When I was a kid there was a common phrase, “Photos never lie.” This was of course before Photoshop existed. The meaning was clear, if you saw a photo of something, you could believe it was a truthful representation of what existed in reality.
Like me, you probably haven’t heard that phrase in years. We are so used to photos being manipulated these days that there is now a popular hashtag online called #NoFilter. It’s now so unusual to NOT manipulate your photos, people brag about it.
Where am I going with all this? Well, selling your home has become an online beauty pageant. Prospective buyers now scan through hundreds, if not thousands of photographs online before they end up buying.
Online dating has created “swipe culture” and that mentality has crept its way into buying and selling houses. Our goal is to be the home that people “Swipe Right” on. 😉 Just like in online dating, almost no one reads the description if they’re not attracted to the photo first.
I would argue that great photos are among the most important assets there are for selling a home. Great photos can make an average home look great and a great home look amazing. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s becoming more and more common to see aerial drone photos, 3-D walk through photos and even elaborate videos with music and motion graphics.
A great real estate photographer can really make your listing sing, and put a lot more money in your pocket.
This is where all your hard work decluttering, cleaning, and staging will really reap some rewards. Great photos will result in more traffic online, more home tours, and statistically a higher asking price. Real Estate photography specialists know exactly where to put the camera to make each room look big and inviting.
The other thing we focus on is making sure that the reality of the home meets the expectations of buyers when they come for a tour.
There is nothing worse than seeing what appears to be an amazing property online only to show up and realize it was all smoke and mirrors.
While we strive to make our photos of your home as good as they possibly can be, we stop short of fabricating things that aren’t really true about the home. I’ve seen listings where photographers change the color of walls, patch holes in the floor, and there is even “virtual staging” now. Someone on a computer inserts high-end virtual furniture and artwork into listing photographs.
When buyers show up for a tour, they walk into an empty house. It’s a huge let down and usually has the opposite of the intended effect on buyers – they leave the place very angry and disappointed.
Of course you want to correct for color and brighten up an image before it’s published. We’ll even throw a virtual fire into a fireplace, but we strive to have people fall in love online, and then feel like it’s even better once they come inside for a tour.
Make no mistake about it, photography is your listing’s best friend.
The next step in the selling department is equally important. How do you take all of these elements and successfully market your listing?
Ron Upshaw is a Licensed Agent at
Windermere Real Estate Midtown
1920 North 34th Street
Seattle, WA 98103