In today’s digital age, most homebuyers initiate their search online. Therefore, it is crucial for sellers to captivate potential buyers with captivating listing photos, especially during colder seasons when enticing them to step out becomes more challenging.
Listing photographs alone can lead buyers to dismiss options, and this is even more prevalent during winter, as it allows them to avoid unnecessary trips in inclement weather. Additionally, with high interest rates at present, the buyer pool has significantly shrunk. Consequently, sellers must exert extra effort to ensure their houses appear as appealing as possible in listing photos.
Here are some expert tips to make your listing photographs stand out from the rest:
- Monitor the weather forecast: Whenever possible, plan your listing photoshoot on a day when sunshine is expected. This will showcase the exterior of the home more effectively and help it stand out against competitors photographed against dark and gloomy backgrounds. Alternatively, consider a high-quality dusk photoshoot, ensuring the home’s windows and exterior are well illuminated for a striking contrast against the dark backdrop.
- Enhance the exterior: Harsh winter storms can damage a home’s exterior appearance. Before taking listing photos, perform necessary maintenance tasks such as clearing debris from the garden, sweeping away fallen leaves, removing weeds, and trimming overgrown shrubbery. Additionally, address any exterior wall imperfections, as well as fix clogged or cracked gutters. Take care of pooling water puddles before the photographer arrives.
- Stage according to the season: If your home has a woodburning fireplace, consider lighting a fire before the photoshoot to create a cozy ambiance. Add warm touches such as blankets, rugs, or cushions to make the space feel inviting. Illuminate each room with lights to ensure they appear bright and welcoming. Winter often leads to more clutter, including wet shoes, coats hanging to dry, and blankets or hot water bottles left on couches – it is essential to hide away these items and eliminate any other clutter or personal belongings before the photos are taken.
- Prepare the home: Ensure the home is clean and tidy. Remove any clothes or dirty dishes and make the beds neatly.
- Avoid photographing the toilet: Buyers are aware that homes have toilets, so there’s no need to showcase them for confirmation. If, for any reason, the toilet must be visible, make sure the lid is down.
- Opt for daylight photography: Avoid capturing the exterior of the home with multiple agents’ boards in front, as it creates the impression that nobody wants to buy the house. Take photos during the day to benefit from natural light and remember to open blinds and curtains. Dark and gloomy pictures can make the home appear depressing.
- Create a spotless environment: Prioritize cleaning windows, mirrors, and carpets to ensure a pristine setting for the photos.
- Utilize a camera: While an expensive camera isn’t necessary, using a cell phone might not produce high-quality pictures unless it has excellent capabilities. If needed, consider borrowing a camera for better results or even hiring a photographer.
- Avoid photo distractions: Ensure no people or flashlights are reflected in windows or mirrors, as this looks unprofessional.
- Capture the space, not the belongings: Focus on showcasing the room as a whole rather than zooming in on specific objects. Prospective buyers are primarily interested in the home itself, not its contents.
- Eliminate marketing materials: Refrain from photographing the exterior with numerous agents’ boards, as this gives the impression that the house is unwanted. These boards could be outdated or belong to neighbours.
- Brighten up the space: Take advantage of natural light by photographing during the day and keep blinds and curtains open. To add vibrancy, consider incorporating colourful flowers into the pictures.
- Depersonalize the photos: Avoid including visible family pictures or pet-related items in your photographs. Prospective buyers should be able to envision themselves in the home, and personal items might hinder their ability to do so.
- Take your time: Avoid rushing the photo-taking process and ensure you have an ample selection to choose from.
- Stay authentic: Do not distort images by using fisheye lenses or applying black and white or sepia filters. The goal is to present a realistic representation of your home, not create artistic images. The objective is to sell the property effectively.
To ensure optimal results, sellers are encouraged to seek assistance from a real estate advisor who can arrange professional listing photos on their behalf. Competent real estate professionals will ensure the photographs showcase the home in the best possible way, enhancing the chances of securing a timely sale at the full value.