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California M…, Real Estate Pro in ,

How important are photos in a listing?

Asked by California Mortgage Broker, , Thu May 17, 2007

Should a seller consider a professional photographer?

Help the community by answering this question:


Photos are very important to buyers when they are looking at listings on the internet. They are also an important tool for agents who are doing an initial search for their clients. I really like a product called Real Estate Shows.. this is an easy way to set up a professional tour of a property for a client. II find that my clients are consistently impressed with the finished product
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 17, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in Manhattan Beach, CA
Photos can make or break a sale or even a showing! I have buyers who refuse to even read a listing if there are not photos associated with it. Considering that, I would never put a property on the market without good photos!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2007
What's the old saying? ..."A picture tells a thousand stories?"

Anyway, photos distinguish a professional agent from a non-professional agent. If an agent does not market and advertise your home with photos, they are not doing their job. But most importantly, you are not exposing your home to bring anyone to it! If you see an ad with no photos, it is safe to assume that most potential buyers will think the property is in unworthy condition.
Web Reference: http://RSNhomes.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Hi There,

Pictures are very important. In my market, most buyers will skip right over listings that have no or minimal pictures. This process is used to weed out homes and narrow their focus down. We are in a time where people want, what they want now, and my market is flooded with available inventory for them to chose from, so the more information and pictures that are readily available, the more attention they will pay towards it. You can start to “beat out your competition” simply by having the most pictures and making sure all of the information has been filled out, as most companies do not utilize these features, thus inadvertently highlighting the listings with the most pictures and information.

Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
Photos are essential on a listing!!! We are dealing with a generation of buyers that loves doing research of properties on the internet and only those listings that show the best features of a home with photos, those are the homes that they are excited to see. Photos will give buyers and real estate agents an idea of the condition of the property and will also help narrow their search since we have so much supply.

When you don't post photos on your listing, you are taking a chance of being left out on showings since neither the buyer or the real estate agent will know what to expect, when so many other listings leave you with a much clear idea of what the house looks like based on the photos. A good tip will be, make sure you don't post on your listings blurry and bad quality photos!!!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
Photos are extremely important, not only do they help do draw in Potential buyers but they also can make or break a borderline person that trying to decide if your property is worth looking at. Your agent should always use the Maximum number of photos possible in any listing!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2007
Buyers like photos and agents don't like surprises. No photos can equal no showings, but bad photos can do as much damage. Photos are such a crucial part of marketing the home; not only do you need them, you need to take the time to do them right. Clean off the kitchen counters and the refrigerator, don't have electric cords strung across the wall to the outlet where you can see them, stay in focus and for heaven's sake No Clutter!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
I'm by no means a real estate profession--just an ordinary house shopper--however, photos are just sooooooo important. At least 2 of the replying professionals note that without photos, a potential buyer thinks something is wrong. Oh my yes, we do...we do think that immediately. And, personally I always then wonder about the ambition (or lack thereof) on the part of the selling agent. So, why couldn't this guy/gal get over there to take some photos? Is the property a dog for them in some way? Do they have so much work they just don't care? Or...worse yet, do they plainly just not care.

Quality was a word I noticed a lot in the professional responses and that's another one of my key points too! The underexposed, badly done, cheap digital camera version of photos just don't work from a buyer's perspective. If I have to squint to see if it's a kitchen or a bathroom, I'm not happy.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
You cannot underestimate the importance of the photos on a listing. A lack of photos might result in me not showing a home to a prospective buyer. If the buyer is looking on-line they have too little information. My photos have helped us to sell homes based on the web site, photos and virtual tour. We use as many pictures in our marketing as the sites we use will accomodate. Buyers want to see photos.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 25, 2007
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
Photos are critical in my opinion. I always have several photos available for marketing purposes on each property I have listed. Most of our buyers are coming from out of the area so they need photos to view - online or via email.
Web Reference: http://www.SusanMilner.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2007
One of the most critical items... good question! I discuss this with every one of my sellers, and most of them are also buyers, so they agree... multiple photos get their attention, just one photo (especially of a home in another state) annoys them and is likely to be skipped. And good photos should be properly exposed, cropped, and composed to give buyers a good sense of the home. This is possible by hiring a photographer who specializes in interiors, or an agent who has the equipment and skills to showcase a property online with plenty of photos. (Note that if you hire the photographer but your agent can't use the photos, you're stuck...)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 21, 2007
Part of my listing presentation are samples of professional versus non-professional photos. My photographer also creates the virtual tours. Homes are being sold sight-unseen (save the virtual tour), so having professional photos of a properly staged homes can yield big benefits. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 17, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
This is a major hot spot with me & the group! I don't get why agents won't spend the money to get professional pictures. Not just that, I can't believe how many times I see a bathroom toilet in a pic on the MLS, and quite often, the lid is lifted! In a recent real estate magazine it stated that homes with good pictures sell for more, and sell quicker than homes without pictures or with bad pictures. They even showed that the prices and time changed between 1 picture,6 pictures, 12 pictures and 24 pictures. For me, it is VERY important. We need to do our job and represent our properties that we are "marketing" to sell, to the best of our ability. It takes money to make money. Take a look at our property at http://www.RedTwigDrive.com for an example. Some of the listings showing on our site are company foreclosures and other companies listings. You can really see the difference. In this market, we need to do everything we can. Thanks for the GREAT question!
Web Reference: http://www.RedTwigDrive.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008
Put it simply, I don’t bother showing MLS listing to clients that don’t have pictures because you have no feel for the house. It takes too much time to drive out to see the property. Especially considering if the house was really nice the agent would have made sure there were pictures of it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
Many buyers will not give a home a second thought unless there are many photos, and the pictures are good. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

