The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Taking Real Estate Photos:
According to former real estate agent and “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, a buyer makes the decision on whether they’d like to purchase a home within the first eight seconds. That’s not a lot of time. In those first few moments, without even having a chance to talk up all the best aspects of the home, show off the brand new cabinetry, or even proudly boast about the house’s walkability score, that buyer has already mentally decided if your home makes the cut. That’s why listing photos are so important! You want to make sure that your photos are clear, high-quality, and really showcase all the best features of your home. You want your pictures to tell the viewer a story and invite themselves to imagine living there, in your house.
There are a lot of rookie mistakes you can make if you go at it alone like snapping blurry photos, accidentally photobombing some images, or sending off the wrong message to potential buyers, so we always recommend reaching out to a professional service to help you take the best listing photos for your home.
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when taking real estate photos:
Taking crooked photos.
When you live in the lower mainland – whether that be Surrey, Vancouver, Langley, Cloverdale, White Rock, etc. – you’re bound to run into some steep hills. We live close to the mountains, so a stark incline or two isn’t exactly out of the ordinary, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind when it comes to taking listing photos.
If your house is situated on uneven ground it can sometimes be a little too easy to end up with an off-kilter image of your home (mostly from the outside). Aligning your camera to the road might seem like a good idea at the time, but can leave you with listing photos that look like your house is about to be caught up in a landslide – and that’s definitely not the impression you want to go for when selling your home.
Accidentally scaring off visitors.
We get it. You’re a private person. You don’t like to be bothered. That’s totally fine but having signs that say things like “beware of dog”, “trespassers will be shot on-site”, or “keep out: private property” display the wrong kind of message when they find their way into listing photos. Sometimes it might even be a structure such as a gothic fence, rusted gateway, or even barbed wire that might give potential buyers the wrong impression. Our advice? Keep the extra “security” off-camera and focus instead on making your home more inviting and welcoming for any visitors.
Not using enough light.
One of the most sought-after features for potential homebuyers is lots and lots of natural light. You see this trope on popular real estate shows such as, well, anything on HGTV, and there is a good reason for it. Not only does having ample natural light in a house lower the overall utility bill as you use less power to illuminate the home, but it has also been linked to promoting positive effects on overall health and wellness – which is always a plus.
Despite this fact, one of the most common mistakes people make when taking real estate photos is forgetting to open the curtains and blinds and let the sunlight in. When you take pictures with the blinds closed, it appears dark – even with electrical lighting. It doesn’t feel as bright, cheery, or cozy as it would have been had the sunlight from outside been pouring through the window. Most of the time, this is sheer oversight. It seems bright enough to the homeowner because they’re used to it and opening up the curtains isn’t even a thought that crosses their mind but think about it this way. Think about how you feel in a basement, even with the lights on. It can sometimes feel stuffy, cold, uninviting. We’re just guessing, but that’s probably not how you want your home to come across in your listing photos.
Before you even think about snapping some shots for your listing, draw back the curtains, open the blinds, and let some light in.
Okay, okay. We don’t mean literal selfies. Yet, unfortunately, it is all too common for people listing their homes to take listing photos…with themselves in the frame. This sometimes happens when there is a mirror in the room, and you end up with the owner of the home sneakily making their way into the shot. Sometimes, it’s a little kid, a cute dog, or an unsuspecting grandmother who makes their way in front of the camera – and that’s fine, right? No one will care! And sometimes, it happens on purpose because the owner believes it will make them appear friendlier and thus more inviting to potential buyers. If you want a quick sale, we don’t recommend having anything but the house in the pictures.
When you upload real estate photos, you want potential buyers to be imagining themselves living in your home, making a life there, raising a family, having some quiet time after work. But they can’t do that if they’re constantly looking at your photobombed, real estate listing pictures. Do yourself a favour and take the extra step to make sure that your real estate photos look amazing.
Using fish-eye lenses.
It’s a common belief that using fish-eye lenses on a small space can make it appear larger and more spacious, which unfortunately can’t be further from the truth. Using fish-eye lenses oftentimes makes the space seem smaller, more cramped, and warped. Fish-eye lenses also have the added ability of making your photos harder to see and can oftentimes reduce the overall image quality, which is not exactly the winning combination for breathtaking real estate photos. When you’re trying to get the entire room in one frame, our advice is to stick to taking pictures with cameras that have interchangeable lenses so you can adjust the length and width of each shot to your liking. Focus on getting a clear, straight shot of the area in question and if need be, take multiple shots from different sides of the room.
Not preparing in advance.
One of the most common mistakes people make when taking real estate photos is that they just dive right in without taking the time to map everything out.
We get it – there’s so much to do when you’re trying to sell your home that the idea of taking the extra moment or two to plan how you’re going to take each shot, in what order, and at what angle can be a bit of a hassle. Time may be of the essence, but if you charge head-first without so much as a shot checklist, you’re going to run into some problems. Your pictures may come out blurry, unprofessional, off-kilter, and poorly lit.
With the bar for real estate listing photos being so high right now, the last thing you want to do is rush through the process and put out low-quality listing photos that could harm your chances for a sale.
How to prevent these common mistakes people make when taking real estate listing photos.
One of the best solutions to avoid these common real estate photography mistakes is to hire a professional service to do the hard work for you. Most real estate agencies, like us here at Katronis, will offer some form of in-house photography service to help you with your listing photos and we highly recommend taking a look into what services might be available for you when it comes to putting your home on the market.
Aside from just taking photos, another helpful tidbit is to hire a staging company. Consider researching if your local real estate company offers it as an in-house service, or if they can refer you to a credible and well-established staging company that can really up the appeal of your home. Staging companies are great for adding just the right amount of personality to a home without coming across too overbearing. They can place the furniture for you in a way that opens up certain areas, change the curtains to allow for more natural light, paint the walls a more neutral colour that’s easy on the eyes, and add light, personal touches to the home like wall art and plants.
Here at Katronis Real Estate, we know that there really is such a stark difference between professional real estate listing photos and ‘DIY’ ones – and we know all too well that a set of low-quality pictures can be the obstacle that stands between you and selling your home. That’s why it’s so important that we continuously invest in using the greatest, industry-leading real estate photographers for each and every single one of our listings so our clients don’t need to stress about camera angles, lighting, or lenses. We work with the best photographers in the area to ensure that you can avoid these common real estate photography mistakes and have a set of listing photos that does your home justice. That’s just one of the many reasons why we are one of the best real estate teams in the Lower Mainland.
Thinking of buying or selling a home? Need expert real estate advice? Are you looking to have professional, real estate listing photos taken? Contact us here today!