Home Selling

Are Your Listing Photos Scaring Off Buyers?

Listing photos should draw buyers in—not scare them away.

If you’ve ever done an online search for homes, then you’ve seen these photos. You know the ones: pictures so cringeworthy you wonder how they even got approved in the first place. A bad photo can stop prospective buyers in their tracks. Once they see something they don’t like, they’ll quickly move onto the next house. So what can you do to ensure your pictures are not deterring buyers? Here are a few ideas.

Before You Take Pictures

Invest in Curb Appeal

The front of your home is the first thing buyers see. Make a great impression by keeping it in tip-top shape for photos. Whether it’s trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn, cutting down tree branches, or even fixing pavers, implementing these small changes will make a huge difference in your home’s appeal. 

Clean Up Your Spaces

If you want visitors to truly appreciate your house, make sure there’s nothing to distract them. Piles of clothes, unmade beds, and messy areas can easily detract from your home’s beauty. Additionally, dirty marks on the carpets or walls can make the house look less than ideal. Make sure you dedicate time to declutter, organize, and clean up your place as much as possible before taking pictures.

Light It Up

Dark, dingy photos are your worst enemy. While you may not mind living in a darker space, most people are turned off by dark photos because: 1) it’s harder to tell exactly what you’re looking at; 2) it makes your home look less clean; and 3) it feels like you are trying to hide something. Do your home a favor and open the shades before you take photos. If your home still isn’t bright enough, it’s time to invest in a few lamps to brighten up the space.

Home Photography Tricks

Use a Good Camera

While you don’t need a professional-grade camera to take make a good impression, having a good quality camera matters. While photos from a low quality camera may look good on a small screen, they’ll come out more pixelated once they’re blown up on a computer screen. Your best bet is to opt for a high quality point and shoot camera or a newer smartphone with a high quality camera on it.

Get the Right Angle

Make the most out of your photos by shooting from the angle that shows as much of the room as possible. This typically means shooting from about chest height in order to get the best shot. In addition, taking pictures from the doorway or corner of the room is an easy way to ensure you’re showing the most space in each shot. Also, be sure to shoot more than just one wall. Getting two–or ideally three–walls in a shot will add dimension to your space and give it an airy feeling viewers will appreciate. 

Shoot in Daylight

While it may be more convenient to take photos of your home right after work, we don’t advise taking photos at night time. As mentioned above, having enough lighting is crucial to getting a great shot. Taking photos at night while only using artificial light will detract from your home’s brightness. In addition, a photo with a dark window may subconsciously feel more negative than a window with a blue sky. It’s better not to risk it.

Still Not Confident?

Hire a Professional

If you’re short on time or not confident in your skills, hiring a professional real estate photographer could be the way to go. While it costs a little more upfront, a professional photographer will know the angles that show off your home and appeal to your buyers’ eyes. Plus, hiring an expert will give you more time to focus on other aspects of the home selling process.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to invest time into making sure your home is photo ready. The pictures on your listing make all the difference. 

Selling your home? Check out our home selling tips.

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Raquel Guarino

Raquel Guarino is a writer for Realty.com and Help.com. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.

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