Buyers are hooked on photos. I mean REALLY hooked on what they see when searching online for a home. They read a home’s description in the marketing remarks, then expect to see a visual confirmation of all of the features mentioned. From there they go to Google maps, or Bing, or wherever and pull up aerial photos. They look at birds-eye views; sometimes they try to get elevation views so they can get an idea of what can really be seen when looking out of the living room windows!
Sellers are too! They want to see their home in all of its beauty up on the Web. Every feature. Every room. With flowers in bloom and counters gleaming. They’ve already looked at lots of houses on the internet and know that their house looks at least as good as all of the ones they see, and probably better.
And then there’s us Agents/Brokers. We do a quick MLS search for a home for a particular feature trying to find the perfect house for our clients, or in an attempt to begin evaluating the competition.
When working with clients, it’s so important to listen to what they want and/or why they bought the house they did. Perhaps it’s a great back yard. Or they want “this” kitchen. Or that master bathroom is amazing. That sort of thing. And, as agents, we tend to write all that down and include it in the description.
But sadly, so much of that glorious description isn’t borne out in the photos.
Case in point: Today I began searching for a Buyer who wants a mountain view. My MLS search pointed out 17 listings in his area and price range. Of those 17 listings, only three (3!!) actually gave some attempt at showing the mountain view they described or had included as a feature in the listing itself.
Now that’s a bit of a problem. The client wants to see photos and I’m left to question just how much of a view there actually is. One listing described an “amazing Mt. Rainier view.” Not a picture anywhere. Not even a mention that “The Mountain” really IS out there on a clear day. Of course I’ll drive out and take a look myself, but really? Is the mountain really visible?
Good photos are immensely valuable, especially to the Seller. This “amazing Mt. Rainier view” is intriguing enough to call the Buyer to go take a look. But just imagine how many folks would like to see that view and dream a little … perhaps just enough … to buy the house.
It doesn’t take an expensive camera to get good photos, but it does take paying attention. Both to the descriptions from the seller and to what we actually write. As agents, those are the things we need to emphasize in our photos. Rhapsodizing about the granite counters is one thing — showing a photo of a clean, decluttered, gleaming counter says it all. The potential buyer should say “Wow, Look at That!”
There’s value in that photo and it’s good seller representation.