Ask yourself, "What makes my $165,000 listing better than  the twenty other  $165,000 listings?"  Hopefully, your answer will include the fact your property STANDS OUT from the others.  For one thing, it just LOOKS better.  It ATTRACTS ATTENTION more than the others do.  People are compelled to "drill down" online, and then go see it in person. 

A SIMPLE TRUTH: Great Images and tours have POWER to persuade.

. . .  So, how do you make that happen? These useful articles will help you find out.  Enjoy.



20 Seconds is all you have to grab the buyer's attention!

Here is some great information regarding just how long someone looks at your listing online ... and why! Here is an interview of Sanette Tanaka, a feature writer for the Wall Street Journal.

Read the full article published by the Wall Street Journal, click here.


Staging Tips

You know how important proper staging is, right? The buyers must "see themselves" living in the home and also see it at its best.  Great online photos are the first ingredient of SUCCESSFUL staging!  Think about it -- its all about what meets the buyer's eyes and engages the other senses.  So, be sure the home is staged not only for showings, but for the photographer in the first place!

Here is a practical checklist for staging that results in a faster sale:

Credit for this list goes to Jane Haas, Jane Haas Photography of Davenport, Florida.
To print, right click on the image and choose "view image" then print normally.



Steps to Great Photography

Okay, let's say that once in a while your listing is too remote, too small, too...anything to arrange for professional phoptography. Or maybe you need the images TODAY! Here are the basics of what you need to do with your own camera in order to get good results that will attract buyers.

Selling a home used to be all about "curb appeal," or the first impression a property conveys to potential buyers as they pull up in front. A house that looks unattractive from the street won't sell, the mantra goes.

These days, a property's "pix appeal," or attractiveness in photos posted in online listings, is equally important. Close to 90 percent of homebuyers use the Internet to search for a home, according to a National Association of Realtors survey.

"Without [great] pictures I am much less likely to go see a house," says house hunter Dan Dillbeck, of Grand Rapids, Mich. In most cases, online photos are his first view of a home, he says, adding that poor pictures tend to turn him away.

Photographs are powerful bait. Good ones can lure buyers; poor ones can do the opposite. Follow these tips to create flattering photos of your property.

1. Use a wide angle lens. For interior shots, nothing beats showing as much of a space as possible, and today many “point and shoot” cameras are equipped with ultrawide lenses (usually referred to as “24mm equivalent.” Look for a camera that offers 20 to 24mm wide angle and certainly no more narrow than 28mm. 

CAUTION: Be careful to line up your shot so that the walls, appliances, and furnishings to not create an unnatural angle converging toward the top or the bottom of your image. Studies have shown the viewer’s eye does not correct these angles, which can be confusing or misleading.

2. Lighten up. For exterior shots, shoot in the middle of the day when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, says Gregory Haberstick, who trains professional photographers for Foxtons, a real-estate company serving New York and New Jersey.

For interior shots, Bill Bayless, a real-estate photographer in Damascus, Ore., suggests turning on all the lights and using a flash. "The flash adds in all of the correct colors and fills in the shadows, making the room look brighter," he says.  

3. More is better. Homebuyers want to see more than just the front of the house. Buyers also want to get a look at the living room, kitchen, dining room, family room, master bedroom/bathroom and the backyard, Bayless says. He suggests including your residence's best features, such as a home theater or an exercise room.

For condos and apartments, include shots of amenities such as a pool, tennis court or gym, says Kevin Grolig, a real-estate agent with Llewellyn Realtors in Rockville, Md.

If your home has a spectacular view, say of a beach, lake, mountains, park or golf course, by all means post photos of those as well, says Ron Luxemburg, a photographer in Pasadena, Calif.

4. Get a clear shot. Remove clutter from an area before photographing it. Clear counter space and remove fridge magnets, children's toys, dirty dishes and other distractions, says Haberstick.

"I've been known to spend a few hours moving things around," says Grolig. He relocates appliances and makes beds to get the best photo.  Most photographers will not do that, for many reasons.

