Selling your property has always been something of a challenge. There is a lot riding on the sale of your biggest investment. Naturally you want to do it well. So, you get yourself a real estate selling agent and call the real estate stylist for help as you launch yourself into this adventure in liquidation. Understanding how buyers buy is a critical skill.

The way home buyers look for houses has changed in the past 20 years – so radically has it changed in fact, that your grandfather’s selling agent wouldn’t recognise the real estate market. Of course, the internet has absolutely re-invented the way we shop for most things. We now can instantly compare prices for milk at any store around the globe. We can look at houses everywhere on the planet, and then compare them with what is available today in Chatswood. This is a great help to those of us who looking for an honest advantage as we prepare to sell our properties. We can learn how to be better competitors.

When you think about it, you soon realise that the single thread that runs through all the component parts of today’s real estate market is imagery. Imagery goes beyond the actual digital photographs taken for use on your selling agent’s website all the way to the more subtle imagery the real estate stylist creates to help in the bonding process between buyers and your property.  Harnessing the power of images can be the most powerful real estate selling tool.

Do you need a professional photographer to shoot images of your property? This is something your selling team knows best. Every neighbourhood is different and changing more every day. What you’re up against in terms of the competition will give you the answer. If all the houses for sale within 10 kilometres of your property are being shot by a professional photographer, you probably can’t avoid the cost. You need to keep up with the competition.

If, on the other hand, your competitors are avoiding the professionals – both the professional home stagers and the photographers – you might be miles ahead by using both to your advantage. Talk to your real estate selling agent and make your decision based on this advice.

If you decide to let your Uncle Basil do the photographs, make sure he brings a tripod and lighting for the project. Light is a significant part of the process. The right lighting can make a house look larger than life – literally. Without using it to your advantage, Uncle B may create dull, washed out images that portray your house as small and dingy.

Knowing about the angles involved is also incredibly useful. By taking exterior shots with the angle of the sun in mind, your end product will be better. For example, don’t photograph the front of the house when the sun is behind the house. This creates harsh glare and dark shadows.

The optimum shots are taken in the late afternoon when the sun is softly lighting the rooms. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore the other lighting sources. Use all the light you have available – lamps, overhead fixtures, sconces, as well as the professional lighting. This will give your shots a greater sense of depth and warmth.

Having good equipment that includes wide-angle options is also important. The fact is, unless photography is your passion or your business, you’re probably going to be better off using a pro.  You could easily spend days trying to get just the right shot.  Consider the value of your own time (or Uncle Basil’s) before you make your decision. Make no mistake, though. Having the right shot is essential to your internet marketing. Remember, 90 percent of home buyers decide on which houses to look at in person on the strength of the listing photographs.

If you don’t know a good real estate photographer, ask the real estate stylist you’ve chosen to help you stage your property. Stagers constantly work with photographers and they will know who does the best work for the most reasonable price. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the images you choose to describe your property must be eloquent.

Image courtesy of WOW Design.

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