Real Estate Photography Tips to Make Your House (and Listing) Shine

Are you in the process of selling your home? One of the most critical aspects of marketing your property is showcasing it through captivating photographs in your listing. High-quality images can work wonders in highlighting your home’s best features and enticing potential buyers to schedule viewings, ultimately leading to offers. In today’s digital age, where many people are making home-buying decisions online, the importance of the photos you post cannot be overstated. They might just be the key to securing a buyer, even without a physical visit.

Here are some tips to help you capture the best possible photos for your property listing:

1. Get Your Home Camera-Ready

Begin by preparing your home for its close-up. Effective home staging is your secret weapon. Removing personal items and decluttering is essential. Say goodbye to personal photos, refrigerator magnets, and knick-knacks. Clear kitchen countertops, side tables, consoles, and desks. If a room feels crowded, consider temporarily storing some furniture to create the illusion of more space.

Tidy up bedrooms by neatly storing shoes and clothes in closets and making the beds. Fluff the pillows on your living room couch, roll up the rugs to showcase your flooring, and add a few decorative touches.

Add a touch of freshness by bringing in fresh flowers and fruits in the kitchen to create a welcoming atmosphere. If you have potted plants, make use of them, but remove any empty planters. If you’re not entirely confident in your decorating skills, remember that less is often more. Keep the decor simple, ensuring there are no more than three items on any side table.

Don’t forget the importance of cleanliness. Pay particular attention to mirrors, windows, and other reflective surfaces, including appliances. Dust your furniture, and if necessary, consider hiring professional cleaning services. When you’re ready to take photos, make sure computers and TVs are turned off. Deactivate ceiling fans to prevent any blurriness in your images. In the bathroom, put the toilet seat down and pull back the shower curtains to reveal fixtures. Keep your vanity clear of personal items. Temporarily park your cars elsewhere to showcase an empty driveway and garage. Hide outdoor trash bins and recycling cans.

Lastly, ensure there are no visible traces of kids or pets. Stow away pet bowls, tidy up the backyard, and remove toys. Apply the same principle to children’s toys and personal items, even if a room is designated as a nursery.

2. Frame It Right

To present your home at its best, you need to master the art of angles and photography techniques. If you’re using a wide-angle lens, be mindful of potential distortion in your images. Make sure that vertical lines remain vertical, avoiding any leaning.

Don’t stand too close to furniture or objects in a room, as this can result in skewed perspectives. Instead, position yourself at a threshold or entryway to the room to capture a more comprehensive view. Focus on showcasing the room’s layout and size rather than individual pieces of furniture.

In larger rooms, take photos from eye level or slightly above, while in smaller spaces, shoot from eye level or slightly below. Bathrooms require a specific approach to prevent distortion of low objects.

Take at least two photos of each room, emphasizing key areas like the kitchen, primary bathroom, and living room. If your home boasts unique features, such as a stunning staircase, be sure to include them in the photos.

When deciding which rooms to capture, use your discretion. No need to photograph spaces that aren’t visually appealing, especially if they’re used for storage. Skip capturing clutter.

3. Let the Light In

Lighting plays a pivotal role in creating quality photos. Ensure that all your light bulbs are in working order and match in temperature. Consider replacing bulbs to maintain consistent lighting throughout your home. To infuse your rooms with a sense of spaciousness and warmth, open blinds and curtains to welcome natural light.

When taking photos, avoid positioning yourself directly in front of windows, as the contrast between the bright window and the room’s interior can be challenging to balance. Find angles that minimize this contrast, such as shooting from a corner.

For outdoor shots, consider taking them on overcast days to reduce shadows on your property and lawn. However, sunny days can also work well. In the event of rain, be prepared to edit the photos to remove any raindrops, but avoid over-editing your images. Minor enhancements, like removing smudges from mirrors or windows and adjusting brightness, are acceptable. Transparency is key—don’t attempt to hide imperfections that may be revealed during inspections or viewings.

4. The Professional Touch

If you’ve followed these tips and find that your listing isn’t attracting as many showings as you’d like, it might be time to consider hiring a professional photographer. The cost may not be as high as you think, and the return on investment can be substantial. For instance, professional real estate photography services can start at just $100.

Real estate agents often cover these costs, and the benefits are well worth it. High-quality photos can significantly enhance your property’s appeal and, ultimately, its selling price.

In the end, take your real estate agent’s advice to heart when it comes to staging and photography. If they recommend professional photography or offer suggestions for improving your home’s decor, consider their guidance. It will save you time and effort and increase your chances of getting a better price for your property.