Tuesday 11 November 2014

Do listing photos matter?

Do listing photos matter?  Well, of course they do, right?  Everyone wants to see as many pictures as they can before they go see a house.

From seller perspective, I would definitely agree that pictures matter. Buyers browsing listings on the internet are far more inclined to skip a listing that has only an exterior front shot, so some real estate companies even have an internal policy that they won't accept a listing without a minimum number of interior pictures. 

There are exceptions, of course, such as rental properties with tenants who would prefer not to have their privacy violated with interior pictures including all their belongings.  But other than logical explanations like that, buyers will assume there is some reason you are not including photos, such as poor condition of the interior.

The only thing you have to remember about interior pictures is that they are not likely to sell the house on their own.  Few buyers will put in an offer without seeing a house first, so bear in mind that the intent of any marketing material is to get buyers into the house to make a decision. To that end, quality of pictures matters at least as much as quantity. 

But from a buyer perspective, I would advise some caution in putting too much stock into listing pictures.  While there are not too many situations with really deceptive modifications going on, there is getting to be a lot of "processing" on listing photos.  This can range from simple image quality adjustments or HDR photography to photo-shopping in blue skies because it was a grey and cloudy day when the agent or photographer was at the house.  Some of these photos can appear a bit surreal (to borrow a word actually used by a buyer client of mine).

Have a look at the pictures, but try not to prejudge too firmly- if the listing matches your budget, needs, and wants, go and have a look at it.  You have no idea how many times I have gone on showings with a buyer client and the house we thought best based on the pictures turned out to be the worst, and the worst ended up being the one they loved the most.

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