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Why good photography sells homes faster

November 5, 2011, 4:11 pm

Recently I was telling a friend that good photography doesn't sell homes but bad photography will kill home sales.  The other day I talked to a Realtor that enlightened me on my position.  Here are some thoughts on why good photography sells homes faster.

Seven points of consideration detailing why the BEST photography for your home listing is important:

   1. Price and location are the most important factors in selling a home. If  the home is priced too high or in an unfavorable location great photography makes little difference. Price is a key issue in todays down market. Home sellers are having a hard time wrapping there mind around how much their home has dropped in value the last couple of years. Getting home sellers to price their home at market value is a big struggle for some agents.

  2. Once a home is priced near market value and there are other homes in the same price range and neighborhood photography plays a much more significant role. More home shoppers will go the the home with the best images in this situation, even if it isn't the best home

   3. In 2010 90% or more of home buyers use the Internet start their home search.. They are faced with deciding which of the hundreds of available homes they are going to go look at. Home searchers are faced with choosing which homes to physically go see and photographs play the  major role in that decision. Anyone can appreciate this by simply going to Realtor.com and reviewing the properties for sale in a given area.  Within a few miles you could see between 150,200, or even 250 properties for sale in a large city.

   4. Browsing through these homes, the initial selection is based on a handful of facts like year built, number of bedrooms and a small thumbnail photo of the front of the home. The importance of this thumbnail is unmistakable! A compelling thumbnail is like the bright flashy piece of metal on a fishing lure. It attracts home searchers attention to look at the listing details and provides the first opportunity to make an impression.  The old adage of first impressions really applies here.

   5. Once you click on the thumbnail to get more detail the importance of the photos increases. The text descriptions in listing details are legendary for their sparseness. One agent or home owner in a hundred will take the time to write a compelling marketing script leaving photos to dominate the home searcher’s attention, even if the photos are awful. It is easy to see that good photography will give the home seller a distinct advantage in the selection criteria. I notice that many Realtors will list with only a few photos on Realtor.com.  They are starving the prospective buyer.  The prospective buyer will likely move on to another property without considering the property with limited photos.  Realtor.com allows 25 images today.  This is more than enough to capture the average home.

   6. Why are “good” photos more effective than “bad” ones? Because today even a 75 year old person has grown up with TV and magazine advertising that use strong compelling images to capture a viewers attention. We have grown to expect compelling images.  Even though most people can’t tell you what makes a compelling image, they know one when they see it. Compelling images work at an intuitive, emotional level to leave the viewer with a sense of excitement.. You don’t need to understand how the image works to see and feel it’s energy. Strong compelling images can be created for exteriors or interiors of homes by using an experienced real estate photographer.

   7. The end result of this online search process is getting on the home searcher’s short list of homes they want to see in person. A home will never sell without strong compelling images.  Simply put, photos play a key role in driving home searchers to see a property.  From the steps above it is easy to infer that photos play a key role in getting home searchers to come look at a home and thus selling it.


When homes are priced near market value, photos become a key factor that causes home searchers to come look at a home. A home can’t sell if no one physically looks at it. Even though it’s not easy to prove scientifically, it is easy to see by stepping through the home searching process illustrated above. Good photos DO sell properties faster..

Exposure Elements focuses on creating strong compelling photography in delivering virtual tours to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area.  Our use of HDR photography on all outside images assures our clients of outstanding thumbnail imagery, even in homes with the hardest shadows on the front of the property.  On interior shots we use high powered flash photography and expert image editing to create photography and virtual tours that drive prospective buyers to your listing.  Visit our virtual tour gallery to see examples of our work. 

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Posted by by Stan Davis of Exposure Elements at 4:11 pm