A: Totally correct. And savvy agents can differentiate themselves very quickly by making sure their pictures are better than the rest.
You asked: When you are the listing agent, do you:
Q: Take your own photos.
A: Although I am a good photographer, I always hire a top-notch professional to take my listing pictures for all normal sales. ALWAYS. I want all the pictures to be magazine quality shots.
Q: Hire a professional photographer and pay their fee yourself?
A: Since we are a full-service team, I consider it a part of our listing package and pay for it myself. We also pay for a custom website to display the pictures and provide an upscale virtual tour â€“ and we cover the costs for those as well.
Q: Ask the seller to pay for professional photography?
A: Wouldnâ€™t think of asking the seller to pay for it â€“ they are paying me to sell their home in the form of a commission â€“ I pay for all related marketing expenses.
Q: Go a different route?
A: Such as?
You state: When representing a seller, I feel an obligation to make sure the listing gets the attention it deserves and will either hire a pro or use my own equipment and techniques to provide high quality images. (I am not a professional photographer but my photos are not too shabby.)
A: We go beyond that â€“ we also provide free comprehensive staging at our expense. We want to make sure the house shows the best it possibly can and we leave nothing to chance. We feel this is so important we actually own our own staging company. We will also work with sellers to help them prep the property so that it shows like a model home (as much as possible). The better your pictures look online, the higher the number of visitors youâ€™ll get through the front door and the better your chances of getting top dollar and best terms. To make sure all of our pictures are out there, we pay extra to showcase listings on sites like Trulia.com and Realtor.com.
We also include shots that are not so much about the property as they are about lifestyle. We want to make sure people see the pictures and say, â€œThat feels good,â€
Here is an example:
Custom website with picture gallery: http://www.1217curtner.com
Virtual Tour: http://tours.bayhometours.com/38600
In some cases a buyer or seller will act in defiance of the guidance of a knowledgeable professional. In the long run, CHOICE has a durable quality that allows for a reset when a change of strategy is needed. The agility within the real estate industry to provide that which the consumer wants is what keep real estate professionals in a perpetual learning environment.
Best of Success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
In my opinion, any attempt to pass this expense along to the seller would provide them with ample motivation to seek other options......
None of that I know of get paid to list homes, we get paid to sell homes and like anything else there's a cost to doing business. Successful agents know this (that's a significant part of why their successful) while most agents think this is a low overhead business and spend and earn accordingly. I am constantly amazed at how crappy so many photographs I see are and how little the listing agents seem to care.
My only other comment is that the photographers in your area seem to be getting paid too much. The average amount I pay to have a photographer shoot a listing in my area is $100, on occasion for a large property that's really special I might pay as much as $200 - $250. I guess it's all relative, I suspect that the average sales price of a home in San Deigo may be twice what it is here in Chapel Hill / Durham area of North Carolina.
You are being paid to market the property. This means you should pay for the professional photography - it is relatively cheap $199 - $349 for most listings.
Look over photos - you can tell agents that take their own photos. If I was selling and had some of the photos I see I would fire the agent immediately. Just saying.
You have the right thoughts - wanting to represent the seller - so good for you, you get it.
Bets of luck and congrats on your listing!
Kindred Real Estate / KW
You mention your photos are not too shabby. That means they are most likely better than most. Maybe set a price where you will take your own (say listings under 300k) and anything above you will invest in a professional. Seems like a pretty reasonable plan.
I have a Canon DSLR. I have several high end lens', an have been shooting pictures for most of my 52 years. I have Photoshop too. Given time and inclination, I could do the work myself.
However, I am NOT a professional, and what I think might pass as good, may not, in the eyes of my peers, who will be looking at the MLS and adverts rather closely. Facebook has a page devoted to BAD MLS pictures, and I DO NOT want to end up as a poster child of that page.
Given our commitment to provide exceptional marketing services to all our clients, it is well worth the added expense to insure that the house "pops" insofar as outer and interior appearance is concerned.
I think it should always be standard operating procedures for a Realtor to use a top notch photographer and it should be a part of your services provided. I use OBEO
For other listings I take the photos. I take many photos and highlight the best features of the property though sometimes that's easier said than done. There's a fine balance between being truthful in what is photographed so that agents and their customers aren't disappointed when they personally view a property and shooting features that might negate any showings at all. You can't avoid the evident if you know what I mean.
With the great digital phone photo capabilities I find myself taking at least the initial photos so that they are available as soon as the listing is up. I do however schedule to have a professional with the proper lenses take the photos as soon as possible. In place of virtuals I prefer to do my own video clips and post to UTUBE for better presentation. Even as an agent if I do not see photos right away I move on to other properties so it is not hard to imagine that buyers will do the same.
Thank you everyone for confirming my suspicion!