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Do Listing Photos Make A Difference?

What’s the first thing you look for when viewing online property listings! Not surprisingly it’s the photos that are viewed first! If you’ve spent any time looking at real estate listings or into short term rentals such as those found on Airbnb then you no doubt have come across some that leave you scratching your head wondering how an owner could permit their home to be marketed with such images!

Some images are so dark it can be difficult to figure out what the room looks like while others are washed out from the glare of a nearby window. Some are severely out of focus or reflect the camera flash or worse, the agent in a mirror!  Here are a couple of examples of before and after photos from a Buzzfeed Article.

Before and After Photos

 

Listings Photos Viewed First

Michael Seiler is the director of the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University, he published the study, “Toward an Understanding of Real Estate Homebuyer Internet Search Behavior: An Application of Ocular Tracking Technology.” According to Mr. Seiler, “we find that the photo is overwhelmingly viewed first.”

Buyers typically spend a mere 2 seconds on a listing with no images versus 20 seconds on listings with photos. That being the case, wouldn’t you want your photos to provide the best first impression of your home to prospective buyers? I have clients with properties on Airbnb that have specifically been told that their homes were selected over similar homes BECAUSE of the photos I shot for them! Here are a couple examples: Property 1; Property 2.

Curb Appeal vs Web Appeal

As a Realtor I remind sellers of the importance of curb appeal and offer suggestions to declutter in order to put forth the best first impression toward prospective buyers. That’s a seller’s responsibility.

Marketing your home with photos that draw and keep a buyers attention can be called “web appeal.” As your listing agent that’s my responsibility.

I’ve had a passion for photography for as long as I can remember and have sold professionally in several venues. I take great pride in both my real estate and photographic work and have invested in equipment to showcase homes with professional quality photos. Here are a few examples;

If you are planning to list your property don’t just list your home with any realtor, take a look at some of their prior listings to see how they were marketed. If the agent taking photos of your home lacks the photographic skills or isn’t utilizing a professional then you might want to consider other alternatives.