In a recent blog we discussed the importance of photographs in the business of selling your home. We discussed the importance of using professional property styling services and the difference that a professional photographer can make. We also promised a few tips to help you do-it-yourself if you choose to go that route. Those tips will follow. First of all though, we want you to understand how critical your home’s photographs are to its ultimate sale.

People these days shop for houses differently than they did 20 years ago. Today, home seekers conduct most of their shopping online. Over 90 percent of home buyers first find the home they will buy while looking through real estate listings online. It’s there that buyers are able to eliminate hundreds of homes available in the Sydney area and narrow the list of homes down to those they are truly interested in. This is done on the weight of several factors, including the location, the size, the price, and the appeal of the images of homes they find online.

If you’re going to do your home’s photography on your own here are a few tips to help you get the best images possible.

• Picture quality: Photographs taken with your cell phone will probably not show your home off in the best light. While you don’t need to go out and buy a top-of-the-line camera, buying a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) won’t set you back too many dollars and has the capability of taking truly good photos.

• Choose the right shutter speed: A smaller aperture – F8 or F11 — will give you the depth of field you need and keep everything in the photo in focus.

• Lighting: In photography, as in property styling services, lighting is everything. Natural sunlight is best, so pick a sunny day and open up those window coverings so the light can dance all over. If you don’t have the time to wait for the sun, you can use artificial lighting by renting equipment from a local photo shop.

• Shoot exterior images at an angle in order to allow viewers a better view of the depth and not see just a two-dimensional view. Take shots of a room from the doorway.

• Take pictures of what matters: Feature the things about your home that make it special. Those who provided your property styling services have already spruced your home up for the shoot, so you will have abundant opportunities to show it off at its very best. Leave the neighbour’s garbage bins and the telephone poles out of the shots.

• Take lots of images from many angles: You and your selling agent should have multiple possibilities to choose from.

• Take your time: If you are not a professional or very seasoned amateur photographer, do take some time to practice. If at first you fail, try again. This photo shoot of yours is far too important to settle for less than wonderful images.

If you realise that your attempts to photograph your home do not make it look sensational, by all means contact a real estate photographer. Either your selling agent or your home stylist will be happy to provide you with names of photographers that do outstanding work at reasonable prices.

Buyers today expect far more from sellers than they ever did in the past. Now, with property prices in the Greater Sydney area continuing to rise, the average buyer wants all the bells and whistles possible. Being frugal in the photography department could serve to eliminate your home from the buyers “must see” list immediately. In the minds of potential buyers, bad photos could mean bad house. Unfortunately, the first viewing of your photos could well be your last. Even if you repost better pictures later, it’s quite possible that your house will be relegated to the “old news” department because buyers have seen it before. Don’t take that chance.

As with selecting property styling services, it will pay in a big way to do this part of the real estate selling adventure with the best help you can afford. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

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