Sometimes the smallest mistakes can cost dearly. This is particularly true, financially speaking, of your home-sale listing. There are many houses on the market, and if you want to sell yours quickly, you had better stand out.
Assuming you have got your pricing and marketing right, you should be getting lots of open house requests, right? Well, this is surely the case, as long as buyers feel drawn enough to come and see your house "in person."
In contrast to the 80s and 90s, open houses are often attended by people who already know your house very well and are seriously considering buying it. This is because the initial tour-de-la-maison usually takes place online. It is therefore absolutely necessary that you upload the best possible pictures of your house onto MLS and other online listing services.
The Online Era
Today's web-happy buyers need to be catered to accordingly. To entice them to take the effort to drive up to your property, you need to share with ample imagery of what you are offering. They want to get an understanding of your house from the photos, see whether there is anything that sets your house apart from the others, and sense that they would feel good living in the house.
Crazy Hills of San Francisco by Håkan Dahlström
To let your buyers experience all this, you must serve them high-quality and relevant images. Sloppy pictures automatically take points away from the house in the eyes of your buyers.
If you are taking the pictures with your own camera, make sure they are high-resolution, highly detailed, and properly lit. Your agent should have plenty of experience taking flattering pictures of homes. Make sure to engage her or him in the process and have her or him advise and assist you.
Take exterior photos from angles that do justice to the house and show it in the best light. Try to avoid all obstacles that might obscure the actual house and take your pictures from a distance so that the entire building fits into a single image where possible.
House in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay by iAudioguide
Do not post blurry photos or photos in which the backlight wipes out all colour from the foreground objects. If your front door faces westward, wait until the afternoon to take a snap of that side of the house. Do not take images of your house on a rainy day unless there is a huge rainbow, or you are asking for trouble.
Interior photos can be much trickier than exterior photos. This is because most rooms in the house are so small that one can hardly find a spot from where the entire room can be photographed. Wide-angle lenses are helpful if you have a choice.
Lighting is crucial when photographing inside. It is best to take pictures during the day, with uncovered windows, when there is enough light inside of the house. A quality flash is a must for cupboards, garages, and storage rooms, or even if you have dark furniture or walls.
If your lights and lamps combined with the flash are not enough to make for an appealing photo, consider using a portable high-power light source with a light diffuser. This more advanced technique may be the only way you can show the beauty of your dark-walled and spacious dining room to the world.
When you are aggregating data to put together an MLS or online listing, do not use old pictures of your house. Pictures from the era when the house was customized by you and your family are usually too personal.
It is especially inadvisable to use pictures with other people in them, or those that display your own items in the house. Your ancestors' portraits hanging on the walls do not belong in a presentational photo, especially if you are not selling them with the house.
Make sure that flowers and other decorations do not stand in the way of a good photo, but rather compliment the ambiance of each room. Avoid reflections in windows, mirrors, and cupboard doors and unappealing shadows of the furniture or people hiding from the camera. Animals are also not a great subject.
Whenever you must take a picture of something that you are not including in the sale (such as a piano or a TV), please make sure to mention this clearly alongside the picture or within the property description.