Home Selling in Little Rock>Question Details

Chris White, Real Estate Pro in Little Rock, AR

Why do most real estate agents choose to take their own photos over hiring a professional?

Asked by Chris White, Little Rock, AR Mon Feb 3, 2014

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Do they? Well, that's silly.

On the other hand, we take 'way too many photos. What's the biggest complaint that people have about real estate photography? They can't see enough to make them want to stay home.

Well, we don't want them to stay home; as listing agents, we want them to come out and see the property, and if we could get buy with one photo, I'd be all for it!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
I agree Mack. In Arkansas, our MLS system limits the amount of photos per listing to 20 only. Now there are some agents that link virtual tours to that listing containing more.... but for the most part.... you can never get enough photos. It's been my experience that most home buyers use the internet as a way to weed out or narrow down the top 5-10 homes they are interested in and want to look at. Photos play a HUGE part in determining which ones make the list and which ones don't.
Flag Mon Feb 3, 2014
Because they are cheap is my guess. I am always amazed by how many agents are reluctant to spend money on their business. Professional photography is a must in almost all cases. I confess to here or there having a total sad sack listing that can't be helped by professional photography but otherwise I always pay for a superb professional photographer to take as many photos as need be. I am floored by what I see in MLS and can only conclude that some sellers don't look at their own listings online - which is hard to believe. There is one very busy agent in town whose photos make me seasick - every other shot is tilted at a different angle - you are dizzy by the time you finish scrolling through them. Many MLS photos aren't as bad but 9 times out of 10 an agent's photos are not nearly as good - not in the same ballpark - as a professional's.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Thanks for the comments Elizabeth. I agree with everything you said. I've seen numerous listings with just one photo available and these are nice homes in the $500k-$850k price range. Some of them look as if they are taken with a cell phone on a rainy day. I was just curious to see why agents don't include more high quality photos - or - why homeowners would settle for an agent whose marketing approach is something similar to that. Thanks again!
Flag Mon Feb 3, 2014
Most Realtors haven't figured out that homes sell/rent so much faster with professional photos. It is not expensive at all to have photos taken and I suspect that most agents are just lazy or too broke to spend the money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2014
You cannot say enough about providing clients with Professional Photography. The best thing that someone should in interviewing the agent is to take a look at that agents prior listings to see their photography. It should be very easy to identify the ones who have professional photography from the ones that don't. This very much should be part of the agent interview process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2014
I use a combination of both however, I've invested in a high end camera.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2014
There are a variety of reasons. One of the reasons we do, is because we know what photos are needed to show the property in its best light, but not make it better than it really is. We don't want prospective home buyers to come to a showing and be disappointed that the house isn't what they saw in the pictures. Reason number two; time, photographers are not always available when you need them. Reason number 3, cost. It would be different if Seller was paying the cost, but as a Realtor, you have to figure in advertising, and a whole host of other expenses and then ensure that you are able to provide the same services to all of your clients. I do agree however, that some properties would have a better chance with a professional photogragher. Especially when we see photos that are badly out of focus, or Phone photos that just show small areas of a room.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2014
Great Question, are you in the photo business?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2014
It really isn't difficult to take nice pictures provided an agent uses a suitable camera. I find that for the higher end properties sellers expect a more professional finish to their pics. so we have to be guided by the demands of those who hire us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2014
I can't see why an agent who is capable of taking great photos should pay to have it done. With that being said, some agents really need to use a service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 4, 2014
I have found that by hiring a professional photographer, my listings are well presented and sellers are happy that their home is being marketed in a professional manner. I also feel that visual tours are a great way to expose the property to potential buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 4, 2014
Digital cameras make taking pictures a no-brainer. It is smart to save a $$.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 4, 2014
I am opening this discussion up to both homeowners and real estate agents alike:

I am just curious to see what either side has to say about this?

Now… Some of you might hesitate to comment on this, because it may give the impression to your clients (if you are an agent) that you’re not the awesome marketing and promotions expert that you advertised to be in your listing presentation. So I am going to pose this as a hypothetical question (it’s not your response but someone you know….) to hopefully gain better feedback and more responses without shining a spotlight on anyone.

From a homeowners perspective – I would think you would want to choose an agent that could make your home look better than it really is, in order to justify a higher listing price which means more money for YOU! As a homeowner, what are you looking for in a real estate agents marketing plan when listing your house?

From an agents perspective – I would think you would want to sell this home as quickly as possible and making a first impression would be key. I recently read a marketing study that compared the average marketing cost of several listings within the same price range over the life of the listing. The listings that used professional photos when the house hit the market saved the agent on average almost four times the money to market it. This was mainly due to having poor photos in the beginning, which led to months of additional marketing costs in newspaper ads, magazine ads, online promotions, etc. either to appease the homeowners in order to maintain the listing agreement or to try and entice buyers (which usually resulted in lowering the price).

I’m just curious to hear your reasoning either as a homeowner or an agent as to why you think using a professional photographer is important or NOT important to you?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Great question Chris. As you know I believe that professional pictures are worth ever penny, as I have used you in the past to take pictures of my listings. The more sellers I show the difference between professional and unprofessional pictures the seller gets why it is so important. The pictures are what most buyers see first, have to look good to get them to set an appointment to look at the house. I'll follow this question, would like to see what sellers think.
Flag Mon Feb 3, 2014
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