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Never skimp on your home’s photos

“Curb appeal” is most likely second in popularity to “location, location, location” in the real estate industry’s lexicon of jargon. Yes, those terms have become somewhat trite, but that doesn’t lessen their importance. The truth is, when preparing a home for sale, the exterior appearance of your home, its curb appeal, is many times more important than the interior. Surprised?

Michael Seiler, director of the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University in Virginia, conducted a study of the eye movements of homebuyers searching for homes on the Internet. The study finds that, overwhelmingly, buyers look at the pictures of the homes first. And the photo that receives the most attention is the exterior of the front of the house.

When it comes to the online marketing of your home, you have only two seconds to impress a buyer if your listing lacks photos and only 20 seconds if your listing includes photos. Use those 20 seconds to knock their socks off with clear, compelling photos and they may just pay your home a visit.

Hire a professional

Yes, professional photos make a difference, and it’s not only in the number of buyers who will be attracted to your home (these homes got 61 percent more views online), but in sale price as well. A large real estate group conducted a study of this phenomenon and found that listings that included professional photos sold for a minimum of $934 and up to $18,819 more than those that included photos taken by an amateur.

You can have the most high-tech, amazing camera ever invented but if you don’t have the training and experience of someone that takes photos for a living you will never get the same results they do. For instance, are you familiar with what constitutes a compelling photograph – the concepts of lighting and composition?

Yes, you’ll need to pay for a professional

Fees for pro photos vary nationwide. Since you’ll be saving at least 3 percent of the list price of your home by not working with an agent, this seems a small price to pay considering how much more money a professional photographer can bring to the sale of your home.

Remember, your listing will be competing against those listed by professional real estate agents, many of which are professional marketers. Beat them at their own game by making your home stand out among all the others in your price range by hiring a professional photographer.