Back in the day before the digital age, the first impression you might have of a new home was by driving by the property your real estate agent had given you from his or her inventory of available listings that matched your criteria in terms of number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. You might even wait for the Sunday paper to see if the property had a scheduled open house that weekend before doing a ‘blind’ viewing of the home.
It was then that the term ‘curb appeal’ first appeared as the ‘drive-by’ was a buyer’s first, and in many instances, only impression of whether or not that home made the list of those getting a second look. It’s why real estate agents made such a big deal with sellers about sprucing up their yards, making sure the grass was cut, the weeds were gone, and the paint on the front of the home wasn’t peeling among other things before ever putting their home on the market.
Well in today’s real estate market where buyers have very little time, curb appeal might still hold some validity but much, much less. That isn’t to say that front yards are not deemed to be important, it’s just that without photos you truly are at a loss when choosing between (in some cases), dozens of properties.
However, this is where I get on my soapbox and highly suggest that you hire a professional to take photos.
Did you know that according to a 2012 joint study from The National Association of Realtors® and Google, 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process? Here is another interesting statistic: Real estate related searches on Google.com have increased by 253% over the past four plus years.
If your agent is taking photos using their smart phone or a small, hand-held digital camera, without the proper lighting then you’ve got a problem. I will guarantee your home will not look as good to that buyer than if you had it professionally done.
Professional photography will typically vary in price. But remember, you’re selling a home that’s worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Consider in the end how small an expense this is in the whole scheme of things.