The art of photography has changed drastically over the last few years, especially with the advances in technology that led to digital images. Since then, people have engaged in taking pictures of everything and anything. Other than the initial cost of the equipment, consumers can snap shots constantly, without incurring further costs, unless they decide to print photos at home, or at a professional photo printing shop. Professional photographers shoot far better photos than the average consumer, as the art of photography requires skill, training, and experience. Professional photography equipment is usually far more sophisticated than that of the average consumer. While digital photography has unleashed a new breed of photographers, the professional photographer is generally more advanced.
Photography in Real Estate
The manner in which the real estate market operates today brings real estate photography to center stage. Realtors and vendors rely on digital images to promote listed properties and lure more potential buyers. Poor or average photos of listings may be overlooked by motivated buyers. With the onset of the digital age, realtors armed with their own digital cameras prefer to photograph their own listings, in an effort to save time and money. A pocket camera can’t compete with a professional one; beautiful photos cannot result from poorly lit rooms; and the untrained eye of a realtor can’t capture the essence of a room as can a professional photographer.
The new “curb appeal” is now the “web appeal,” as most of the buying searches are conducted online. Professionally photographed listings are easily spotted because the ideal lighting and equipment were used to achieve perfection. The experience and trained eye of the professional will also photograph the home in its entirety from ideal angles to make them more appealing. With so much attention focused on these photos, it’s imperative that they be nothing less than perfect to attract more realtors and buyers. This could speed up the sale of a property, and possibly even lead to more impressive offers.
When selling your home, ensure the best real estate agent is mandated to best handle the marketing of your property. This individual is an expert in the selling process but is not a professional photographer. Discuss the importance regarding this issue, and choose an agent who sees the value of professionally photographed homes. The spotlight of your listing lies in the photos. Virtual tours and slideshows enable potential buyers to get more than just a glimpse of a room, but actually experience it as if they were there in person.
Photography is a highly specialized industry, but not every photographer is capable of producing exceptional results in every situation. Each excels in a particular domain. A top-notch wedding photographer does not necessarily produce top-notch real estate photography. Architecture photographers can do an excellent job, but their high rates would be a hefty price for a realtor to pay. Real estate photographers can provide great results, but are more reasonably priced.
As for their skills, the professionals have a good eye and can produce numerous good shots of every property. Interior shots are evenly lit to provide accurate visual information to the onlooker. Exterior shots present the property in its best light and from its best angle. These photos will be vibrant and inviting to generate interest and increase visits because of lighting, composition, lens choice, software and processing. It is the responsibility of the real estate photographer to make the photos look as good as possible.
According to a 2013 study conducted by a popular real estate brokerage firm, professionally photographed homes sell faster by an average of 21 days, and for more money, than those that listed amateur photos. The study included homes priced between $200,000 and $1 million. Homes that were professionally photographed and priced between $400,000 but under $500,000 sold, on average, for $11,200 more!
The Wall Street Journal also attested to the value real estate photography can bring to a listing, even as high as $116,076, using DSLR photography rather than a point-and-shoot camera. Such equipment can cost up to $5000 or more, so most average consumers will make this investment. Professional photos could bring much larger profits to homeowners for a small investment, as per the above study and article in the reputable newspaper.
Real estate agents should rethink how they spend their marketing dollars to increase sales using professional real estate photographers, as their properties would be more competitive. They stand to gain just as much as their clients when they display their listings in their best light. Almost 81% of listings displayed amateur photos using a point-and-shoot camera. Homeowners selling their homes should insist that their real estate agent hires a professional photographer, as it is up to the agent’s discretion. Your home will receive more views, which may result in a quicker sale with more attractive offers.