For outside shots, put away garbage cans and remove the car from the driveway, he says. Try not to include telephone poles, wires and other distractions or homes in the scene. BUT, be honest with your images and do not “photoshop out” any permanent features that sneak into the image unless it is understood they are present (e.g., occassionally power wires may be removed from view if not deceptive – use good judgement!). Never, ever, “repair” a bad roof or “patch” a badly pitted driveway. If a lawn does look good in the Spring, it is okay to show it that way. Be ethical.

5. Edit the Images. Look at each of your images in a computer-based program and correct the exposure and cropping if needed. Many good software programs are free or included with your computer. Others can be had for low cost, and still others like professionals use are quite expensive. Be mindful that many MLS systems also require images that are a certain maximum size and ratio of width to height, such as 4:3 (most common) or 3:2.  Very few listing services can accommodate sizes such as 16:9 wide angle without creating distortion. NOTE: When using a professional photohgrapher for your MLS, make sure he or she can make adjustments to still pictures which conform to size constraints.

Some exerpts above are included from an article by Dana Mattioli of the Wall Street Journal

So there you are... but remember, if you want terrific results, the very best decision is to hire a professional like Phil Tuggle!  Your listing will probably sell faster!

Call Aerial Lens LLC at 803-464-8349

 


Studies PROVE IT! Great Photos and Tours Pay Off!

Even as far back as 2008, it has been proven that pictures and virtual tours both increase the expected transaction price and decrease the average time on the market of comparable listings. For example, adding a virtual tour decreases the expected marketing time by about 20 percent and increases the expected sales price by about 2 percent.

An extensive 32-page study performed by George Washington University Department of Economics professor, Dr. Paul Carrillo, indicates a very strong correlation between online visual appeal and improved marketing of real estate, especially in the residential marketplace.  That is more true today than ever.

Using a pracical example from the above conclusion, lets see how a good listing could benefit from services offered by Aerial Lens LLC.  Using even numbers, a $150,000 home priced right, in a good market, and in good condition will quite likely see about $3,000 more when sold, and close 30 days sooner in a 150 average DOM area!

WOW! The Seller saves a mortgage payment and agent gets more commission and a stronger reputation. How's that sound?!


What is "HDR" Photography and Why Do I Need It?

What is HDR and Why is it Important to ME as a Real Estate Agent?  You may have heard the term "HDR" photography a lot recently, but what is it and WHY SHOULD YOU CARE about High Dynamic Range photos for your listings? Well, first you need to understand how your eyes work.

Your eyes can simultaneously see a much wider range of light than a good camera can. In camera terms, you can see approximately TEN to SIXTEEN TIMES greater range of light - light to dark - than even a very good camera can record. It's easy to understand in practical terms.

Let's use an example of a real estate listing...

When you are showing a home at any time of day, your buyer's eyes automatically adjust to see quite well in just about every lighting situation, whether indoors or outside. You both can see details in the shade and bright areas, and everything in between, because your eyes and brain can adapt to a "dynamic range" of light; so, everything looks quite natural and appealing just as it should.

Now, when using a good camera in those same areas of light and dark, the camera will try to give you the best image it can by "looking" at both bright and dark areas and averaging things out so that the picture will give a great average interpretation of what you see. The resulting image will lose a lot of detail in BOTH brightly lit and poorly lit areas, recording a pretty good overall image -- with a few shortcomings.  In fact, a typical interior room shot will "blow out" or whiten window scenes on a bright day -- rather than show the green outdoors you see.  And shadows in a room may show no detail at all. The room itself may come out okay in the photo, but that's simply not what you see in person. The same is true when you take a picture of a beautiful sunset - the camera will rarely record what YOU actually saw.

The good news is that Phil Tuggle and Aerial Lens will process images in HDR - High Dynamic Range - to make your shots look natural and accurately represent a real showing of the listing. You will see the landscaping through the windows as well as details of that nice hardwood or tile floor, and everything in between. The shot will look real, not artificial, just like your eyes would see it.

Now ask yourself, do you want listing photos to show what the eye really sees, or ordinary "average light" photos? HDR photography is what you NEED.