If we were writing this post 20 years ago, the answer would probably be something like your home’s curb appeal or the front door. Before the widespread use of online listings, the most a buyer would see before they went inside your house was the front of it. If a home was listed for sale in a neighborhood a buyer was interested in, they had to physically go inside to see what it looked like. Not anymore. Buyers can see virtually every part of your home before they even get to your street. So, what’s the first thing a buyer notices about your home in today’s market?
The First Thing a Buyer Notices About Your Home – Photos
Before any buyer gets in their car and drives over to see your house, they will have looked at every single photo online and likely the Google Street View to see what the rest of the street looks like. With the age of instant information and a shortage of time in everyone’s day, a buyer will be sure this house is one they want to see before they spend an hour driving out to see it. If your photos are not the very best representation of your home, you’re losing your best buyers.
Insist on Professional Photography
Photos are so important to your bottom line that we hire a professional photographer for every single home we market. The photographer is our cost, not yours. We will not put our name in front of a house that has not been marketed professionally and that starts with professional photos. As a seller, you should insist on professional photography. If the Realtor you’re looking to hire tries to convince you professional photos are unimportant or they are talented enough to take adequate pictures from their point and shoot camera, find a Realtor who knows what they are talking about.
Photos Can Make Or Break a Home Sale
Professional photos are that important. I have seen hundreds of homes over the years that haven’t sold when they were priced below the comps and looked great in person. The problem? The photos online were a horrible representation of what the house actually looked like and no one came to see it. For something that could literally make or break the sale of your home or negatively affect your bottom line, why wouldn’t you insist on a professional photographer to give you the best chances of success?
Professional Photos Without Preparation Are Pointless
Though professional photographers know how to position the camera to capture the widest angle of a room, they can’t hide clutter, paint walls or put away laundry. Treat a professional photo shoot as your first showing to the buyer that is ultimately going to purchase your house. These photos are going to be broadcasted all over the internet and you want them to be the absolute best they can be. Remember a buyer will use these photos as a qualifier to determine if they want to see your home or not. Give them a compelling reason to get in their car and drive over.
How Do I Prepare My Home for a Photo Shoot?
The basic rule is to ask yourself “do I want a buyer to see what I can see in this room?” If the answer is no, pack it up and put it away. This includes things you use everyday, like kitchen brushes, makeup, remotes, pet food, etc. The photo shoot should only last 45 minutes, so it won’t be a huge inconvenience to put these things away and the results will last for as long as your home is for sale. Here are some tips for how to prepare your home for a professional photo shoot.
Make Sure Your Home is in Tip Top Shape – Inside and Out
Professional photographers will capture most of your house – with the exclusion of closets and the garage. It is ok to hide stuff there for the photo shoot and showings. If you have a huge walk-in master closet, you will benefit from including that in the pictures, so if you can declutter as much of that as possible, even better. The yard is another area that will be showcased in photos. Take care of any yard work the day before (or morning of) so it looks fresh.
Photos Generate Buzz Which Compel Showings
In this strong real estate market, homes that appear as a value online are the first shown and the most talked about. Homes that appear as a value have one thing in common – awesome photos. Spend the time necessary to make sure your home is show ready when the photographer comes.
Want to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar?
Spend the time necessary to make sure your home looks great in photos. Declutter, paint and pack. For most people, it takes weeks and sometimes months to get their homes show ready. Gone are the days where you can interview a Realtor on Monday night and have a sign in your yard on Tuesday. If you want to sell your home for top dollar, make sure it looks like it’s worth top dollar.
Considering Selling Your Home in Austin?
Not only do we have the best home marketing plan in Austin, but we also know what buyers are looking for. If you’re looking for a Realtor who knows how to advise sellers on preparing their homes to meet the market without spending more than you have to, you found the right people. We have a combined 55+ years of experience in real estate and know how to sell homes for more. Check out our Austin Home Sellers page to learn more about our team and our home selling system. Then, fill out our Seller Survey, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or call us at (512) 827-8323 to schedule a no obligation consultation.