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The Importance of Photographs in Real Estate Ads

Some real estate agents downplay the importance of photographing homes for sale by claiming that “pictures don’t sell houses.” While it is true that a photo alone will not sell a house, it will entice potential buyers to come look at it—and getting buyers in the door is the first step to selling a home. The days of buyers driving around a neighborhood and stopping at every “For Sale” sign are long gone. Modern homebuyers shop for homes online; if a buyer sees an ad for a home that meets their specifications, and they like the way the home looks in the ad, they will ask their agent to show them the home.

Unfortunately, many online real estate listings include no images, or only one grainy shot of the front of the house. Possibly even worse are ads featuring a picture of the entrance to the home/condominium complex or another common area, but no images of the home being advertised. This is unacceptable in the age of the Internet, where digital photography is cheap and easy, and where real estate listing sites allow uploading of multiple photographs. When a buyer sees an ad with few or no pictures of the actual home for sale, they wonder if the seller is hiding something. The buyer wonders if the home is in such terrible shape that the seller does not want to risk providing a picture of it.

For best results in capturing the interest of buyers, every home sale ad should have one photograph of each of the following:

  • The front of the house/condo.  In the case of a condominium, never substitute the entranceway to the complex or another common area within the complex. That is not the front of the home.
  • The living room.
  • The master bedroom.
  • The kitchen.
  • At least one bathroom.
  • The backyard or back patio.
  • Any additional home amenities, such as a pool, sun room, or game room.

If the unit for sale is a condominium, it may be beneficial to snap one or two pictures of common areas—especially if the complex boasts upscale amenities—but again, never use common areas as a substitute for photographs of the actual unit, only in addition to them.

The photos do not have to be magazine-quality, but they must be clear, and neither too bright nor too dark. Steer clear of close-ups—they rarely look right in home ads—but also make sure the picture is not taken from so far away that the subject is not visible.

Photography is a powerful tool in modern home sales. Digital photography has made it easy for anyone to take clear, crisp photographs, and modern buyers want a preview of the home they are taking the time to visit. There is no reason not to include photographs in a real estate ad.

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