And, if you get more showings, you’ll naturally get more offers.

Our marketing, with professional photos, has provided proven results for our sellers.  We are able to pull showing reports for our sellers from our local MLS showing service.  Using these reports, we were able to determine recently that one of our sellers was getting up to 7 times the average number of showings for their price point and location!

What’s the takeaway?

So, the takeaway is this…  No matter how good your agent is at other aspects of their job, if they don’t offer professional photos, they are not focusing on what matters for sellers in today’s market.  Regardless of the local market conditions, your affinity for the agent or the fact that everyone in the neighborhood uses them, you’ll simply get less showings.  Period.  That will result in a lower amount of potential buyers coming through the door and in the end, possibly a lower sales price.

Now that you know how crucial it is to have professional photos, keep in mind that doing things right takes time.  Be sure to allow time for your agent to arrange for professional photos.  They will be worth the wait and definitely result in more showings and hopefully a quick sale!

 

Posted by: Brian Fisher, Realtor®, Kay Fisher and Associates

 

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