Top 10 Listing Photos Mistakes
When the time comes to sell your fix-and-flip, you want to list as many photos as possible. Statistics from Inman, NAR, Trulia and Placeter show that 80% of all home buyers are searching online and 83% of all home buyers want to see pictures of the property online. However, in addition to quantity, home buyers want to see quality photos. You’re most likely thinking, “Well, that’s just a given,” but you’d be surprised at how many horrible photos find their way onto the MLS and turn off potential buyers. Here’s a list of top 10 listing photos mistakes to avoid at all costs.
1. Putting a Date on the Photo
Putting the date on the photo is not only tacky, but it can seriously outdate your property. Suppose your property takes a little time to sell. More potential buyers will be turned off by the incriminating date of the photo. They’ll think to themselves, “There must be a reason why this property is taking so long to sell.” Whereas, if you have a picture listed without a date stamp, the buyer’s impression will be focused exactly where it should be – on the photo of your beautiful property.
2. Using Stretched Photos
This is an old real estate trick many used to make rooms appear larger than they actually are. This is a BAD thing to do. First of all, it deceives potential buyers and misleads them to think they’re magically getting bigger rooms in a smaller house (like a Tardis). Second, your buyers will always be disappointed in the real thing if you stretched the listing photo. They may even spread the word about the “stretched” truth of your property, leaving it to wither on the MLS for years.
3. Using Blurred Photos
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe what people actually put up on the MLS. This photo came straight from that site. Double and triple-check your photos and take out the blurry ones. Many post blurry shots because, as indicated in the speed with which they took the photo, they were in a hurry. It’s far more important to post quality photos than to post your property in haste. Do it right the first time to avoid more hassles down the road.
4. Using Any Photo Other Than the Property Exterior as the First Photo
People want to see your property. Period. So, don’t beat around the bush or attempt to “build suspense” when you post your pictures. Display the most beautiful exterior shot of your home as the very first picture buyers see. Then, show off the interior. The truth is, many potential buyers don’t have the time or patience to scroll through dozens of pictures to finally get to the exterior shot. They’ll most likely move on quickly and not give your home a second thought, nor the chance it deserves.
5. Using a Fish-Eye Lens
Many in the past tried using a fish-eye camera lens to get more of the room in one shot. As a result, the room always ended up looking distorted and flat-out weird. Now that we have more modern technology allowing panoramic photos, there’s no need to try to cram every aspect of the room into a fish-eye. You also have the option of simply capturing the best angle of the room. Buyers have seen rooms before and therefore don’t need to see every single inch.
6. Using Google Maps for Your Exterior Photo
This technique shows both poor taste and laziness. It screams to the buyer, “I didn’t want to take the time to actually visit the property and take photos in person. Why do that when Google can do it for me?” Potential buyers love when personal care and consideration go into property listing photos. Either take the pictures yourself or hire a professional photographer. You will also want to take some time to stage each room to maximize its selling points and beauty. Which brings us to our next tip…
7. Staging a Mess
Don’t stage a mess when you stage the rooms of your home! It can be so easy to clear away clutter just for a photo. Take the time to make sure each room looks immaculate. When it comes to marketing your property, potential buyers don’t appreciate the “realism” of a messy home. And I have to point out the brilliant irony of a vacuum cleaner standing in the middle of a messy room in this picture. Absolutely classic.
8. Messing up Camera Angles
Far too many sellers post pictures of their home on a slant. Potential home buyers don’t want to see a home landsliding into oblivion. Being human, we take dozens of pictures with bad angles. Fortunately, you can correct bad angles after the fact with Photoshop. Make sure you keep a careful eye on the angle of the photos either you or the photographer takes. If you do see some with an accidental tilt, try to rectify them with photo editing software before you post anything.
9. Capturing People in the Photos…(Twice)
There are two things which NEVER belong in a real estate photo: humans and pets. A pet in the photo can turn off potential buyers, especially if it’s accidentally captured in an awkward position. People don’t belong in your pictures either. Buyers want to see the home, not some dude in the corner. Another thing to be wary of is mirrors. Even if the person is out of frame, the camera can still capture their reflection in the mirror.
10. Advertising Imperfections
When you advertise your home, you need to put your best foot forward with every shot. Show portions of the property that will make your home stand out in a beautiful way. Potential buyers don’t want to see an unfinished basement, wiring laying around and chunks of walls missing. They will pinpoint the flaws of the home when they walk through and inspect it. There’s no need for you to show off the cons to buying your property.
There you have it! We hope this list helps as you work to list your phenomenal fix-and-flip. And The Investor's Edge has far more where these tips came from! We provide exclusive access to essential REI tools and resources designed to help you establish a successful investment business. We’ll teach you all the ins and outs of finding, evaluating, rehabbing, marketing and selling properties.
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