Listing your home for sale is the start of a journey that can go smoothly, if you take some necessary steps to make your home appealing to the right audience. Of course, it can also be a lesson in frustration.
These days much of the shopping for homes, like many items, is done online. That means that images (both photos and video) are rapidly becoming popular marketing tools to entice potential buyers.
The adage is, a photo is with a thousand words and, I add, a video is priceless. Actually, though, both are worth a whole lot. In fact, they could be worth the price of your home because images sell.
Think about the commercial market. Ads on TV and in print are always selling a concept about how consumers will feel, look, and benefit from buying a particular product. When it comes to selling a home, however, some sellers aren't as concerned with how their home is pictured and that can cause the home to stay on the market longer or, worse, generate little or no interest.
With the Internet filled with a sea of homes and sellers everywhere vying for attention from buyers, it only makes sense to make the online photos scream, "I am a must-see home. I won't last long in this market."
But, too often, fatal mistakes are made. Professional pictures and video aren't taken. Instead, a point-and-shoot camera is quickly grabbed and put to work (without special lighting) and, while you can get some nice images, I think most understand that professionals use pro cameras, lights, and editing tools for a reason. This isn't about "doctoring" photos so that they don't tell a real picture; rather it's about making your home look its best-just like getting dolled up for a first date.
In fact, if your professional photographer goes too far and takes too many liberties with touch-ups, you might find that potential buyers are turned off or even angry about what they see when they arrive at your home.
There have been some cases where small areas were enhanced with special lighting,lenses, and photography techniques, only to disappoint the potential buyers. The room looked much more spacious in the listing ad than it did in real life.
Making a home picture (and video) perfect is about showcasing it, preferably, with home staging completed. It's about taking the pictures using the best light possible and showing off the way each area comes to life. Think model home photos. Often there are people in the picture or a subtle suggestion about how this room is used.
When natural light isn't enough or available, filtered or diffused lighting is a good option. Non-professionals often make the mistake of using too harsh lighting. The picture is blown out and doesn't give the home a warm, inviting appeal.
I realize nowadays many people have digital high-quality, single, lens reflex cameras. If that's the case and you're determined to shoot photos of your home, here are a few tips.
- Always use a tripod
- Use a remote to activate the shutter to avoid shake and photo blur
- Make sure you have a wide-angle lens
- Give careful consideration to your composition
- Remove clutter, cords, debris, stacks of paper. You don't want to have to do this in a software editing program
- Take a few bracketing shots–changing the lighting a couple of exposures lighter/darker
- Be sure to shoot exteriors
- Take plenty of photos
Enjoy...these may be the best pictures to remember your home.
Phoebe Chongchua Realty Times January 13, 2012