If you are thinking about selling your house, you are also thinking about buying another house! And, if you are like most of my clients, you are probably looking at houses on sites like Zillow! And you probably know those bad listing photos when you see them!
So if you are thinking of putting your house on the market, you want to make sure that potential buyers of your house won't look at the photos of your home and click off your home within seconds!
Over the many years I have been a Realtor, I have seen so many photo fails by sellers and their agents! So if you are thinking of selling your house, but you really don't want to hire a professional photographer to come in, make sure your pictures don't have these photo mistakes in them!
BLURRY AND LOW QUALITY PHOTOS! Nothing leaves a worst impression on a potential buyer than to see a house that is blurry or the photo quality is very low! Many phones will do a good high resolution picture or you can pick up a good quality camera for not a lot of money! Hiring a professional is always best - remember, most buyers are looking online before they even decide to visit your home, so having high quality, crisp pictures is the first step to making sure a potential buyer will come to your house!
Buyers want to be able to see themselves in your home! They shouldn't need to have a flashlight on to see your home's features! But if the lighting on the picture is very dark, a buyer may think there is something wrong with the house, or you are trying to hide features of the house! When taking the picture, make sure the windows & blinds are open, the curtains are drawn back and the lights are on! You may also want to increase the wattage of the light bulbs!
TOO MUCH CLUTTER, JUNK & PERSONAL ITEMS!
When buyers are looking at your home online, you want them to envision how they can live there - you really don't want them to look at your personal pictures that are still up on the wall, or your children's art work still on the refrigerator! Too much stuff in the room distracts from your home's features! Before the pictures are taken, go through the house room by room and make sure that, if you were the buyer, you would be able to see the best features of that room!
PETS IN THE PHOTOS!
I am a pet lover and so I get that pets are your family! But you really don't want them in the pictures of your house - it will definitely distract buyers from looking at what your home has to offer! And if a buyer has an animal allergy, they may not even want to come into your house! So make sure the pets are not part of the pictures you put online!
LOTS OF CLOSE UPS!
In our MLS, we can put in as many as 50 pictures. But you certainly do not want to have a majority of those pictures be things like the close up of the patch of grass in the back yard, or a picture of the refrigerator (unless it is an extremely high end refrigerator). The pictures should be emphasizing the features and rooms in your house, not everyday home items!
SEASONAL OR OUTDATED PICTURES!
If you are listing your home in July, you really don't want the Christmas decorations in the pictures! Likewise, if you are listing around Christmas, and you want to put pictures of your home decorated for Christmas, make sure that the pictures are redone again after the Christmas decor is taken down!
NOT ENOUGH PHOTOS!
As I mentioned before, our MLS allows us to have up to 50 pictures in our listings. Even if the house is small, or it is a condo or townhome, make sure you take as many pictures as possible! If you can't get to 50 pictures, perhaps taking pictures of the neighborhood, the amenities in the neighborhood, parks in the nearby area, even the schools that kids in the neighborhood attend! Make sure you take enough pictures for a buyer to know your home and what it has to offer!
MARKETING A HOUSE NOT A LIFESTYLE!
Yes, buyers are going to buy the house, but each house offers a lifestyle for particular buyers. For instance, if you are in the city one of the things that many buyers like is the walkability of many of the neighborhoods, the charm of the older houses in the city. For many buyers who have children, they may want to be in a community where there are amenities and other children in the neighborhood. Make sure that the pictures you put on the listing reflect the house, the neighborhood and the lifestyle the buyer will be getting!
FEATURING THINGS THAT CAN MAKE A HOMEOWNER TARGETS OF THIEVES!
If you have priceless works of art, or you have a high end car, having pictures of that in a photo going out on the internet may make you a target of thieves! If you have important financial documents, make sure those do not show up in the pictures!
NO EXTERIOR PHOTOS!
I can't believe that I would have to mention this, but I have seen a number of listings that are on the market but there is not one picture of the exterior of the house! Listing photos should let the buyer tour your house before they actually tour it in person - and that tour should begin outside at the front and end outside in the back!
TOO MANY PHOTOSHOP EDITS!
As an amateur photographer, I love Photoshop. But when you are taking photos of the house, you really need to make sure that the photos reflect the house as it is! There is a time to use photoshop I think - if you have a house that is in need of renovation, you could photoshop the pictures to show what the house could look like! But make sure you have appropriate comments telling buyers that!
DON'T HAVE TIMESTAMPS ON THE PHOTOS!
A timestamp is the fastest way to let buyers know that the photos they are looking at are not the most current pictures of the house!
Bathrooms are hard to photograph - they are small and there are mirrors in them! The worst photos I have seen is when someone is standing right at the door, with the phone up to their face taking a picture and the flash goes off and is reflected in the bathroom mirror! Or you see a picture of a bathroom - but all you see is the toilet, with the seat up, with fuzzy toilet seat and tank covers and matching carpet and a full garbage can next to it! Please don't do this - toilet seat should be down, garbage can removed, toilet seat covers & matching rugs gone!
These are the things I think make listing photos fail - and don't help when you are selling your home! I would love to hear about any bad MLS photos you have seen online!
Have questions? Thinking about selling your home? Let me know how I can help!