Thirty short years ago, you would be hard pressed to find anyone talking about putting listing photos online. Not because sellers had no interest in the internet, but rather because the internet was yet to exist. How did property owners find buyers back in the day? A single photograph in the daily newspaper (remember those?) complete with property information, or perhaps an index card with a Kodak photo affixed to it pinned to the grocery store corkboard (another relic). Either got the job done.
Today, the internet is alive. We have smartphones capable of taking photos in stunning HD. Which means there is no excuse why photos fail to accompany online property listings.
Photographs can literally make or break your listing. They can persuade buyers to call you, or dissuade them from clicking your ad to learn more. The horror of having bad pictures does not stop there, my friends.
Here is what you can expect if you skimp on listing photos.
Buyers may beware
A buyer may have the mindset the seller (you) have something to hide by not displaying photos of your home. In fact, they may be inclined to believe you really have nothing to sell and report your listing as a potential scam.
Photos of only the exterior of your property carry the same sentiment. If you can snap photos of your front porch and the back yard, why not take photos of the interior? The goal here is to emphasize the beauty of your home to every buyer that may be looking to move into your neighborhood. In accentuating that beauty, you will need stunning photos of every inch of your interior and exterior.
Your home may lose value to the buyer
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is as true as it gets in the real estate world. At least to those shopping for their next home online.
Colorful photos taken on a beautiful sunny day can literally send potential buyers into an almost euphoric dream-like state. They will imagine themselves planting a garden while their children play. It will take them into the kitchen where they can prepare their favorite Sunday dinner for scores of family members who comfortably fit into a sprawling dining area. All because of your listing photos.
Dark photos, those taken outside during a thunderstorm or those that lack a steady hand could devalue the property and force the buyer to look elsewhere. True story.
Nobody will accept your listing.
Except maybe Craigslist.
If selling your home without an agent (a bad idea, by the way, but we will discuss this later), bad photos or no photos will almost eliminate a good number of listing websites for you. In fact, you will be stuck posting on Craigslist or your personal blog. We all know how the former pans out for sellers, but if you are unfamiliar with the nightmare involved with listing homes there, we will discuss that down the road as well.
Property listing sites may or may not have strict rules on what they deem “acceptable” in terms of listing photos. Most will not accept listings without one, while others may want to see both interior and exterior pictures before approving your listing.
As real estate agents serving Will and Cook County, we make sure photos are plentiful. In as vivid color as possible, too. If your home does not sell, that is bad news for everyone. This is why we make sure photographs, descriptions and every little bit of information known about the property is readily available to all who view a particular listing.
Listing photos are your best friend. Or worst nightmare.
If you cannot take good photos of your property, we suggest either having a professional take your listing photos, or list your home with an agent.
Should you wish to sell your home without one, we must stress the fact that you need some type of evidence that your home is worthy of being scooped up by someone you have never met. Yes, you are essentially using photos to sell property to complete strangers, some who may have trust issues.
Photos of your home can either sell your home fast or force you to lower your asking price well below what your home is worth. Keep this in mind when you decide to put your home on the market.
Credit for the photograph in this article goes to our admin Dave. Can you guess where it was taken? We’ll reveal that answer in a post later this week.