Taking Great Listing Photos

Taking fantastic pictures of your home may be the single most important thing you can do to help sell it.  Almost all house hunts begin online.  During an online search, buyers focus on the pictures when paging through listings.  Once a picture has caught their eye, then, and only then, will they look at the printed information.  Recent studies show that listing your home with high quality pictures can shorten the amount of time it is on the market by several weeks. 

There are many ‘expert’ opinions about how to take photographs for a house listing and they all disagree.  Nevertheless, taking eye-catching, professional looking pictures is easy if you follow some basic guidelines.  Plus it can be a lot of fun.

When taking pictures of the inside of the house, it is best to concentrate on the main living areas.  Take pictures of the living room, dining room and other common areas.  It is advisable to skip the bedrooms unless one of them has some extraordinary feature like a fireplace or an amazing view.

When photographing a room, angle the camera to feature two walls.  The frame should include a window or an interesting aspect of the room.  Avoid getting too much ceiling in the shot.  Feel free to move furniture and ornaments around in order to stage a nice picture.

Getting the correct lighting is essential for taking a nice picture.  Take several shots with different lighting so you can choose the one that best shows off that particular room.  Try a few with all the lights one; then a few with just one or two and then a few with just natural light coming in the window.  Experiment with the flash on and off.

Photographing the exterior of the house has its own requirements.  Before you start framing pictures, tidy up.  Remove garbage cans.  Take down seasonal decorations.  Put toys and tools away.  You want your house looking its best.

One of the biggest challenges to outdoor photography is lighting.  Unlike indoor shooting it is impossible to control outdoor lighting.  When photographing the outside of your house it is important to get the light behind you.  If the light is coming from behind the house or from the side it will create a harsh glare.  If it isn’t feasible to get the sun behind you or if your house is heavily shaded, take pictures on an overcast day.  That will mute the lighting effects.

If there are any exceptional features to the exterior of your house be sure to photograph them.  Is there a pool?  A gazebo?  A breath-taking view?  Get a few shots of it.

Finally, here are a few general tips.  Take your time.  Take all day if you can or take a few pictures at different times of the day over several days.  Experiment with different angles and elevations.  Better to have a lot of pictures you do not need than to have just a few shots which really don’t do your house justice.  Do not photo edit your pictures.  Unless you are an expert, photo editing shows.  It will make the buyer suspicious of the rest of your pictures.  Take the best pictures you can and let the beauty of your home sell itself.

Taking the time to get the perfect pictures of your home will pay off in time and money.  Besides it’s a lot of fun.  So let loose your inner shutter bug and get to work.

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