With the increased use of visual social media platforms and mobile internet, having quality, professional photos has never been more essential to selling a home. Prospective buyers can access your listing and develop interest in your home – or take it off their list – without ever seeing it in person or contacting a realtor. Here are the numbers:
92% of homebuyers search the internet before contacting an agent.Source: Matterport Industry Stats
Listings with more visual content, like virtual tours and videos receive 403% more inquiries.
89% of buyers across all demographics look to the web to narrow down their list of properties to consider.
This is why it’s crucial to work with an agent that has photography and staging experience or one that utilizes a professional photographer in order to get buyers through your door.
We’ve put together a few of the basic photography tools that your real estate agent should be using to put your best foot forward online.
A staging professional will evaluate each room in your home for its best use and rearrange, add and remove items, or decorate in order to convey its use to buyers. Our Director of Leasing Services, Cynthia Emerling, says this is especially important in lakefront sales, where gorgeous views and the lake lifestyle add immense value to your home. “Staging in our community is best used to accentuate the lakefront. I try to keep furniture from sitting in front of the windows, blinds and windows open facing the water, and a lot of color to draw the eye toward the water.”
Above all, the goal is to stage for prospective buyers to feel as though they could sit down in a room and envision it as their own. This may mean removing personal touches, like family photos. A tip from our Marketing Manager and real estate photographer, Lindsay Bolton: “instead of taking down photos and leaving holes in the walls, cover them with a neutral gift wrap and keep them hanging up. This can also work for picture frames on tables, so you don’t need to worry about storing them.”
This goes hand in hand with staging, but in order for a photographer to get beautiful photos of your home, you must remove all clutter. Excessive items in a room can convey that your home lacks storage, has a dysfunctional layout, or will need extra work. For example, a kitchen counter clad with utensils, pans, and snacks can tell the buyer that there isn’t enough cabinet space.
Lindsay explains it best: “Imagine a hotel room. It appeals to everyone, there’s no knick-knacks, no kids toys, just a simple, functional space that anyone can walk into and live in.”
Proper lighting is essential to capturing high quality images of your home, inside and out. An experienced photographer can use natural light to the home’s advantage, highlighting the million-dollar lake view outside while making the inside appear larger, brighter, and more open. Your photographer will achieve this by finding the contrast between interior and exterior light and using out-of-frame windows to supplement brightness.
Our photographer, Lindsay, highly recommends off camera flash for interior photos. “Do not use a built in flash. You’ll white out your photos and lose details that can’t be edited back in. Using an off camera flash allows you to control to direction of the light to get well-lit photos with balanced color.”
Staging the outside of your home is just as important as the inside! Power wash your exterior, patios, porches, and dock so that they look clean in photos and put out patio furniture, seat cushions, and umbrellas. Great outdoor space is a major selling point for lakefront buyers and they’ll be looking for these entertaining spaces in your photos. Clean landscaping and a mowed lawn are necessary to making your home look its best, but no need to go overboard. Lakefront buyers are often looking to buy a second home or income property, so the less maintenance, the better.
Seasonality is important – green grass and blue skies photograph infinitely better than grey skies and lifeless landscapes. Lindsay suggests that sellers have professional summer photos taken, regardless of when they plan to list. “If you’re considering listing in the next year, even if you aren’t ready to sell yet, get summertime photos taken. Especially if you plan to list in the winter or early spring.”
Dynamic visual content is becoming more essential to capturing any audience online. Our real estate team utilizes Matterport 3D technology to capture a virtual tour of your home that can be taken from anywhere. Buyers have a 360 degree view of every room and can conceptualize the layout of your home far beyond the reach of any photograph.
Your listing can also benefit from exterior drone footage, capturing the entire property from above and often time featuring surrounding properties and the neighborhood. In addition, we recommend creating a video to supplement the visual content in your listing. Plus, it can easily be shared on social media platforms, extending the reach of your home. Be sure to ask if these are services that your real estate agent can provide.
Our real estate team utilizes the above tools and experienced photographers to produce the most agile and effective marketing plan available to lakefront buyers and sellers, free of charge. The result? Our average days on market for 2019 is only 8.6!
Call 877-201-7013 today to learn the other advantages of working with our lakefront sales team!