No matter what we are buying today, we are all looking for value. That doesn’t mean we want what is the least expensive. We are simply looking for how to get the most value for our hard earned dollars. Since a home is the biggest purchase most people will make in their lives, real estate agents want to provide value to the seller and the prospective homeowner. At the same time they want to save money on marketing costs, leading them to skimp on the quality of their listings. This is particularly evident in the quality of the media they provide, such as photos and video. While this can save money initially, this can also cost everyone in the long run.
Commonly quoted statistics show that people only spend an average of 10 to 20 seconds on a website if they are not impressed by the content. When it comes to purchasing a home, buyers are looking for that WOW factor and always go to the photos first. By the time they get to the first photo their initial search criteria has already included price, number of bedrooms and baths, and location. The photo is what will get their initial attention and keep them scrolling through a listing.
Let’s look at several scenarios where professional photos are invaluable to the client. First, is when the home is outdated or in need of repair. A professional photographer will know how to present the home in the best possible light. The photos are likely to be the deciding factor on scheduling a personal showing. The number one goal of real estate photography is to get the buyer into the property.
On the other hand, poor quality photos could keep buyers away from a great property. Does the home have lots of windows? A great photographer can use the natural light to showcase their beauty. Does the home have a large backyard? A real estate photographer will know how to emphasize it.
Sometimes photos are taken after the power has been disconnected, which can be a problem for interior photos. A professional real estate photographer can add lighting that will enhance even the darkest areas of a home.
We have talked about how a professional photographer can make a home more attractive in photos, but let’s get down to dollars and cents. A graphic from Ruxta Realty shows an average impact on the bottom line when using professional photography. For example, a $200,000 home sells for about $934 more when professional photos are used. The higher the price of the home, the more benefit there is. A home that sells for about $800,000 yields an average $18,000 with professional photos are included in the listing. Listings using professional real estate photography also get 61 more views than homes without them.
Finally, let’s be honest about why some agents are hesitant to use a professional real estate photographer—it cuts into their commission. But look at it this way. On a modest $175,000 home on a 6% listing the average commission is $5,250, or up to double that number if the listing agent represents both sides of the transaction. Isn’t a couple hundred dollars worth it to get more buyers to your listings, make your clients happy, sell a home faster, and win more listings?
You bet it is.