Online dating and online house hunting: What do the two have in common?
Your home represents a huge part of your life so when it comes time to sell it, there are many decisions that will factor into making sure you accurately portray your property and obtain the best price for it. One of the most important is the photos that display both the interior and exterior of your home.
Seems easy, right? Snap a few photos, post like you would on Craigslist, and be done with it.
But the truth is that it is not as simple as people think and the little details of your photographs, coupled with factors like camera placement, will make a big difference in the way your home is interpreted.
After 20 years in the business, here are a few helpful tips that you should consider marketing your home online:
Think of it as your “online real estate dating profile”
Just like paying someone to help you write a professional resume or create an online dating profile, pictures are overwhelmingly the first impression for real estate, and like a Match.com profile, many people will decide whether they want to see more or move on to the next property in those first crucial seconds.
There are a lot of ways to get high quality photos, but does your house photograph well and will it appeal to potential buyers? Many times items and furniture in your home should be added or moved (staged) based on what will look good in photos. Two-dimensional views look different than when you are standing in a space. Watch for furniture and trinket clutter. Clutter can visually downsize the room you’re photographing and give the appearance that it’s smaller than it is.
Not just High Definition
Everyone who has bought a home has seen it in some capacity online before they went and looked at the actual property, and it is safe to assume that they didn’t make their decision to move forward with the property based off a grainy iPhone photo.
I see this happen all the time when someone decides to use a cell phone that takes 8 MP photos and inevitably, it renders a poor quality image. I don’t care if you are Ansel Adams – pictures of your home taken with an iPhone do not transfer well online. In fact, they look awful because they do not have the lighting and other features that professional cameras include. Understanding lighting, angles and experience with how photos will turn out makes a huge impact on potential buyers.
There are many great professional photography companies that specialize in real estate. Making sure you have a great one that will work with you to emphasize the best marketing points of the home is critical. Companies like Virtuance (virtuance.com) are an excellent resource with superior quality.
Here is an example of some great photos:
Think of it like the dating profile again. You make your first impressions to swipe left, swipe right, or whatever have you on a dating app (I’ve been married for 16 years so I’m a bit out of the game) with the first couple of photos. Studies show that we are attracted to an object or person within mere seconds, and the same goes for your house.
You might have a great group of photos ready to go but many people will get their first impressions online in the first 6 to 8 photos. You have to consider the order they are in and which features are most appealing to potential buyers of each particular home. Is it the rainforest showerhead? The mountain views? Desired upgrades like beautiful granite countertops?
Every neighborhood, price range and style will have a different likely buyer and putting the most appealing features up front will help keep their attention and wanting more. You can use photos to take people on a journey through the home and start to actualize themselves there.
Take them on a journey
When you are selecting pictures to use (or not) and the order, it is important to take the buyer on a journey. Tell them a story of the home, what are great features, what might it be like to live there and show them why it is a great home. That can include pictures of neighborhood amenities and surrounding areas that appeal to buyers.
Put your best foot forward, but be realistic
The goal is beautiful photos that showcase the house and its features, not to deceive. Deceptive photos will only create disappointment in a buyer. If they set their expectations high and the house is very different in person, you will turn them off immediately. They may have liked the house if the photos had been realistic, but it is hard to reverse your feelings when you are disappointed.
The bottom line is the photos are the largest part of your online listing and any marketing materials for your home. Every decision with those photos and how they are used will have an impact on your home’s sale. Just like you probably would not post a picture on your dating profile, holding a tequila shot and doing the Macarena, you don’t want to cheapen the value of your home by posting pictures that do not define the experience of living within it.
Buying decisions are guided by quick instinct and first impressions. Make sure you have an experienced guide to help your home shine. Getting as many serious buyers interested in your home and craving an in person showing or more information is the goal. The more interest, the better your chances of a fast and profitable sale.
Get the best knowledge and representation for your home! Contact us or call Matt directly now 720.260.0180