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Today essentially all home buyers use the Internet themselves to search for a home in the neighborhood, price range, with number of bedrooms, square feet etc., they want. They narrow all the possibilities down to a list that’s short enough to physically go look at, take that list to their agent and tell them “We want to go see these homes.” When searching online a potential home buyer may have to go through hundreds of homes. In online home searches, they give the search page their criteria and then they typically get a list of short descriptions with a thumbnail photo of the front of the home. In this search process the look of the small thumbnail photo is the first thing that entices the home searcher to click on a link to see more information. This thumbnail is very important and is like the “bait” on the home sellers “hook”. For maximum effectiveness this thumbnail photo should be bright, colorful (like a good fishing lure) and fill the frame. Then after clicking on the thumbnail to get more details there will be additional photos and some text describing the features of the home. How these photos present the home will play a major role in whether or not this home gets on the buyers “let’s go see it” list!
Ten or fifteen years ago if you were looking for a home to purchase you would first find a real estate agent and tell them what kind of home you were looking for and where you wanted to purchase it. The agent would then do a search of the local Multiple Listing Service (accessible only to agents) and create a list of homes for you to physically go look at.

Things Have Changed!

The photograph is almost always the first element in any ad that connects with the buyer. It is the handshake, the first impression, the thing that cuts through the visual clutter to capture the buyer’s attention. Everything in the marketing campaign to sell the home relies on the quality and quantity of the photographs. Many times, buyers will decide if they will visit a home, and other agents will decide if they will show a property based on the strengths (or weaknesses) of the photos accompanying a listing. Quality photos can and do make a difference, a big difference. 

​Of the buyers who used the Internet, they rated photos as the single most useful element in their search for a home. A professional-looking photo dramatically increases the likelihood that a potential buyer will click through to view your listing, and drives more buyers to tour your home. Ultimately, the more people interested in your house, the better your chance of receiving an attractive offer. A photo really can be worth a thousand dollars. Point2 (point2.com) conducted a study monitoring listings over a 30-day period which clearly showed that listings with 20+ photos generated nearly 10 times the number of leads and over 15 times the number of views. Their study also examined the number of photos compared to the number of Days on Market (DOM) and found that listings with more photos sold faster. 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars!

The Wall Street Journal reports “Listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $935 and $116,076. The graph clearly shows that you are likely to receive thousands more if you list your home using professional photography than if you used a simple point-n-shoot camera to take the photos yourself.

Since professional photos could net you thousands more on the sale of your home, it stands to reason that spending the $100 – $500 on professional photos is a worthy investment of your marketing dollars. Given this obvious upside, it is shocking that only 15.4% of homes in our data set were marketed using professional photography. The majority of listings, 80.9%, were photographed using point-n-shoot photography, and still another 0.7% used just a camera phone. Let’s not mince words: If you are not using professional photography to market your home, you are not really marketing your home.”
It’s a simple equation - The greater the quality and quantity of a listings photos, the higher the sales price and the lower the time on the market.