A picture is worth 1,000 words. Catch my attention and its more likely I will pass on information about your property to one of my buyer clients.
My evening pastime is to review the market and new listings, it’s something I do every day. It makes me aware of which of my agents are bringing in business, where the new property is located, price point and general appeal. The very first thing I do is look at the pictures, all of them. If I am impressed with what I see I read the comments, if not, I move to the next one.
It is our job as real estate professionals to select the best photos and highlight the most desirable features of the property in order to grab buyers’ and agents’ attention. We know that buyers look at the first 4 photos and either move on or continue after that point. We also know that, depending on the website, we can post more than 25 photos in addition to a video or virtual tour. Unfortunately all realtors are not great photographers and the most important visual introduction to the market is oftentimes less than impressive. Its also true some exteriors just do not photograph well so unfortunately those houses will get passed over by the public and the realtor representing that client will have to work much harder to encourage showings.
There is no dispute that today’s buyers are very well informed when they start their home search, and its commonplace for buyers to decide what they want to see when meeting a realtor for the first time. This is how it works, either: an agent gets a call or e-mail and after discussing the client’s needs sends listings to the client and then the client decides which homes to see, or, a client goes on a website and finds homes that are interesting to them and calls an agent to make appointments. In either of these scenarios unless the agent is very familiar with the market and has taken the time to preview, the only criteria that will get one house shown instead of another is a pretty picture. It takes a seasoned, full time professional to know the market well enough to be able to recommend properties based on criteria beyond what the photos on MLS show, its what distinguishes us as trusted advisors and not just tour guides. My advice as far as photos go…its always “hit me with your best shot”.