So you want to sell your home without the services of a property agent and save on paying the commission. You have already staged your home and it looks like a dream home. The next step is to take a few photos for the listing in property portals. After all, in this internet era, your home’s photos are your first impression, and they’re the best way to attract the attention of potential buyers enough for them to have an onsite viewing.
First, you will need to take beautiful photos that will catch potential buyers interest above the rest of the other listings in the market. You want potential buyers to see your listing and call you first among all the options available. And the way to do that is to have beautiful pictures, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words! According to a study done by a US real estate photography company, well taken beautiful photos can speed up the sale of your house by 32% as compared with low quality or average pictures. The study also suggests that the ideal number of photos per listing is between fifteen to twenty. It also reveal that listings with less than five photos take a longer time to transact.
Taking photos like a professional photographer may seem difficult unless you are have a deep interest in photography. But with the following simple tips, anyone can take beautiful photos like a pro.
Most professional photographers own a full suite of the latest sophisticated equipment. But not many people own the latest professional cameras like the Canon EOS R5 or Nikon D6. Neither do we have accessories such as wide-angle lens, tripod, remote trigger, light stands etc. But it would be wise to invest in a decent point-and-shoot digital camera with at least five megapixels or more. That should be good enough to produce good photos.
Nowadays, mobile phones, too, come with excellent photographic capabilities. The latest Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G or the iPhone 12 Pro Max can produce good enough quality photos to attract attention. So if you do not want to invest additional for a digital camera, the latest mobile phone should be able to do the trick.
Before the Shoot
Even though you have already staged your home, you are still living there and clutter is bound to build up over time. Before you start taking photos, ensure that the house is neat and free from clutter. Keep the house neat and tidy, and surfaces such as coffee table, desks, kitchen tops clean and dust free. You may not notice it but small little details like those will show up in photos.
Ideally, you should plan to take photos showing the living room, master bedroom, the other bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms. It is not necessary to have photos of the closet or bomb shelter as potential buyers are not buying your home because of those.
During the Shoot
Use as much natural lighting as possible. Keep the windows open and the curtains drawn back, and turn on all the lights to make the rooms look bright and breezy. This will cut down on your need to make use of the camera’s flash. Taking photo with flash often result in unattractive shadows and reflections. If the day when you are taking the photos is a rainy, postpone the shoot. Do not take photos on a rainy day as the photos will appear dark and gloomy, which is not quite the ambience you want to portray your home.
Decide on the angles to show off the strong points of your home and avoid odd corners and tight walkways. The best way to take a good photo of the rooms is to shoot from a corner so that it includes as much of the room as possible. This provides context and makes the room look more spacious than a tight shot does.
Photography experts recommend that you take photos of the interior of your home from head or shoulder height. Photos taken from this height is the view that potential buyers see when they enter your home and walk through during the visit. This ensures that you’re providing a realistic view of the interior of the property. That would give a realistic feel of the spaciousness of the each room. Whilst we try to make our home as perfect as possible, it is important not to mislead buyers. Photos taken with wide–angle lens can make a room look much larger than it actually is. So you can imagine how disappointed potential buyers will be when they visit for a viewing and find that the space is actually not what they thought it should be. That will really change their mindset on how they will view the rest of your home.
Next is to know which direction to shoot. Do not take a photo against sunlight! It is important take photos with the sun behind you so that there are no dark areas in the shot.
If your home is on a high floor and has an unblocked view, you should make sure to have a few shots taken of the view, as it is a strong selling point. There are many buyers looking for homes with an unblocked view and when a potential buyer sees that photo, you can be certain they will be calling you for a onsite viewing.
Bear in mind when taking photos of your home, try not to take photos with your personal items such as family pictures or religious items in it. You do not want the whole world to see your private life and the potential buyers may have a different religious belief. Personal items may also distract buyers from looking at the space and layout of the room. But that does not mean you have to hide everything, you can keep art pieces, paintings and other decorative items as they can add style and life to the photos.
Whether you are using a camera or mobile phone, it would be wise to take lots and lots of pictures. You can take multiple pictures of each and every room, and from different angles. Different buyers have different criteria and you just do not know what they are looking for. So it’s best to have multiple shots to cater to different requirements. You can review the photos later and choose the ones that shows off your home in the best light.
After the Shoot
After you've chosen your best photos, you may need to filter the photos a little. Nowadays, mobile phones come equipped with features that can lighten or sharpen the photos that you have taken. There are also free online photo editing tools that allow you to crop your photos, adjust brightness and contrast etc. This enhancement will turn your photos into professionally taken ones.
Things to Avoid
There are some things you need to take note and avoid when taking photos. Make sure that your reflection in a mirror or window is not captured in the photos. That would make the photos look very unprofessional and a big turn-off. Do not have ceiling / standing fans running or the television switched on, as these would distort the photos. When taking photos of the bathroom, be sure to keep the toilet seat down.
Ultimately, well taken photos increase the possibility of selling your home faster and for a higher price. Keep in mind to focus on photos that show off the uniqueness of your home, like a designer kitchen or unblocked view. You want people searching for their next dream home to look at your listing first and your photos should be interesting enough for them to click in and want to see more. After all, most people start searching for properties online and they are not going to read how well you describe your home. They will be more likely to be viewing the photos and short listing from there.
Platform to List Your Property
MOGUL.sg has recently launched their own FSBO service, where homeowners can list their properties for sale. Users are given the option to list their properties by themselves, avail of a Flat Fee Package, or engage their Property Concierge to handle all the work involved in the resale process. To learn more about this service, click here.