Marketing your property effectively requires knowing how to add a professional touch to help your property stand out from the rest. Buyers are increasingly becoming more visually stimulated and so good marketing includes good real estate photography.
While we'd typically recommend using a professional real estate photographer to maximise your home presentation and seal the deal, it's not always accessible to everyone. If you consider yourself handy with a camera, we've provided a few helpful tips to get you started.
Use the right equipment
First thing’s first: get the right gear. We rely on our Smartphones for just about everything these days, but if you want a professional result, use a professional camera. If you don’t already have one, you can pick up a second-hand DSLR for a pretty reasonable price, or perhaps you have a friend who can loan you one. Make sure you shoot in high resolution, as they will look far more professional online or in print, and will benefit you in the editing process later on. Blurry or fuzzy photos can be a result of shaky hands, so using a tripod will also improve the quality of your photos.
Clean up and de-clutter
Remove any personal items from the shot and give the area a thorough clean up. This includes things like family photos, rubbish, clutter, pet feeding bowls, toiletries, or vases of dead flowers. Have a look around the room and check for stains on walls and floors, smooth out rugs or blankets, and reposition cushions to look more visually appealing. Don’t forget the exterior too. Prune overgrown gardens, water and mow the grass, cut a clean lawn edge around gardens or driveways, and hose any dirt off the driveway or footpath. The smallest of details can be enough to make or break your property sale.
Something you may not have considered is the use of props. House staging can have a huge effect on potential buyers as it helps them visualise the possibilities of living in the home. There’s no need to overdo it, but simple subtleties such as a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket with a couple of wine glasses by the pool, or some fresh cut flowers in your outdoor living space can help add a touch of luxury.
Consult your real estate agent and discuss which features of your home may be strong selling points. These include things like fireplaces, ensuites, walk-in closets, elegant staircases, balconies, cellars, pools, or terraces. The idea is to focus on the positive features your home has to offer, so the buyer falls in love with them enough to overlook any details that - from a selling perspective - may not be as ideal.
When it comes to photography, lighting is everything. Shooting in natural sunlight is always recommended, so keep your blinds and curtains wide open to let as much light in as possible. The time of day is also important. Taking your pictures around midday is ideal, as the sun is directly above you, but if you’re unable to do this, make sure you shoot at a time when the sun is behind you to avoid glare. Shooting at dusk with all of your lights on can create an evocative atmosphere and add an element of grandeur, as it provides a stunning contrast between the warm glow of your home and the approach of evening.
The essential rooms
The living room, bedroom, kitchen/dining, and bathroom are the main areas that we spend most of our time occupying. It therefore makes sense that these are the rooms people are most interested in. Unless you have a particularly good reason, omitting any of these from the shoot could raise suspicion that you have something to hide. Keep doors fully open and make sure you have straight wall and window lines in your frame. For smaller rooms, like bathrooms, stand in the corner to take the photograph. Just make sure that you don’t include your reflection in the mirror by mistake!
Edit to enhance
Photo editing software can greatly enhance the presentation of your property. Professional quality real estate photography isn’t just about taking the perfect shot; it also requires creating the perfect image. Editing your pictures can correct colour imbalances and remove any unwanted marks or blemishes. The trick is to not go too far with it. Over-editing your images can falsely represent your house and buyers may feel deceived. Edit to enhance, not to exaggerate.
Good quality, professional photographs will generate more buyer interest and could lead to a quicker sale of your home. A real estate agent has access to the most skilled real estate photographers, so if you feel out of your depth in tackling home photography on your own, contact your agent and let the professionals manage it for you.