Welcome to San Diego Blog | March 24, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Realtor With A Professional Home Photographer

I see multiple properties hit the market every week. This does not baffle me; I am a realtor and this is part of our day to day. However, what does baffle me is the number of listings with poor photos, many of which that are taken by a smart phone! If you are going to sell a product and hope to get top dollar, why wouldn’t you want to show it in the very best light? Retailers and restaurants use professional photographers to sell products that could be as low as $5.  So why wouldn’t you do the same for something that costs hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars?

According to realtor.org, 92% of consumers use the internet during their search for their next home.  Having breathtaking photos is the #1 most crucial part in advertising a home for sale! Listing photos are so important that it could determine the number of showings it receives, how quickly it sells, the final selling price of the home, but most importantly, whether or not the home sells at all.

The buyer’s first impression is everything. If a home buyer isn’t impressed with photos of a property, odds are they will not be interested and will continue to search until something else catches their eye. Believe it or not, it can also skew their perception of a property before even stepping inside! Good photographs leave lasting impressions & emotional ties; bad photographs are forgotten and leave the buyer without feeling.

Real Estate is an emotional purchase and buying a home can be a very emotional time. Emotions are known as one of the most important feelings a buyer experiences during their search. If a buyer can’t feel any emotion when looking at a photo, then it will be difficult for them to have any desire to preview the property, where they can experience the emotion of living in the space.  

Which set of photos below would make you more interested in a home?

 Blog 1 Blog 2 Blog 3


When it comes to photography, there is more than just a fancy camera and tripod:

1. Staged Photography – Properties that are staged correctly tend to sell quickly and for more. Why? Because of emotion. Without furniture and staging, a property could seem “lifeless” or “dull”. Furthermore, poorly staged properties could be just as bad. As a homeowner, it is important to know that there are many different types of staging. For instance, re-arranging furniture, adding pops of color with plants, pillows and art, and adding additional lighting can make all the difference. However you don’t want too much clutter! It’s a balance that many have a hard time finding. De-cluttering personal items is important in order to not distract buyers. Removing items such as family photos, taking items off the refrigerator, and clearing off the counters in both the kitchen and bathroom can make a huge improvement when being photographed. Now, you can always hire a professional staging company. However, it is not always necessary. It is important to remember that empty homes leaves the buyer with zero emotion, while a poorly furnished home leaves a bad emotion.

2. Weather – Having a photographer that knows how to use the weather, the time of day and orientation to their advantage can make a huge difference in photographs. Even with post-production, it is tough to correct certain aspects of a photograph when it was shot on a gloomy day. Grey adds no color or contrast to the interiors and can make the home feel dull. Capturing the home with morning sun or during sunset can appeal to the lifestyle that the property is showcasing. Also, photographs that are taken at the wrong time and orientation can cast shadows across the room, distracting the buyer from the true sense of the space.

3. Post-production – There is so much that can be done in the post-production phase in photography, but where it really counts is the attention to detail. Everything from cropping photos to remove a neighboring home, adding images onto the TV or adding fire to the fireplace, enhancing sunsets or blue sky to give more contrast, touching up grass, trees and landscaping, adding light to light bulbs or fixing paint colors. Most photographers have the same professional software, but how they use the software is key.

4. Angles – Photos are all about the right angles with the right lighting. Professional photographers will showcase the best part of a home by capturing the space with the right angles. This is important because the wrong angles can make the space feel too cluttered or come off visually flat. Photographers will do this with a variety of tools and tricks like using a tripod to avoid camera shake, using long exposure for correct soft lighting, applying a high dynamic range in order to get the blackest blacks and the whitest whites in a space,  or using an external flash and extra lighting. Shooting at the right level is also important. Naturally, the human eye bounces around a photograph, looking for areas on which to focus. A photographer will position the shot to follow horizontal and vertical lines, making it easier for the viewer direct their attention at certain areas in the photograph. 

5. Money shots / Art Direction – Depending on the size of the property, a typically photo shoot can be anywhere from a couple hundred photos to a couple thousand. Of course when it comes to marketing a property, you only need a few photos to really stand out. In most standard MLS platforms, 30-40 is the maximum amount you can upload. However, in my experience you only really need 2-5 “money shots”. Typically, it will be one photo that encourages the buyer to click and view the rest. If the next couple are just as impressive, chances are they will be interested long enough to view the other photos, read the description and hopefully pick up the phone to schedule a showing. The real skill that a photographer brings to the table is knowing exactly what to look for, such as not taking photos of the toilets, personal areas or a messy child’s room. Agents are busy, and we definitely don’t have time to scan through 500 or more photos. So having an photographer who can provide some art direction will scale down the photos to only the best, making it easy for us to focus on more important things, like actively selling the property. 

6. Training – They do this for a living… and chances are they probably went to school for it, have software programs for editing, a trained eye for detail and the tools to accomplish the job correctly. Many times we find owners with the perception that their property is perfect as-is. Sometimes they are and sometimes they need a little help. Our job is to get top dollar for the property, so if that means shifting the family photos around, de-cluttering personal items and gearing the property towards a common taste, than that is what we will do! The photos truly speak for themselves.

Hiring an agent and a team that believes in the power of using not just a professional photographer, but the right professional photographer can make all the difference in both price and time frame. Our job is to help make the next homeowner fall in love with your home the same way that you did. Every day we help seller’s sell their home at the right price, with the right terms, in the right time frame and we’d be honored to help you do the same. Simply call me at 949-310-5195 or send me a text.


Written by: Robert Gmur

Categories: Banker's Hill & Uptown, Columbia District Real Estate, Cortez Hill Real Estate, Downtown San Diego, East Village Real Estate, HD Videos, Little Italy Real Estate, Luxury San Diego Condos, Marina District Real Estate, Point Loma Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized, wtsd

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