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How to Take Great Real Estate Listing Photos

Real estate advertising has definitely evolved by leaps and bounds these past few decades, and some of the photos you see in listings are pretty incredible. These are what grab a potential buyer’s attention first, and professional-looking ones are a must if you are trying to stand out from your competition. Expert Photography posts that real estate photographers charge approximately $200 for properties that are less than 3,000 square feet and up to $500 for larger ones. Not necessarily a large amount to invest for one property, but what if you have five or more?

DIY Real Estate Photos

The Close stresses the importance of preparing a property for a photography session. All real estate agents know something about staging a home, and this should be done before snapping the pictures. Clear off all the counters, and leave minimal décor like a modern rug, a vase of fresh flowers and a few throw pillows. You can rearrange some of the furniture to make better use of the space; buyers like airy, open ones that aren’t crowded with old pieces or too many “tchotchkes”.

Never have people or pets in the photos, because buyers want to see themselves in a home, not anyone else. Pay attention to the small details, too; remove family photos, close the toilet seat lids and make sure that the bedspreads and comforters aren’t wrinkled. You’ll also want to take as many pictures as possible, since even the most experienced picture-takers snap plenty of bad ones; you’ll want to have a lot to pick from.

Tips from Photographers

Wide-angle lenses are best for real estate interior photography, because the pictures have straighter lines and show much more detail. You’ll also want to have enough natural light, so plan to take the pictures on a sunny day with the shades and curtains pulled up: Buyers can tell the difference between artificial and natural lighting. Also be careful when there are mirrors in a room, since you don’t want to see yourself or someone else in the reflections.

Professional photographers also use tripods to take their photos, but you may be able to get away without using these. The camera settings are also important; if you shoot in RAW rather than JPEG, you’ll have more control when editing the photos. RAW format allows for more control with exposure, shadows, contrast, highlights and balance.

Some Final Thoughts

Homelights posts that the best time to take exterior home photos is at dusk, but this can vary depending on what direction that house faces. Just be sure to avoid rainy, cloudy and overcast days for the best shots. Savvy real estate photographers are using drones to shoot home exteriors and properties, but this takes some practice. But like most things these days, you can watch a YouTube video to learn about it; UAVisuals has a good one that you can check out.

Plan to devote several hours (at the minimum) for taking the photos, plus more time for choosing, editing and posting your best pictures. You’ll want to take test shots of all the rooms first, to see what the lighting looks like. Bright colors like purple usually don’t transfer well to photos, so try not to focus on those or have the owner repaint them to neutral tones. Use a tripod if the lines in the photo aren’t perfectly vertical. And when posting them on the listing page, the recommended order is: exterior, entry, kitchen, dining room, living room, master bedroom and the additional bedrooms.

P.S.: The photo session is also an optimum time to record your video walk-through of the home.

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