2015 National Association of Realtors® Survey

When selling a home, the importance of quality photographs cannot be overstated. We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. But in real estate, quality pictures are crucial. It could mean the difference between “Deal or No Deal.” With 87% of home buyers using the Internet to search for a home, good photos are to home sales today what curb appeal used to be: the place where fi rst impressions are made. Let’s hope it’s a good impression! REALTORS® are great at helping sellers market their home. But, what if they are using poor quality photos? What does this say about the seller’s home and the REALTOR®? Less than flattering pictures can turn a buyer off, but good photos grab people’s attention and make a good impression. Not only do professional pictures say something about the property, it says something about the REALTORS®.

With the majority of home buyers searching for properties online, many real estate agents are, or maybe should be, pouring more resources into online marketing and virtual tours. According to NAR 2015 Survey, For 42 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale, while 14 percent of buyers first contacted a real estate agent. Among buyers who used the Internet during their home search, 87 percent of buyers found photos and 84 percent found detailed information about properties for sale very useful 85% used a real estate agent, 62% yard signs, 48% attended open houses, and 47% looked at print or newspaper ads.

In today’s competitive real estate market, REALTORS ® need to differentiate themselves from the competition. Professional photos and virtual tours are key to a great presentation, and they make it easier for the buyer’s agent to sell your listing. With buyers looking for excuses to cross homes off their list, bad photos and poor presentations basically drive traffic to the agents who “get it.”

How Get The Best Results From Your Photos

Important Steps for the Most Successful Photographs.

For the best photos and video to highlight your home or listing, keeping these tips in mind will earn more money in eventual sales price.  It is a good reminder that the Realtor should inform the sellers of the photographer arrival so that the home will be ready to shoot. 

We understand it is important to have photos available once the property is placed on the MLS, so please consider this when scheduling the photography shoot. 

Before the Appointment

Desired on Market Date:

It is in your sellers’ best interest to have photos or videos ready as soon as the home goes on the market.  The photos will be delivered in a prompt manner once the property has been photographed.  If the Realtor or seller is looking for same day photo delivery, this is an available service for an additional fee.  It is recommended that if a video is being produced for the home, those require a 48 hour turnaround time. 

Patience with the Weather:

Best laid plans can go south due to a changing weather forecast.  Also check the forecast ahead of time and give the photographer as much notice as possible if you and or your sellers want to reschedule.  Check forecasts here: http://www.weather.gov/

The Home and the Sun:

It is important to remember which direction your home faces the sun so that the photographer can get the best photographs!

Home faces north – Morning is best for north facing homes because the front of the home is covered in shadows most of the day.

Home faces south – The front exterior should have good sunlight for most of the day if the home faces south.

Home faces east – East facing homes are better in the morning or early afternoon while the sun is on the front side of the home.

Home faces west – West facing homes are better in the early afternoon once the sun reaches the front side of the home. 

Trash Pickup Schedule:

Trash cans and debris in front of the home will not make it attractive in photographs.  Please refer to this website to find out what day is trash pickup for the sellers home so that the day can be avoided.  http://www.wmr.saccounty.net/Pages/Curbside-Garbage-Collection.aspx

Contractor Schedules or Delays:

Confirm work is completed prior to the photo appointment.  It is recommended that a cleaning service is used after work is completed to remove dust, clean windows and glass surfaces and remove any footprints.  

Gardener / Exterior:

Ask the seller if there is a regularly scheduled gardener or pool cleaning service.  What day and time do they normally service the property and how long does it take? It is a good rule of thumb to schedule a photo shoot shortly after their work is completed.

Housekeeping / Staging Schedules:

If the home is to be professionally staged or cleaned, please make sure you find out when their services will be completed.  Sometimes staging a home can take multiple days, so it is usually not a good idea to schedule the staging and photography on the same day. 

Loose Ends:

It makes good business sense and saved time to make sure any residential or commercial property is ready to be photographed.  It is not the photographer responsibility to clean, remove garbage, debris or clutter.  If a property is not ready for photos or there are situations of an unresponsive homeowner, aggressive animals on the premises, an agent no-show or missing/incorrect gate code or lockbox information: the appointment will need to be rescheduled and there could be a rescheduling fee.