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Do you plan to sell your St. Louis home in the near future? Just about everyone begins their home-search online these days. Which makes having high-quality listing photos more important than ever before. We’re not all in the position to hire a professional photographer, but with a few of these tips, you can create impressive photographs that capture every ounce of charm inside and outside of your house. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of your listing photos:
Before we even get to the ‘taking pictures’ part, you’re going to want to get your home into tip-top shape. Consider minimizing your personal belonging wherever possible — store away the family photos, pet beds, storage containers, children’s toys, knick-knacks, etc. You want your home to appear as a blank(ish) slate that prospective buyers can picture themselves and their belongings in. You might add some extra lighting, fresh flowers and sheer window treatments which let in more natural light. Of course, you should also give the house a thorough cleaning.
The exterior needs attention just like the interior. Remove any clutter from the yard like tools, toys, hoses, and debris. Some potted plants on the front porch will add an attractive burst of color. Make sure the grass is freshly mowed, trim the hedges, and sweep the walkways Your curb appeal sets the tone for the home even for online viewers.
Forget About Your Phone
Cell-phone cameras are pretty advanced these days, and they’re terrific for snapping shots of family and friends, and the flaming dessert you had at the restaurant last night — but you don’t want that to be your medium for listing photos. If you’re planning to take your own listing pics, invest in a decent camera or borrow one. A tripod will also ensure that your pictures are perfectly sharp.
Your home can’t appear to be dark (or even dim) in your photos. Buyers are looking for bright, open spaces with an abundance of natural light. Throw open the curtains and blinds, turn all of the lights on, and add some lamps to create a warm, comforting glow. Photograph the exterior of your home during the ‘golden hours’; one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset, depending on which direction your house is facing.
Highlight the Best Features
You know your home and its qualities so be sure your photos include all of its highlights. Don’t use a fisheye lens, as buyers will become immediately suspicious that rooms may be smaller than what is depicted. If you’re shooting a small space, stand in the doorway taking advantage of every ounce of light. Try to avoid artistic flourishes, you want to shoot straight-on (not up or down) to show the actual space of every room. Photograph both the interior and the exterior and the interior from an angle to communicate the depth of each space. And be sure to capture the upgrades and focal points in the house, fireplaces, crown moulding, hardwood floors, outdoor space, bay windows, or any impressive architectural details without going overboard. The prospective buyers don’t need to see every little detail.
Finally, knowing your way around Photoshop (or other editing software) can be very helpful, pictures that have been over-edited can be a red flag to potential buyers. Any editing should be to brighten the photos, enhance the colors, or if you need to crop them. You will also want to edit the number of photos you select for the listing. You want enough to show the home's best features, but not so many that the viewer could get bored and move on to the next listing. 10-12 is a good range to shoot for.
In many cases, your listing photos are going to make the first impression on potential buyers. It’s worth putting in the extra effort to make that impression a memorable one.