You know the rest! Pictures are SO important when your house is for sale! Studies show that 88% of buyers house-hunt online before they ever contact a realtor or get in the car to actually go see a house. The photos that your REALTOR® posts online are the first showing for your house, and if they’re not inviting and show buyers what they want to see, Click! They’re off to the next one!
Most REALTORS®, myself included, are not professional photographers. Digital cameras and smartphones have made it easier to snap pictures of your home, but most of us do not have the sophisticated equipment necessary for magazine-quality photos. That being said, there are some things that should be obvious and that all of us can do to make your house look its best online. You, as the seller, should be sure your agent is doing all he/she can to show off your home. Ask to see the pictures before they’re posted online and/or in the MLS. If you don’t like some of them, ask to have them deleted and/or redone. It’s your home, after all!
Here are some buyer turn-offs–make sure your home is not a victim!
1. Not enough photos! Buyers looking online want to see inside pictures, and lots of them! Most MLS systems allow up to 25 or more photos per listing. Whatever is allowed, that’s how many pictures your agent should be posting. Sometimes buyers are looking for a particular feature, and the more pictures you have out there, the better the chances they’ll be able to see if your home meets their needs. So don’t settle for 1 picture or just a few. Make sure your home’s MLS listing shows as many photos as allowed.
2. Bad lighting! Buyers won’t choose your home if they can’t see it! Open the windows, turn on the lights, help your agent by throwing some light on the subject. And check those photos as you go–it’s frustrating to get back to the office, download the pictures, and find out that this room or that area was too dark and didn’t show up well.
3. Missing photos! Of course, you want to show as much of the home as possible, but buyers are mostly interested in kitchens, closets, bathrooms, outdoor spaces, and unique add-ons or appliances. Focus on these areas and show several pictures of each to get buyers interested in seeing more.
4. Clutter! Clean up and clean out before pictures. Buyers can’t see your home if pictures are full of your “stuff”. Clear off counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, put away all your decorative knick-knacks, take down all those family photos. Buyers want to see space, not stuff! Put the dog out, keep the kids out of the room, tell kitty to go sleep somewhere else! And, move the car out of the driveway, roll up the hose, pick up toys, etc.
Good luck with your listing! Your pictures should be worth a thousand words!