The importance of good listing photos!

Recently a friend of mine (and a client) listed a house for sale. I always like seeing the listings of any property we’ve been involved with, and when I saw this particular listing, I was a bit startled. My friend had rehabbed a complete junker of a house and turned it into a gem. He’d spent a pretty penny on the rehab including gutting the kitchen & starting over, replacing the roof, adding a garage, installing new windows, new carpets, new cabinets, new fixtures.. in short, the works… and the house turned into a beauty.

The total rehab budget was over $50K. My friend had done just a huge amount of work and the finished product was gorgeous. Then, when it was time to list the property, he pulled out his iPhone to snap the listing photos. ..Aaaachh! The photos were dark & the house looked cold and uninviting.

When I saw the listing, I called a photographer friend and asked him to go re-shoot the house. He went over and took gorgeous, warm pics. He emailed them to me, and I sent them to my friend with an email saying “Check out these photos! Perhaps switch them out with yours, yes?!” He quickly agreed and made the change. Whew!

My friend the photographer charged $125 to shoot the house. After going through a rehab budget in the tens of thousands, a mere $125 to shoot great photos of the finished product is worth every penny! In fact it’s worth *more* than every penny. The photos could mean a difference of several thousand dollars. If people see a lame, unexceptional house on the MLS, they’re probably not going to go see it. How especially painful for the rehabber if the house went through a costly rehab, is in fact gorgeous, and the photos just don’t show that. It’s actually monetarily painful!

Below are seven of the photos that my friend took with his iPhone and then used for the MLS listing.

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 Poorly Lit Listing Photos (taken with an iPhone)

(a.k.a. The Bad Photos!)
– click to enlarge –

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And now here are the beautifully lit listing photos taken by a photographer who brought lights!

(a.k.a. The Good Photos! … Yeah baby!)

What a difference! :)

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Please note, these are not before and after photos of a rehab (i.e. pre-rehab, post rehab.)

These are before and after photos of the exact same already-been-rehabbed house.

The before photos are crappy photographs of the rehabbed house, the after photos are great photographs of the rehabbed house.

I think this example really highlights the importance of good photography for listing photos.

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