How to Take Exceptional Real Estate Photos

Posted On: March 5, 2020
how to take real estate photos

As a real estate agent, your job is to sell homes to prospective buyers and to help homeowners quickly sell their homes. To quickly sell a home at the highest possible price, there are several things you must include in your listing:

  • Compelling descriptions
  • Accurate information
  • Beautiful real estate photography

When you're composing a real estate listing, you have the option to either do everything yourself or outsource certain parts to an expert. Many agents choose to outsource real estate photography.

Because in today's age of photo-first everything, pictures are more important than ever. Of course, not everyone can afford a professional photographer. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself. Keep reading to learn more about the most essential elements of successful real estate photos—and how you can take great pictures of your next listing!

Step 1: Stage the Home

First things first, let's answer the question: "How do I prepare the home for real estate pictures?". Most things are self-explanatory, like cleaning the house and removing clutter and excessive personal objects. But the most impactful change you can make to the house to take a great real estate picture is to stage the home.

A clean and well-decorated home is essential for real estate photos and for in-person showings, so it's not something that should be skimped on. In fact, on average, homes that are staged sell 17% faster than a non-staged home. The process is simple, but make sure you decorate the home for both style and function. You want prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.

So add appropriate furniture to the main rooms along with tasteful decorations. But make sure you keep it neutral so that potential homebuyers don't get distracted by the furniture, paint colors, or artwork.

Step 2: Select the Right Time of Day

When it comes to real estate photography, lighting is everything. But what is the best time of day to take real estate photos? You want the interior of the home to appear well-lit and full of natural light, and the exterior to look vibrant. For interior shots, the best time to take photos is in the morning or afternoon when the sun is bright and shining.

Exterior shots are best done at dusk or sunrise to avoid any glare or overexposure. Of course, the direction the home faces also plays a large part in when you should take your photos. You want the sun behind the camera, so your photos are bright, but not too bright.

Additionally, don't rely on interior lighting like lamps to illuminate your photos. Photos without natural light will look dingy and unprofessional. Prospective buyers won't even click on a listing with these types of photos when hunting for the perfect home.

Step 3: Choose Your Composition

Composition is the clearest differentiator between professional and amateur real estate photos. Unfortunately, it's also the most difficult to teach. Perfecting the composition of your pictures is something that will come with experience. However, these tips will ensure you start off on the right foot:

  • Ensure all the lines in the room are straight. If your camera is tilted, the room will look crooked.
  • Standing in the doorway of a room to take your photos will make the room look larger and more open.
  • Select the best height to shoot from for the furniture in the room and the height of the ceilings. The wrong height could make a room look disproportionate.
  • Your photos should capture more floors than ceilings. Flooring is a significant selling point in a home, so don't skimp on the images that showcase it.
  • Take photos of every room in the house, all sides of the exterior, and both the back and front yards.

Keep in mind that even if something seems uninteresting and mundane to you, it may be the difference in a prospective buyer coming to look at the property.

Step 4: Practice Taking House Pictures

Now that you know the basics of how to take professional-looking real estate photos in theory, it's time to practice! The best way to do this is to take house pictures of all your listings, even if you don't use them in the professional listing.

This will allow you to practice in a wide variety of situations. And eventually, you will become proficient enough that your house pictures will be the ones you use in professional listings. On top of taking beautiful photos, real estate agents need to be up to date on all of their education.

Stand apart from the crowd with our real estate pre-license and continuing education courses. Full of highly relevant content, our training will take your real estate knowledge to the next level so you can perform at your best. Sign up today!

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