Curb appeal, staging, decluttering, new paint, and carpet don’t work if potential buyers skip your online showing because of lousy pictures.
According to NAR (National Association of Realtors®), approximately 90% of homebuyers start house hunting online. A good picture can attract a buyer to look at more information about your property.
In the latest survey by the NAR, ..”As a result of an internet home search, buyers most often walked through the home that they viewed online. Buyers 51 years and younger saw the exterior of homes because of searching online for properties. The most important website feature was photos for nine in 10 buyers under the age of 62.”
And according to Zillow, nearly 40% of Millennials are comfortable buying a home online. House hunting during COVID brought the importance of online appeal of photos front and center.
Let’s face facts: At one time, staging your home for showings and open houses was everything. But COVID pushed everything online and made a lot more people comfortable with buying homes after seeing them online. It’s hard to believe the importance of how your house looks in still photos and virtual tours on a screen can determine everything.
In order to showcase your home and not your “stuff” clear out toys, overcrowded countertops, and odds and ends left around the home. Use your cell phone to photograph rooms and compare them to pictures you see online. If you don’t like what you see then figure out what else needs to be eliminated or moved. Your agent may move some things for pictures but it’s not their job to clean your home.
Make sure light bulbs work and this might be the right time to remove dated, light-blocking draperies, and maybe it’s time to get rid of the oversized lounge chair that you always hated. Think about getting ready for school photos. Face scrubbed, teeth brushed, hair combed, and no obnoxious colored clothing that will haunt you for years to come.
Look closely at the pictures you take as a test. Make sure furniture is placed properly and is instantly appealing to viewers. Make sure window treatments are open allowing natural light in.
Probably the most important thing to do is hire a professional photographer. Many Realtors® hire a photographer and some companies provide the service- check with your agent on what’s available. The age of online viewers is an important consideration. Homes aimed at Millennials have more appeal with 3D tours. If your property is geared toward Boomers, the 3D tour may be a waste of money.
Assuming every photo is perfect…make sure the “written” information about each photo is also appealing to potential buyers. Make sure your Realtor® knows about custom features and neat things that might not appear in photos. Most real estate brokerages share their listings online with a variety of sites and social media. Check with your agent for details on the distribution of listing information.