9 Listing Photo Do’s and Don’ts

You have one chance at a great first impression — knock their socks off with listing photos that shine.

Your bags are packed, you’re ready to move and the last thing you want to do is follow your agent’s advice about putting time and money into your listing photos. But if you don’t, your photos could prevent the home from selling quickly.

Consider these nine do’s and don’ts to help your listing attract the attention it deserves.

1. Do: Take a shot from the curb.

USA, California, San Francisco, Houses at Lombard Street; Shutterstock ID 346436030

Keep your home’s curb appeal top of mind. Buyers often decide in a matter of minutes (or seconds) whether they want to keep looking or move on to another listing.

Make sure you get the whole house in the shot, and don’t let cars or other objects block your line of sight.

Don’t: Create a landslide.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – OCTOBER 2017: A steep residential street with rows of houses stepping up the hill and cars parked on the street; Shutterstock ID 738803863; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

When taking a shot from the curb, be mindful of your camera’s angle. The roofline should be parallel with the photo’s frame to make it look level — not like there’s a landslide on the property.

2. Do: Welcome visitors.

An attractive front door and entryway go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of your home. Leaving the door open in one of your photos can also send a welcoming message.

Don’t: Threaten visitors.

Remove any threatening signs or barriers on the property before taking photos. The goal is to create a feeling of warmth with your listing photos — not scare onlookers away.

3. Do: Consider a bird’s-eye view.

Aerial water view of home; Shutterstock ID 20398507; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

Taking a photo from above is a great way to show off a large property or a waterfront location. Crop the photo close enough so the home is visible without having to draw an arrow or a box around it.

Don’t: Consider a fisheye lens.

Victorian house with white picket fence through fish-eye lens, Woodstock, NY; Shutterstock ID 178249571; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

Some folks use a fisheye lens to make smaller spaces appear larger. However, it often has the opposite effect, making the space feel smaller and distorted.

As a general rule of thumb, stick with a traditional lens for listing photos, and make small spaces appear bigger with design tricks.

4. Do: Capture your home’s selling points.

White and blue bathroom interior with a round white tub, two narrow windows, a tree in a pot and a ladder in a corner. Side view. 3d rendering mock up; Shutterstock ID 717830713; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

You may think it’s best to skip the bathroom when taking listing photos, but if yours was recently updated, show it off! Bathrooms are among the first spaces to be upgraded in newly owned homes, and research shows that blue bathrooms sell for more than expected.

Don’t: Capture yourself in the mirror.

Man with camera in mirror; Shutterstock ID 535036807; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

While a vanity can be a selling point, you want buyers to picture themselves in the mirror — not you. Stay out of your listing photos by avoiding angles where you or your camera’s flash may be reflected.

5. Do: Stage each room.

Furnished master bedroom in new luxury home.; Shutterstock ID 304626107

The goal is to put your home’s best foot forward. That means staging each roomto sell shoppers on the lifestyle your home offers. Create cozy vignettes in each photo so it’s easier for shoppers to envision themselves living there.

Don’t: Stage a mess.

Luxury loft bedroom cluttered with books by wall and decorated with blank picture frames. 3d Rendering.; Shutterstock ID 643690621; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

If there’s one absolute “don’t” for listing photos, it’s capturing a mess. Tidy up each room before taking any photos so your home looks its best.

6. Do: Play up the season.

Christmas composition on white wooden table; Shutterstock ID 512131063

Even if your home has been on the market for a while, it will feel up-to-date if the photos reflect the season. If it’s summer, take a sunny photo of the backyard. If it’s winter, create a cozy feel with a fire and a warm blanket.

Don’t: Play up your holiday decor.

Traditional dining room table set for Christmas dinner. ; Shutterstock ID 727142821

Over-the-top holiday decor can be a turnoff, especially if buyers don’t celebrate that holiday. Instead, consider ways to decorate for the season as a whole and take photos of rooms without themed decor.

7. Do: Show off the view.

Tropical bedroom interior with double bed and seascape view; Shutterstock ID 161500337; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

If the view is one of your home’s selling points, you’ll definitely want to show it off. It’s best if you can capture it with a part of the house in the shot, like the deck or porch. That way, buyers can picture themselves there.

Don’t: Show off your pets.

furry golden retriever dog lying on floor in bedroom; Shutterstock ID 675251131; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

Focus on the parts of your home that will be there when a buyer moves in. Unfortunately, your pets don’t fall into that category, as cute as they are!

8. Do: Show off architectural details.

Archways, beams and other architectural quirks may be hard to photograph, but they give your home character. Try to capture a few of the architectural details if you can.

Don’t: Show off architectural blunders.

Bathroom with a pink toilette during demo day on a residential home renovation and major remodel.; Shutterstock ID 624960662; Requester Name: Amy Morby; Project: Porchlight; Client/Licensee: ; Other:

Every home has its blemishes, but that doesn’t mean you have to capture them all in the photos. The listing is the time to put your best foot forward — the open house and inspection are when the buyer can take note of the imperfections.

You may also want to consider making a few small improvements, like updating the bathroom, before listing your home.

9. Do: Take a night shot with the lights on.

Beautiful villa with wide backyard and decorative outdoor lighting, external view; Shutterstock ID 436575742

While it’s easy to assume daytime shots are ideal, a nighttime exterior shot can create the right amount of contrast to make your photos stand out. The key is to leave your home’s interior and exterior lights on while you take the photo.

Don’t: Capture a dark room.

When it comes to interior photos, you want all the light you can get. Use lamps and daytime window light to make your photos as bright as possible while still looking natural.

 

Posted by Catherine Sherman on Zillow

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