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Are you looking to sell your Chicago home? With modern technology, the majority of potential buyers start their home search online perusing photos of homes in their desired area, which means good listing photos are more important than ever. Don’t have room in the budget for a professional photographer? Don’t worry – with these helpful tips, you’ll be able to create listing photos that are sure to sell your home.
Staging is Important
Prior to setting up your tripod, you may want to clear the home of any personal belongings such as children’s artwork and toys. The goal here is to capture photos of your home that’ll allow a potential buyer to be able to picture themselves living there. Stage the home with additional lighting, fresh flowers, and sheer window treatments that allow in the natural light. Additionally, while it may seem obvious, make sure to give the home a deep clean – you would be surprised what imperfections a camera lens can capture.
Just as with the interior, the exterior also requires some TLC. Remove any clutter from the yard such as hoses, brush, or debris. Add some potted plants to the front porch for a pop of color. Make sure the grass is mowed, hedges are trimmed, and the walkways are swept. Your curb appeal sets the tone for the home even to those who’re shopping online.
Don’t Use a Cell Phone
Nowadays, cell phones have some amazing cameras that are great for photos with friends and family or the culinary masterpiece you made for dinner. Listing photos? Not so much. If you’re going to take your own listing photos, it’s a good idea to invest in a decent camera, as well as a tripod to prevent your photos from being blurry.
When you’re photographing your home, the last thing you want your pictures to portray is that your home is dark and dreary. Buyers are looking for bright and open spaces with plenty of natural light. Open the curtains and blinds, turn the lights on, and add additional lighting such as lamps to create a nice warm glow. When photographing the exterior of your home, the best time of day to do so is during the “golden hours,” which are one hour after sunrise or one hour prior to sunset, depending on the direction your home faces.
Highlight Your Assets
You know your home and its best qualities, so be sure your photos include all of the best features. If you’re photographing a small space, shoot it from the doorway using a lot of light. Avoid shooting upwards or downwards – aim to shoot straight on to show the actual space of each room. Be sure to capture the focal points and upgrades of the home such as fireplaces, crown molding, hardwood floors, outdoor space, bay windows, or stunning architectural elements without going overboard. The buyer doesn’t need to see every little detail. Avoid photos that have any obstructions in the background too, as the room may be stunning, but the billboard out the window can be an eyesore.
While Photoshop can be a photographer’s best friend, photos that are over-edited can be a red flag to potential buyers. You should only use your editing software to brighten up your photo, enhance the color, or to crop it. As for how many photos to include in your listing, you want to have enough photos to show the home's best features but not so many that the browser becomes bored and moves on to the next listing. Try and stick with ten to fifteen photos per listing, depending on how big the space is.
With the majority of home buyers starting their search online, your listing photos are their first impression. Make them stunning and your home will sell in no time!