If you are a friend or follower of mine on Facebook (feel free to check me out here) , you have seen several posts lately about my current pet peeve: listings of homes for sale with awful photos. In other words, real estate agents who chose, for whatever reason, to NOT use a professional to take the photos of houses they are contracted to market. Usually they took the photos themselves with a standard camera, or more often, with their cell phone.
This makes me absolutely mental for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s just cheap. It just IS. A typical sales commission on listing homes in my market is $4000-$8000. So I am looking at this listing thinking to the agent “you are making thousands of dollars on this sale, and this is your clients largest asset, and you are choosing to be cheap on marketing their home not only on the MLS but on all the sites your MLS is syndicated to.” REALLY? Knowing that your crappy photos are being seen for all time on Realtor.com, Zillow, and Homesnap, not to mention your client’s friends and family, how are you not embarrassed?
Because you really should be.
Secondly, and this is probably the most important, using bad photos is literally bad business. Your job as the real estate agent is to market that home effectively. That includes inviting photos that incite interest and make buyers want to view the home in person. It also includes giving advice on paint colors, de-cluttering, professional staging, and home repairs. Photos in real estate are just like photos in food; you eat with your eyes first! So the better your photos show off the home’s attributes, the more feet in the door. That makes it more likely to sell faster and at top value. And THAT is the agent’s only job.
And yes, I had to learn this the hard way!
So if you are an agent, beg, borrow, sell a kidney, whatever…get professional photos for all your listings. And if you are a potential seller, do NOT settle for an agent who does not. Ask what their marketing of your home will include, and don’t be afraid to shop around for someone who is an actual professional. You will be glad you did!
by Kim Finley, Realtor