Each week I make a point of checking out the newest listings in my area. I do this for two reasons. First, it is important that I keep up on what the pace of my local market is I check and see what is selling, how quickly properties are selling and what the listing to sales price ratios are. This helps me to know how to best price my newest listings and to be able to give an accurate answer to any who may ask me about how is the market doing while I am out an about in the community. The second reason I do this is so that I can inform the buyers that I am working with about any new properties that have come on the market. The time that I spend at the computer searching the MLS is one of my favorite ways to get ahead of the curve in my own business.
I look at hundreds of properties in the MLS in a week. The ability to get property information as it pertains to square footage, location and price, I am also able to view the photos included in the listings. This is my least favorite part of this process. I personally use a professional photographer when I have a new listing. The first thing most potential home buyers do is look at the images. During their home search this step is often where they form a first impression about whether or not they are interested. I have had many buyers tell me that they did not want to look at a property because it looked small or dark from the photos. I usually convince them to just take a look and then decide. I have been in homes that truly looked nothing like the images that were included in the listing.
I cannot impress upon those of us who sell real estate for a living the importance of good photographs. I have read articles in the various real estate publications, read blogs and have even seen advertisements which support my position. Even after all of this prodding and informing I wonder why I still see such terrible images in listings. I am a bit of a stickler about this. Images that are poor quality and improperly composed drive me crazy. I get it, we all have camera phones and believe that we can save a few dollars by taking our own photos.
The listing is the first way that a property is marketed and it is often the most important. Hiring a professional is the best way to ensure that your property stands out among the crowd. I would guess that near 60% of the listings I view each week have terrible pictures. The photographer I use charges by the hour and is very reasonable. I am talking about basic photos of interiors, exteriors, community features or other unique details of a property. I do not need aerial photos or complicated panoramic shots to appear in the MLS. I usually spend around a hundred dollars per listing for the photos. On a high end property it may run upwards of two hundred dollars depending on the size of the property and how long it takes to shoot it. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the commission I may earn if the home sells. This is an expense that should be included in the cost of doing business. Ral estate photography is well worth the expense.
We all want to get any advantage that we can in a very competitive housing market. By understanding that people look with their eyes first when it comes to buying a home, we would all be wise to consider the impact that bad images can have on our bottom lines. When people are not able to get a good impression from the pictures they see they have a greater chance on missing out on what may be their next dream home. No more photo bombs please! If you live in the Orlando or Central Florida area and are in need of photographs, click here to view the website of the photographer that I use.