The pictures of the home tell a story to the buyer and it should be a good one. A professional photographer can make a difference. I do think that good results can also be achieved by taking pictures from a variety of different angles and different lighting conditions. Go back through the pictures and choose those that looks best.

I highly encouarge all of my clients to allow me to stage their home to a certain extent to improve the appearance and make it stand out in the pictures.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2007
Very simply, photos are so essential that I will not consider showing a listing that doesn't include them. I have so many listings to pare down when searching out the gems on behalf of my buyers, that I won't waste a single minute on a lazy listing. I know from experience that it's either a dud, or the listing agent is a dud. I'm not interested in either one.

My clients rely on me to locate the very best of the best. That's what I do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2007
Photos are unbelievably important. We work with a lot of buyers, and they do not like to be sent listings that do not have photos, or only have one. Sellers do not have to use a professional photographer, but they should definitely find an agent who can take quality pictures of their homes, and who will help them minimize clutter and brighten up the rooms before taking those pictures! Nothing annoys me more than seeing agents who post listings with no pictures, one picture, or pictures that apparently were taken on their cell phone! When interviewing an agent, ask to see how they present their listings, and to see examples of their advertising, mailers, websites, etc. to see the quality of their work. Good pictures get people out to see your home, and you are not going to sell your home if people do not come to see it!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
Although I am not in the real-estate business and perhaps don’t understand the big picture, as a legitimate home buyer currently in the market and ready to purchase that perfect home, I would not look at or consider any property without a photo. Skipping something as simple as a picture is skipping a potential sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
I just had a listing put under contract in 3 days with no photos online. The property had 5 showings. Photos are important but networking and having the property priced correctly were the key to this sale.
Web Reference: http://www.Find1Home.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 18, 2008
Photos are very important in listing any property. Most buyers agents simply skip any MLS property that does not have any photos.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 18, 2008
Photos are very important in a listing. The National Association of Realtor's statistics show 84% of people looking to buy real estate start their search on the internet. Listings with at least 10 photos get the most viewers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 18, 2008
The one property that broke our neighborhood record was virtually 'SOLD' to the buyers after the buyers saw the pictures of the surrounding hills when they were still in Denver. They then came, visited, and bought the house. Still a neighborhood record, but they are very happy that they have bought this very unique property.

I often have buyers stop by my open houses because they saw the pictures online and decided they just have to come and see the house. The first step to get people to buy a house is to make sure they see the house. Great pictures do just that.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Already been said, but as a potential buyer, looking from another state; GOOD PHOTOS ARE IMPERATIVE. I won't even look at a property without a picture. I don't think you need to spend the money to pay a professional, just common sense. I think a good realtor can take acceptable pictures, just with parameters like stated below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008
Photos are worth a thousand words, i have a professional come take photos. All of our listings from the 1 million plus market to the 100K lot have photos and a virtual tour. Time is worth money and this allows the potential buyer see if they have any interest in the property before taking them out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008
Photos are extremely important and saves Buyers, Sellers and Realtors a lot of time an additional expense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008
Photos are extremely important...a picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, the seller should consider a professional photographer.
Mark Palace, CEO/Founder
Palace Properties International, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Photos are very important as for the shopping pros of the internet and newspaper advertising too. Virtual tours are the hit in the Bay Area
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
As I mentioned below, pictures are very important in this internet savvy world.

There are tons of service providers, both for one property website and for full service with photographer and vurtual tour. Some sites offer tours for you to create your own virtual tour. I shop for new and better service all the time because of the technology improvements that's happening on a daily basis.

I have to say that my opinion about looking at houses or showing houses to my clients are not limited to only the ones that have pictures. I go to broker opens, open houess or just call and preview to check out the houses precisely because sometimes the pictures do not do justice to the house.

Just because the realtor might not be diligent enough to take pictues or sometimes there are rental property where you can't take decent picture of the inside or it might be an owner who is ill or it might be a fixer and, it does not mean the property is not the best home for this specific buyer.

So pictures are very, very important and good pictures help bring potential buyers in, but it is not the house.

