Importance Of Good Real Estate Listing Photos(With Pictures)

by The Happy Rock on May 20, 2009

Quality home photos  wasn’t something that we gave much thought to when we were signing our first selling real estate agent, but it is something that we are keenly aware of now.  Our house has been on the market for over 6 months and we have since changed Realtors.  The amazing part is that it didn’t strike us that our pictures were not doing our house justice until a co-worker put here house on the market an had an amateur photographer shoot the pictures for her house.  The difference between her old pics and her new semi-professional pictures were night and day. One looked like Grandma’s house the others looked like home and garden.

Needless to say when we searched for our second agent, we payed close attention to the quality of photos in their listings.  If the pictures for our house didn’t turn out well, we would have gotten the professional to shoot our house also.  Luckily the new pictures turned out much better.

If you don’t think it makes much of a difference take a look at these before and after shots and decide which set of pictures would help entice you(the potential buyer) into make a showing.



What do you think, is there a difference?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle May 20, 2009 at 8:58 am

I’m a sucker for eye candy, and the second set definitely looks like a million bucks. I would schedule a showing immediately! :)


Lulu May 20, 2009 at 9:43 am

The second set has a cleaner look and is better staged. The personal items have been rearranged to make the place look more ‘showy’ as opposed to ‘this is my room’. There is really not a BIG difference between the two but the staging just looks more elegant and put together.


Baker @ ManVsDebt May 20, 2009 at 10:14 am

Being a real estate agent, I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous before and after pictures involving the same areas. The biggest improvement is in the Kitchen.

For god’s sake people take everything off the counter. Maybe have 1 item out max. It DOES look bigger!


Helen May 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

The before and after pictures are great. I never knew how much difference photos made, although it should be pretty obvious. It’s funny – my first impression of the before pictures was that it looked like a college apartment listing (sans granite counter of course) that I would see on Craigslist. But the second set of pictures really changed my view and immediately raised the value of the house in my mind.

Although I know there’s a difference between getting professional photos vs. DIY, I wonder if it’s possible to take your own nice looking pictures with a good digital camera nowadays, if you have a decent eye for composition. What do you think?


Wojciech @ Fiscal Fizzle May 20, 2009 at 12:04 pm

There are a lot of websites these days where you can find good pointers about composition, lighting, and all that jazz. (Being an architect and loving photography, I read up on this stuff a lot).

One of my favorite tutorials is: http://photo.net/learn/architectural/interior

I say – go for it! If it doesn’t look good, all you’ve lost is some time; you can always go hire someone later.

By the way, I would bet some college photography students would drop at the chance to do this kind of thing at a significant discount to hiring someone with a business.


The Happy Rock May 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm

@Wojciech – We are ready to sell, stop on by! =)

@Lulu – When I put them side by side, the difference between the two didn’t look as great. The second set does look more appealing though.

@Baker – We are fairly minimal to begin with, although we did get a 5×5 storage unit(mostly for child related items). The coloring and angles were the things that amazed me with my friend’s pictures. They were touched by photoshop to even lighting any stuff.

@Helen – Our pictures were taken with a ‘normal’ by the agent. Not sure if they were touched up, but that can make a huge difference and take just a few seconds.


Kacie May 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Wow! What a difference. With different vantage points, a wide-angle lens, and some staging touches, the house looks much better!


celticbuffy May 21, 2009 at 11:33 am

The second set of pics look much better. I have been saying (since our search for a house last year) that most photos the realtors take and post do not serve their clients well in representing the house. Many realtors should be hiring a photographer to take their home pictures and I bet they’d see an increase in their sales.


The Happy Rock May 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm

@Kacie – Glad you agree.

@celtic – I have noticed the same thing, especially with short sales and such where they barely put any photos of the house up.

A niche of real estate photography seems like a great opportunity. For just a few hundred bucks they could shoot the house and drive much more traffic through the house and probably even get a higher sale price which would make the prof. photos an investment.


kate May 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Such a transformation. As an HGTV addict, I can tell you that the ways in which you stage and photograph a home can really alter a buyer’s perception and that definitely seems to be the case here. And luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of money. All it takes is a good eye and The Power of Small!


FFB May 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm

When we put our home on the market we wouldn’t let our realtors take the photos. They came in with a tiny point and shoot camera and were obviously going to click away and hope for the best. We waited for a nice day out and took the pictures myself with my DSLR. Not that I’m a pro photographer or anything but our home photos look much better than similar homes listed in our area.

Appearance is huge! And it’s not just the photos but also how the photos are staged. you need to make it look clean, uncluttered, and airy without any personal affects so the person looking can imagine themselves living there.

So many pictures I’ve seen had no thought put into them. I’ve even seen photos where there was laundry and toys all over. A little thing like good photos can make a huge difference!!

I’ve even considered offering my services to the agents for a small fee. I’ll have to talk to them about it.


ChristianPF May 25, 2009 at 10:51 am

As we are looking for a house, I am noticing that we are on the opposite side of things. I am going through these listings with HORRIBLE pics and I am working so hard to try to see through the poor pic to what is really there. I think you bring up a truly valuable point for sellers – good pics make a huge difference!


Krunk May 27, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Looks like the biggest difference is they’re taking photos from a bit further back + a higher angle. They also seem to like to have a more angular shot (meaning point the camera to a corner over having parallel vertical lines with the photo’s edge)

Nothing else I can really tell.


Sandy May 28, 2009 at 10:44 am

Absolutely, take it from a retired realtor, when marketing your home first impressions are really important. If one of the things a prospective buyer looks at to see if the house is on their list to view is pictures, make sure you spend the time to do it right. No viewings equals no sales.


Car Insurance Phi May 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm

The second set makes it look awesome. The lighting and angles are so important. It amazes me how many people put up crappy photos on craigslist for homes/apts. Hope it sells soon!


Alfred June 2, 2009 at 11:59 am

Quality photos make a huge difference and it always amazes me that the bigger firms are so uninterested in them. They just throw any old photo into a set size format and leave it at that. When you have tons of apartments, I suppose you can’t spend too much time obsessing, but they should put in a little effort.

Our offices have a professional photographer and a Photoshop artist for things like brightening up dull days and clearing out clutter tat may have been left behind. I think this stuff is necessary for many clients to appreciate an apartment without seeing it in person.


Sue June 3, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Isn’t your wife a wedding photographer? (If I have the right blog). If so she could take the pictures and pass on to the RE agent.


Debt Destroyer June 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm

@ Sue – Right blog, wrong writer. My wife is the wedding photographer. I think The Happy Rock’s wife is a nutritionist (or something like that).


Imobiliare Ploiesti June 9, 2009 at 7:13 am

Big difference. The lenses play an important role.


James@Houston Neighborhoods November 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I am a huge proponent of professional photos for listings. I think they make a world of difference. In up markets they might have the possibility of procuring a higher price on a sales contract, but in most markets it will help make sure the home is shown and sold.

I am against any major touching up of photographs as it can leave the buyer unhappy with a property that they would have otherwise liked. You want the best possible photos that do not misrepresent the home and a professional with proper training and equipment is the way to get this result.


morris May 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Aesthetically, the second pictures look way better. I also think it has practical value. It gives the viewer a better idea of the space in the room. The first sets of pictures look incomplete


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