You caution your sellers about the importance of curb appeal. You counsel them to clean up and maybe even stage the home’s interior. Then you come along, snap some quick photos on your smartphone and slap them on the MLS.
You have one chance to impress – a scant two seconds to grab a buyer’s attention without a photograph and 20 seconds with one. Do iPhone listing photos or those you take with a point-and-shoot camera make optimum use of those valuable seconds?
When the typical buyer looks at an online listing, the first thing she does is look at the photo, according to Michael Seiler, founder and director of the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University at Norfolk, Va.
“We find that the photo is overwhelmingly viewed first,” concludes Seiler’s study, “Toward an Understanding of Real Estate Homebuyer Internet Search Behavior: An Application of Ocular Tracking Technology.”
Many agents fancy themselves photographers merely because they bought a high-end camera and taught themselves how to use it. There is an art, however, to good photography. The skilled professional knows how to use composition, color and lighting to make a photo more appealing. Owning a great camera makes one no more a professional photographer than owning a Wolf range makes one a professional chef.
Deep down inside agents understand that they can’t wear all the hats in their real estate practice and still adequately serve their clients – especially while simultaneously trying to grow their businesses. It’s the agents who delegate that typically move to the next level.
Even if you fancy yourself a budding photographer and have all the high-end equipment necessary, your time is better spent drumming up new listings and growing your business.
According to a 2010 Redfin study, homes that are professionally photographed sell for at least $934 and as much as $18,819 more than homes photographed by an amateur. The study also shows that homes photographed by a professional garner 61 percent more online views.
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