Sylvia .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Dear Sir:
Simply visit HomeScenes.com and TourEmeraldCoast.com to see how impacting and helpful a professional, complete walk-through virtual tour can be. My agent ordered a virtual tour with this company today and told me she would not market a home for sale in Atlanta without one.
Also, if you are a for sale by owner, check out their new site TourByOwner.com
Good Luck
Web Reference: http://www.homescenes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
I work as a Residential Realtor in Reno, Nevada with Chase International. The more activity on - line that an agent can promote for a property, the better. It is of paramount importance to photograph a home, at its best, and have it uploaded as quickly as possible. The best approach to selling a home, the fastest and for the best price, is to upload a virtual tour of the home, with enhanced properties added, like a voice over and additional panned shots of the neighborhood. Make sure your Realtor provides as much marketing efforts as possible, especially on-line. Make sure, also, that your agent provides the marketing efforts as quickly as possible after the property is placed on the Multiple Listing Service, and it should be completed within 3-4 days afterwards. While the Reno market still has a greater amount of inventory on the market than last year, at a variety of prices, the properties that get the most notice are the ones that have the most attributes visible to the consumer...... and believe it or not, 83% of consumers looking for a home, go on-line first, do their search, then contact a Realtor. So a home should be at its very best when the listing is posted, don't waste any time!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
A picture is worth a thousand words. I have many, many potential buyers who came to my open house saying that they saw the house on the internet and they just want to come and see it.

Presentation of a property is very important, and that's why one of our big job is to consult our sellers about how to best present and, now a days, often 'stage' their home for showing. So, if we put all the emphasis and efforts on the presentation of the house, then why would we not want to take great pictures to show the house on the most popular venue to market a house - the internet?

However, I usually prefer to take my own pictures for my listings. I know the house, I know the best features of the house and the property, and how I want the house to be presented. I also have vast interest in selling the house, so I will spend a lot of time taking them, from different angels. I will go back, review the pictures and chose the best ones.. I then go back and take some more if what I took did not satisfy me. On top of that, I photoshop my pictures to fix flaws if needed.

Some of the listings I see have pictures which totally do not do justice to the house, and I just don't understand why the realtor would not go and hire a professional to do the job. .

So, to me, pictures are very iimportant and they do attract prospects to come and see the house, and that's the first step. The more peopel who come to see the house, the better probability you have in finding the right buyer. Whether we choose to use a professional photographer, all depends on what kind of pictures you can take.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 6, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Looking at this from a potential homebuyer's point of view, pictures are extremely, extremely important. Besides location and price, if there were no photographs available for the home I would not even give it a second glance. It's impossible to know the condition of a property just by words, descriptions, and floorplans alone.

I don't know about hiring a professional photographer since I know they can be quite expensive, but by using a high megapixel digital camera or even film camera, a seller or listing agent can obtain pretty good photos of the property. But yes, yes, yes! Definitely have photos!!
Web Reference: http://www.simpluxe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 4, 2007
Photos are most important for a listing. Professional pics may not be necessary. A good digital camera can take great photos that are easy to upload to the computer and thus the listing. I have buyers that will not even consider a listing with no photos. Get enough photos for buyers to get a feel for the house. Some Realtors limit the amount of pictures because they want to leave the buyer wanting more. Unless good pics are hard to come by I personally like to get as many as possilbe. Also get a good picture of the exterior of the property and if there are any exterior features such as courtyard, pool, garden etc. be sure to include these as well. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 4, 2007
Photo's in a listing are the most important thing in my opinion! As they say in Real Estate, "a picture is worth a thousand dollars". I know as a Realtor in Las Vegas, that when I sift through the 30,000 homes that are on the market here, I avoid listings that have dark, unattractive, or blank pictures. Why bother? We have a lot of homes to choose from and want to show our buyer the best possible homes. I believe virtual tours are a step up from traditional photo's and are now a "must" here in Las Vegas. We have to stand out compared to the competition. It's worth spending a little extra money on the pictures/tour to get the house sold. In addition, those pictures we put on the MLS are the same one's we use for websites, print marketing, flyers etc. so they have to be good. We actually sold a home, in 19 days after it listed, off the website pictures alone. The buyer fell in love with the house and only went to see it in person days before we closed. He lives there now and is very happy with his choice! Pictures are a must! I've attached a link to one of my property websites to show you the difference with professional pictures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 4, 2007
Photos are very important. Here at Trulia we did a study on what our users are looking at and a majority of the the time the user clicked straight through to the photos first then went on to look for information. A professional photographer might not be necessary but a good digital camera with a high resolution is highly recommended. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2007
Personally, I LOOOOVE photos of homes that I want to see (cut to the chase) and of homes I have seen and want to keep a memory of (easy to mix up with other homes) or look at more deeply to plan if "this will fit there"....I love great photos and am always saddened when I see an agent post just one icky pic of a garage door or something (hey--even if it is a "diamond in the rough" SHOW Me before I waste my time going to look at it...ok, so it's a diamond in the rough...but let me look at if it works for me via pics before I go to look at it in more depth...now I am interested....otherwise, that agent may be wasting his/her time as well!!). I hate when agents post BLURRY or blue-yellow toned pics...it seems like he could care less about the sellers' interest and I feel like calling up the seller and saying "what are you doing? get that off the internet!!"...I have a 260k one near me with no interest...but you should see the crappy shots and quality (blurry, dark). He took the oddest pics that do NOT show off the home whatsoever...makes me wonder if HE wants nobody to buy it.

My 2 cents :D

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2007
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