5 Pro Tips for Taking Great Listing Photos

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Chandra Blumenthal, a real estate broker in Denver, Colorado, believes top-notch listing photos are essential to get potential buyers interested in a property and in the door.

Check out her pro tips for taking photos that will make your listing stand out.

1. Declutter

Potential buyers are interested in the amount of space and storage a home has to offer, so even a "normal" amount of clutter can raise potential red flags.

Blumenthal tells her clients to remove anything unnecessary to the space—like toys, magazines and knickknacks—and place them in the garage or a storage unit. She also suggests removing bulky furniture and clearing as many surfaces as possible to create better photo opportunities.

2. Remove personal items

To keep the attention of the buyer focused on the merits of the home, Blumenthal says it's important to remove the distraction of personal items, such as family photos.

"When looking at a home, everyone becomes a detective," she explains. "They want to find out as much as they can about the sellers. They sometimes don't even see the room because they are looking at the cute family photos and imagining the family that lives there."

3. Hire a professional

For the sake of cost and convenience, it's easy to think snapping a few photos on your own will be enough. But Blumenthal says you probably won't do a property justice unless you have professional experience.

Staging a home and bringing in a professional photographer can do wonders in showing a property in the best light possible.

4. Look at your lighting

The time of day and the direction the home faces should both be considered when taking listing photos—an important aspect with which a professional photographer should be able to offer guidance. In addition, lighting—both natural and artificial—should be optimized in all areas of the home.

Blumenthal suggests opening all blinds, turning on all lights and bringing in additional lamps if certain areas of the home appear dark.

5. Consider the curb appeal

The front of the home is often the first photo on a listing, and if potential buyers are unimpressed by it, they’ll be far less likely to click through to interior photos, even if they could change their mind. That’s why ensuring the front of the home photographs well—including fresh paint and manicured grass and shrubs—should be at the top of your list. (This will help with showings, too.)

“The first 10 seconds of a showing, when buyers are standing at the front door waiting for the Realtor to open the lockbox, are key,” Blumenthal says. “Things like cobwebs on the entry light can show if a house is cared for or not.”

For your clients: 5 steps to staging your home like a pro

The good news: Putting a little extra work into staging and photographing a home can go a long way in finding the right buyer quickly. In fact, when a property goes under contract during the first weekend of showings, Blumenthal credits these two things with making it happen—talk about a good return on your investment.

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