Selling a home these days means that it has to be marketed through the internet. And for the home to be sticky on the internet, photography is very important. The Los Angeles Times had a great post on photographing homes for the web. I have culled some of the best advice and added some of my own to create the:
Top 10 Tips For Photographing a Home For Sale:
- Use a tripod. It provides steadiness and allows you to operate your digital camera’s controls — specifically, shooting interiors at a slower speed.
- Strive for even lighting. Professionals use strobe lights to brighten the dark spots. One of the mistakes that amateur photographers make is to shut all the blinds and turn on every artificial light in the room. This creates “halos” around each lamp. Don’t shoot when sunlight is streaming in from the windows. And use the flash on the camera to even things out.
- Remove all clutter. Also remove all personal photos. The goal is to have potential buyers envision themselves living in your house; your family’s photos interfere with that process.
- Wet down the brick patio and concrete pool surround to avoid it being too bright in the photo. Wetting it down also brings out the rich color in the brick.
- Don’t be afraid of the shade. Gardens look richer when they aren’t shot in the blazing sun.
- Leave no detail unattended. Tape the folds of the dining room tablecloth so it doesn’t pucker out. Position chairs uniformly (about 1 foot) from the table’s edge.
- Shooting a pool presents special challenges because of the reflective nature of the water. Use a flash and try your shot in late afternoon or early morning.
- Change the Perspective for exterior shots. If you shoot the home from the traditional front on shot, it is generic. Be creative and make the pictures memorable.
- Consider using a software program such as Photoshop to touch things up. It is a way to eliminate telephone and electric wires. Ditto for punching up colors and obscuring some less desirable elements.
- Tell a story. Your photo’s still may not win awards but the key thing is to create an impression that this house will be someones home. Remember the end in mind, the goal of every picture is to sell the home. Even if you use an outside photographer, tell them the idea’s you want to get across and the target market.
Take your camera every time you visit the home. Nobody said that the photo’s you put up on the site have to remain forever. If you see a great shot that shows off the home, take it and change out the pictures. Small improvements lead to great results.
Bonus Tip 2:
Play with the video on your digital camera. Most have it and you may be surprised with the results. Video is becoming more and more accepted and can tell a richer story to prospective buyers. Think I am nuts, then watch Doug Quance’s video on pouring the foundation and basement of a home being built. It may not be exciting, but over the next 5 years this video will probably be watched 1,000 times by prospective sellers and buyers who will learn from the great attention to detail. Not a bad investment for Doug or for you if you get motivated to make your own.
So today you have 12 new ideas for photographing the homes you are marketing. They are fairly easy and most come from top photographers in the field. If you are selling homes and marketing them on the internet, photographs are your best friend. Get out of the mindset of minimalist classified advertising and make your website rich in information. Big photographs, soaring descriptions, and educational video’s will turn your moribund internet efforts into stellar results.