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What message do buyers get from real estate photos?

Say you are searching for homes for sale in a new area and you come across one that is using rather poor photos.

The inside is a little dark, so it’s hard to make out everything in the room, and perhaps the windows are largely white due to the bright light outside. The home itself is presented in a lived-in state, so while it’s not immaculate, it does look like a pretty standard family home with a small number of toys and documents around the living room, a somewhat cluttered kitchen, and beds that are just a little messy.

What message do you get from those photos?

When potential buyers look through the photos of a listed property, they want to be able to visualize themselves in that space. If the listing has a price on it, and the home looks to be in disarray, they may start to compare it with other homes listed at the same price. They may think that maybe the agent is asking a bit too much for a home of that presentation, relative to others currently on the market. If you were a buyer in that situation, would you be rushing to the agent, eager to look through before someone else snaps it up? Or are you thinking that you’ve got plenty of time, and you’ll get to it eventually if nothing else works out?

When considering what kind of offer you might make on the property, would you want to offer your highest possible price, or do you think you would submit a low price because you assume that the seller’s expectations are low as well? Based on those photos you might assume that the real estate agent selling that home doesn’t think it warrants professional photography because he or she thinks it will sell for a low price, so perhaps you would assume that the seller would probably accept a lower price.



Think like a buyer

When we consider the photos that are to be used in a real estate marketing campaign, it can be helpful to consider it from the point of view of a buyer, and all of the subtle messages that a buyer picks up when going through the photos online.

However, the real estate agent selling that home also needs to consider the message that those photos say about them and their service:

  1. Do poor real estate photos make a home seem like good value relative to other homes on the market?
  2. Do poor real estate photos entice buyers to act quickly before it’s gone?
  3. Do poor real estate photos give the impression that the agent selling the home is the most knowledgeable and professional agent in the area?

A lot of people would probably answer ‘no’ to each of those questions. Poor real estate photos don’t benefit anyone, but it is most likely not that the real estate agent uses poor photos because they want to get a low price for a home, or because they don’t want to appear professional.

It is more likely that the real estate agents who use poor photos do so because they can’t tell the difference between a good photo and a poor photo. That should not be anything to be ashamed of, provided that real estate agent seeks to learn more about what makes a great real estate photo. However, the visual element of marketing a home is key. And as put by Best Real Estate Photographers, “…buyers today are now much better educated on image quality than they used to be. So when they go to their local website to see what homes are currently for sale in their area they want to be impressed. They don’t bother clicking on the poorly presented home, or the bad photo, unless they are looking for a bargain.” It takes less than a second to form a first impression and you want yours to be a stand out one right away.

Ask your local expert

If the difference between good photos and poor photos is something that you need to learn more about, have a chat with different local real estate photographers in your area. Head over to Aerial State Media to check out what we have to offer and never hesitate to reach out to us with questions.