According to statistics, nearly 90% of homebuyers will look for property online before using any other method. This means that in today’s age of modern technology and digital shopping, a home’s online listing photo has become one of the most important marketing tools in trying to sell your property, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“A beautiful home could easily be overlooked if the photo of the property is a bad quality image that does not show the property in the best possible light. As the first impression of the property, it is extremely important that the photos highlight the home’s best features and draws the buyer’s attention for the right reasons,” says Goslett. “Buyers are not likely to want to see more of a property if they don’t like what they see in the initial photos, so sellers who want the best chance of selling their home need to ensure that they are happy with the images used when listing the property for sale.”
Goslett notes that while not everyone is a professional photographer, most people will be able to see a bad photo and know that it is not communicating the right image or portraying the home’s best qualities. “When looking at the images of their home, sellers should try to look at them objectively as if they are looking at the property from a potential buyer’s perspective. They need to ask the questions: If I saw this picture would I want to see more and would I want to live in this home? Do the photos capture all the drawcards of the home or do they simply make me want to move on to the next property?”
For the best possible photographs, sellers can get their home camera ready before the pictures are taken.
Goslett provides a few pointers for sellers to ensure that their home is ready and the photos are aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers:
Make sure the home is tidy and clean
The first step is to make sure that beds are made and there are no dirty dishes in sink. These things will draw attention away from the home and reflect poorly on the home’s image. High resolution photos may also show evidence of dirt that may otherwise be overlooked, so it is best to thoroughly clean areas that will be photographed. Homeowners should pay particular attention to reflective surfaces that easily show marks and streaks.
De-clutter and remove personal items
By simply removing unnecessary or personal items from the home the photos will be more focused on the home’s features and less on the seller. Goslett notes that sellers should pack away what they are not using and clear away everyday items that could make the photos too cluttered. The objective is to have the home seem as if it is ready to move into.
If possible remove bulky furniture
Removing large pieces of furniture will make the rooms appear larger and will allow the potential buyer to focus on what the home has to offer and not on the items inside of it. A minimal, simple look is best.
Don’t just focus on the inside of the home
When getting the home ready it is important to give attention to the outside of the home as well as the inside. Homeowners need to ensure that their lawn is mowed and the landscaping has been manicured. Clear the garden of any refuse and pack away garden tools or toys from the lawn. When photos are taken of the outside of the home, avoid vehicles in the pictures where possible.
Consider the time of day the photos are taken
An overcast rainy day could make the property look dark and uninviting so rather take the photos on a sunny day with good light. The ideal time to take the photos is either in the early morning or late afternoon. This will ensure good lighting, but not the harsh brightness of the midday hours that could leave the photos appearing colourless and flat. When taking photos of the inside and the outside of the home, ensure that the lights are turned on as this will provide extra lighting and enhance the details seen in the photos.
Shoot some test photos
In today’s digital camera age, homeowners can take a few shots and review them to see how they look. This way tweaks can be made to ensure that all the photos are exactly how the homeowner wants them before the property is listed.
Ideally use a professional
If possible, it is better to have the photos taken by a professional photographer or a real estate agent with good quality camera equipment.
“Having high quality visual images of a property has become a vital element in the marketing plan for successful sales transactions. The photos of the property can directly impact how the home is perceived and whether potential buyers will be willing to take the next crucial step. Making the effort to get it right will pay off and assist the homeowner to sell their property in a reasonable period of time,” says Goslett.
This article “How to Use a Pic of Your Property as a Marketing Tool” was issued by RE/MAX of Southern Africa.