How important are good photos for estate agents?

So, you’ve tidied up and the estate agent is about to visit to immortalise your home on film (or pixels these days I suppose!). How important do you think these shots are going to be in selling your home?

Answer – apart from the price, the photos are the most important aspect of the estate agent’s marketing. Your home will stand or fall in the market based on the quality of the photos taken. If you think about how buyers search for property, the photo is always the first thing they see – on the web, in the papers, in window displays and on details. If it’s not top notch, can you be sure you’re attracting every scrap of interest in the property?

Many vendors I speak with don’t know how property portal uploads operate so here’s a little tip that goes a long way – when a property loads onto the web for the first time, it is automatically sent to all the buyers who have registered to receive updates (Rightmove have a particularly good system in this regards, as do many other sites). However, if the agent doesn’t get the initial set of details right, the property is NOT auto mailed again (unless the price changes by an appreciable degree). On this basis, if the first photo is bad, that’s the only version the majority of buyers will see!

Have a look on any property website and you’ll see hundreds of grey skies, and wonky angles. You might also spot some shocking internal shots (our favourite is a sitting room with the TV showing Jeremy Kyle and an ironing board in the forefront of the photo!). What all this tells me is that the agent has only allowed for enough time to take one set of shots and hasn’t considered the potential repercussions.

Cardinal rules to follow;

  • Decent equipment – a good bridge digital camera with wide angle lenses + good zoom, a sturdy tripod & lights
  • An eye on the weather – blue sky and sunshine always looks better than Photoshop
  • Time – if the first shots aren’t up to scratch, go back and take them again! Also, most homes need photos taken at two times – an east/west facing home cannot be photographed properly in one go.
  • Freshness – if the property is on the market for more than a month, the photos taken at the start will be stale. Go back and retake or risk the property being dated by daffodils, snow, blossom, leaves etc. Try a different angle as well.

Two examples to illustrate my point on weather. Neither have been tech adjusted in any way.

Beaufort Pl

Beaufort Place

I’m still bothered about the shadow on the second shot but early spring sun angles make this unavoidable – one to be retaken in a month or so!

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