About 45% of buyers look at homes online before they make a purchase. They might be checking out recommendations from their Realtor (or researching homes on their own before they’ve even hired one). But no matter what stage of the buying process someone is in, the fact remains that almost half of today’s buyers are pre-shopping on their phones, tablets, and laptops. With so many people clicking on homes for sale, wouldn’t it make sense to have a flawless online presence? 

The first step is to evaluate the photos of your home. How’s the lighting? How’s the framing? How’s the composition? If these are questions you can’t quite answer, you’re not alone. The average person’s photography skills are usually limited to the capabilities of their camera phones.  But amateur equipment used by an amateur photographer will make your listing look…amateurish. Not a good strategy when trying to entice someone into spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The last thing you need is for a buyer to move past your listing because your tan house looks green in the photos. Or because the camera angle makes your kitchen look tiny. Simply put, your photos need to be awesome. They have to generate interest, if not excitement, for the home you’re selling. 

A well-crafted home listing should include about 30 images. You need a minimum of one photo for each room in the house (including bathrooms, the laundry room, and the front entry room/foyer). Larger rooms may require multiple photos. Include pictures of selling points such as a wine fridge, a built-in barbeque, or an epoxy-coated garage floor. Be sure your listing shows pics of the front of the house, the backyard, plus any specialty shots such as community amenities or aerial shots of the mountain views.

The way your home is featured, including the photographs, should be part of the overall marketing strategy. And the marketing strategy is the responsibility of the Realtor. A good Realtor will hire a professional photographer to capture the highlights of your home. The Realtor will then choose the best shots for the listing. Resist the temptation to involve yourself in the selection of pictures - You’re not creating a Christmas card. As the homeowner, you’re also biased. Your emotional connection with a certain room or a part of the house will cloud your judgment as to which photos work best for marketing purposes. Let your Realtor handle this part. Remember: You’ve been involved in maybe one or two home sales in your lifetime. But an experienced Realtor has done hundreds of sales. When you hire someone for his/her experience you might as well get what you’re paying for! 

If you think of the home you’re selling as the product, and the online listing as the catalog, you’ll understand why having high-quality photos is so important. Proper lighting, the right lenses, plus an eye for photography can make a world of difference. Don’t put yourself out of the running because of crummy photos. And if you’re not getting any support from your Realtor in this area, it might be time for you to shop around.