Buyers Want to See Photos of the Real Home

Dated: 02/19/2019

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Real Photos Work!

In the digital world, no one is ever out of shape. People don’t age. No one is ever sad or lonely. It’s sort of like the musical number in The Lego Movie:

  • Everything is awesome!
  • All the time.
  • No matter what.

Except that isn’t how it works in real life. People age. Sometimes people are sad or lonely, and sometimes everything isn’t always awesome—but that’s also okay, because like the digital version of something that looks vaguely human, false awesomeness is sort of creepy.

And even if you don’t find it creepy, it’s definitely inauthentic.

Listing Photos Should Be Real

That same sort of false awesomeness and lack of authenticity is becoming more prevalent in the photos agents are using to sell homes.

Taking good photos of your home is critically important. In fact, it’s one of the most important pieces of advice we give people who are looking to sell their own home. If you’re working with an agent, taking good photos should be one of the first things you discuss. Photos will make or break your online marketing.

But when we say use “good photos,” we mean use real photos. The photos should be the best representation of the real-life home you are selling. In other words, excessively filtering or editing your photos to the point where the property in the pictures no longer resembles the property as it exists in reality is a mistake. And it’s a mistake that can ultimately backfire.

It's Like Online Dating

Fortunately, I met my beautiful wife when were both young, before online dating was really as big as it is today. However, I have known both men and women who’ve had to suffer the perils of online dating and the frequent instances of false advertising that go with that territory. If you ever find yourself in the online dating pool, you are far better off presenting yourself as you really are and meeting someone who is excited about meeting the authentic you.

(We are a real estate brokerage, and now we dole out dating advice on the side. We do a little bit of everything here at Worth Clark Realty.)

As a home seller, you’re also better off presenting your home as it exists in reality, and meeting buyers who are genuinely excited about the opportunity to be the next owner. A potential buyer with unrealistic expectations due to excessively photoshopped or filtered photos will likely never get over the instant feeling of disappointment they experience when they first see the “real” version of your home.

How to Take Great (*ahem* Real) Listing Photos

Disappointment doesn’t need to happen. You can get your home in shape, and then you can take great photos by sticking to the basics:

  • Declutter your home. Similar to a staging, decluttering allows potential buyers to imagine a property as their home, not yours.
  • Use natural light.
  • Highlight your home’s strongest selling points, particularly good architectural features.
  • Don’t use a wide-angle lens that makes a room look bigger than it is. Like filters or photoshopping, using a wide-angle lens is a form of false advertising.

Fortunately, when you work with Worth Clark Realty, you do not have to engage in false advertising to get the best price for your property. If you’re using one of our agents, he or she will make sure the best version of your home is being marketed, without using techniques that inevitably lead to disappointed buyers.

Because false advertising won’t help you on eHarmony.

And it also won’t help you sell your home.

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Steven Barks

Steven Barks is the President & COO of Worth Clark Realty. He began his real estate career in 2009 as an agent for a small startup property management company in Minneapolis, MN. A natural self-starte....

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