Does professional photography for real estate listings really matter ?

Living Room Comparison

Many high-end home sellers and renters spend a significant amount of money on remodeling and staging their property before putting it up for sale or rent to attract potential home buyers / renters and to get the highest price possible.  However, a significant percentage of properties do not reach their full selling potential due to lack luster photos taken by non-professionals.

High impact real estate photos play an important role in catching the eye of discerning home buyers / renters and increasing interest while maximizing return on investment. According to research from the National Association of Realtors in 2011, more than 88% of the country uses the Internet to search for homes, and users ranked photos as the most important part of their search. The quality of the images is the most important determining factor second only to home buying criteria such as price range, square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Furthermore, a research study done by Redfin (a real estate company) came up with the following conclusion regarding listings with images shot with a DSLR camera:

  • Receive an average of 61% more views than their peers across all price tiers.
  • Have a 47% higher asking price per square foot.
  • Have an increased likelihood of selling for homes priced above $300,000.

As illustrated in the graph below, the increased sale price of the home more than covers the cost of a professional photography session which can range from $100 – $600.

With the proliferation of internet connected devices, potential home buyers are now viewing and sharing listings on mobile phones, tablets and large screen HD television sets. Accordingly, your pictures need to be crystal clear and sharp.

Most MLS websites are limited to 15 images per listing within which to convey the essence of a property to a potential buyer / renter and to make it a serious contender. Therefore, the images need to be of the highest quality. Professional photographers specializing in real estate photography can help in the following ways:

  1. Using a DSLR camera with wide/ultra wide angle lenses in constrained spaces can help increase your options of good angles to showcase more of the room in a single photo. An experienced photographer who specializes in real estate photography will know the best angles and height to shoot from to draw the eye to important features of the room.

  2. Proper lighting is essential for outstanding images. Exposing bright areas such as windows and dimly lit interiors in the same shot can be challenging due to the limitations of cameras. This challenge can be solved by setting up diffused lighting or creating a composite of multiple images shot at various exposure levels of the same scene using High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques in using image editing software.

  3. An adept photographer is skilled at post processing images to straighten walls, remove lens distortion, adjusting brightness and contrast and optimizing the overall look of the image for viewing on digital screens and print.

Exterior ComparisonThe aforementioned skill set allows for capturing a superior quality exterior shot of the house. This is critical as this is the determining factor as to whether a potential home buyer will look at your listing or not.

In addition, once a potential home buyer has toured the home, they will most likely return to the online listing to look at the pictures of the homes on their shortlist. Subsequently these images could play a crucial role in a home buyer making their final selection.

In conclusion, hiring a professional real estate photographer who can make your real estate listing stand out is a wise investment in your property’s future.

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1 Comment

  1. Ashley
    May 14, 2013 at 2:44 am — 

    Well done! Very informative.

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