Why is Professional Photography Essential for Real Estate Listings?

Valyn Cole Lyons
Valyn Cole Lyons
Published on July 1, 2020

We know you’ve seen them – those MLS listing photos that look like they were taken by the homeowner’s 6-year-old. Photos of messy rooms, blurry and/or dark photos and even exterior shots snatched from Google Earth.

We have clients who have refused to look at homes, based solely on the MLS photos when, in fact, we’ve seen them and they aren’t as bad as the photos make them appear.

First, it’s not the homeowner’s job to take photographs of the home – it’s the listing agent’s. Sadly, many agents will snap these photos with their smart phones or a cheap camera they bought on sale at Amazon.

We’ve read the statistics, however, and long ago we adjusted our marketing plan to include professional photography.  And, here’s why:

  • Studies show that, by and large, homebuyers looking at online listings of homes for sale won’t look at a home in person if the listing lacks photos.
  • If the listing does include photos, homebuyers decide within 20 seconds whether or not they like the property.
  • Ocular studies (following eye movements of website viewers) have found that the photo of the home is almost always the first thing viewed in a listing.

If these statistics don’t prove that a home’s presentation is paramount in getting buyers through the door, nothing does.

Another big reason to insist on professional photography comes from another study we reviewed. This one found that listings with photos taken by a pro are viewed 61 percent more than those with photos taken by an amateur.

Better yet, these homes can sell for up to about $19,000 more than the homes photographed by a novice.

Ask yourself this: If all it takes is any old photo to sell something, why doesn’t Nike use its receptionist to snap their advertising photos? Because they, like us, know better.

Professional photos speak

Professionally-shot photos create inspiration, according to Jay Groccia, a real estate photographer in Massachusetts. His interior photos, like those of our photographer’s, show not only the room, but his eye-view of the lifestyle the home offers.

So, why don’t all real estate agents use professional photographers?

In all honesty, many real estate agents (no, not all, but a lot of them) don’t take the time to keep up with real estate industry studies and think that iPhone photos or other amateur tactics are “good enough.”

Also, marketing a home requires a robust marketing budget, something most agents lack. Yes, we could go into how they are short-changing their clients by not offering the service, but that one will wait for another day.

The bottom line is, we understand that to be effective in listing and selling homes, we can’t possibly wear all the hats in our real estate practice. And, we want only the best for our clients and we aren’t willing to compromise on quality when it comes to a home’s presentation.

A home of their own is the dream of many, and we want yours to be perceived as the realization of that dream from the minute someone eyes it online. Reach out to us to learn more about our marketing services.

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