Are your real estate photos hurting your sales? Great photography is more important than ever when selling a house. A few years ago, realtors were the only ones who viewed photos of homes on internal MLS listings, but with the rise of buyer facing home search sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin, potential buyers are looking at houses before even contacting their agents. This means buyers are making judgments on houses before they even step up to the front door. If your listings don’t have enticing photography, you could be losing buyers and potential sales.
Whether you’re taking the photos yourself or hiring a photographer specializing in real estate images, here are 5 reasons why you need to have great photography for your listings:
1. First impressions are key – as stated above, most potential buyers are starting their search online instead of reaching out to realtors. If they don’t like a listing's images, they’ll never make the next step of contacting you for a showing. Dark photos, poor angles, and out of focus shots are all turn offs for potential buyers. Even if the home is amazing in person, bad photography will encourage prospects to pass over the listing to something more appealing.
2. Society is becoming more visual – with the explosion of social media and sites like Instagram and youtube, visual interpretations are becoming more important. A well-lit, nicely composed image of the features they’re looking for will bring new buyers in the door much faster than a description of those same amenities. Having impressive photography makes their decision to view the home in person a no brainer for the buyers.
3. Create excitement and interest – What makes this particular home special? Photos highlighting interesting features can set the home apart and give the buyers a reason to set up a showing. So many people only show the basic home photos. Take advantage of that great fireplace or view or layout and be sure to post a photo of it.
4. Beating out the competition to get buyers in the door – This is especially important in planned neighborhoods or new developments where the homes are fairly similar. Why should buyers walk through your home instead of the one down the street? Having better photography than the competition can help entice those buyers to walk in your door first.
5. Making a lasting impression – Many buyers are so excited when walking through the homes that they don’t take their own photos to help them remember which places they liked. This means they’re going back to sites like Zillow to remind themselves what the houses looked like. Make sure you leave them with the best possible impression of your listings.
There you have it, 5 reasons why you need to consider having great real estate photos for your listings. Not a great photographer yourself? Consider hiring a real estate photographer to provide you with images to bring those buyers to see your listings.
Fond of traveling and exploring our country's fantastic National Park system, but don't want to leave your pup behind? Don't worry, there are several fantastic parks that are dog friendly on the campgrounds, trails, and public areas. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
While you can't bring your pup into the canyon itself, the 13 mile South Rim Trail is paved and 100% dog friendly. Take in the majestic views of the canyon while still enjoying time with Fido. Although pets must be leashed, they are welcome on trails above the rim , several campgrounds, and other developed areas. There's even a kennel where you can board your dog if you want to take a day trip into the canyon trails.
2. Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado
If your dog loves to dig, run, and play, definitely check out Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. Dogs are allowed (on leash) in the preserve and up to the first high ridge of dunes. Remember that the sand can get very hot in summer (up to 150 degrees F!) so protect your dogs feet, play in the morning, and bring plenty of water and a collapsable bowl.
3. Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Over on the eastern side of the U.S., make sure to check out Shenandoah National Park. It's one of the few national parks that allow leashed pets on most trails. In fact, only 20 of the over 500 trail miles are off limits! That's plenty of hiking to explore with your pooch. Dogs are also allowed in the campgrounds if you want to camp out.
4. Acadia National Park in Maine
If the northeast has been calling your name, be sure to stop by Acadia National Park in Maine. Acadia has over 100 miles of dog friendly hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads for you to explore. Several campgrounds are also pet friendly.
There are many more parks that allow dogs in the parking lots and public areas, but the above list are some of the friendliest for Fido. Always make sure your dogs are leashed and you're following any park rules. Happy trails!
Ahh, the complicated process of selling a house. It's stressful to begin with, but those of us with pets have an extra family member to consider. Strangers walking through your home can cause your pets anxiety, and the potential buyers might not even be pet people (the horror!) So how do you balance keeping your furry companion happy and safe while trying to sell your house as quickly as possible? Here are 6 things for pet owners to consider when selling their home to help make the process a little less hectic for everyone involved.
1. Fix any damage. This may seem obvious, but most pet owners are so used to their dog or cat being part of the family that they forget about the scratches on the baseboards or the pet smell that's become part of the atmosphere. Start by walking through your house with the perspective of a potential buyer who doesn't have pets. Is the cat litter box sitting in plain view? Did Fido leave adorable little nose smudges on the sliding door? Is there a removable pet door installed? Are there dog toys laying everywhere? Remove anything physical that shows that pets inhabit the house, and fix any visible damage. If you're not sure you can recognize this, have a friend or family member walk through with you to point out anything you might have missed.
2. If possible, board pets elsewhere when when you have a showing. The best option for both your pet and the potential buyers is for you to find a place to board fluffy when you have showings. This isn't always possible, but taking your dog or cat to a daycare, having a dog walker take them to the park for the hour your house will be occupied or having a friend or family member watch them reduces the stress on your pet of having strangers in the house while you're not home, and keeps the pets out of sight for the buyers. The last thing you want is your pet to accidentally escape or to be scared and injure the realtor or buyers in any way.
3. It may hurt your viewings, but you can restrict the times for showings on your house to hours where you will be home and can watch your pet. Another option is to ask for a few hours heads up so you can remove your pets while the buyers walk through. Taking Fido on a nice long walk or Sassy on a car ride will allow the buyers to see your home animal free.
4. Please for the love of all that's good, pick up pet droppings. Clean and hide the litter box. Pick up the doggie presents in the backyard. It seems obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many people forget or just don't do this. Potential buyers don't want to accidentally step in dog doodoo when they're surveying the backyard or accidentally kick a litter box as they walk through a utility room.
5. Remove or hide as many of your pet accessories as possible. Some things like built in dog doors will have to stay, but pick up any toys, water/food dishes, and beds. Hide litter boxes in closets if you normally keep them out. Move crates and cat furniture to the garage or an out of the way place. It might seem like overkill, but the potential buyers may not have pets and the easier it is for them to picture themselves in your house, the easier it will sell.
6. Last on the list but just as important - remove any pet odors! As mentioned in point number one, enlist a friend or family member if you need help identifying and unpleasant smells in your house. Vacuum and wash what you can and use an odor removing spray to freshen things up. If the carpet is badly stained or smells, consider getting it professionally cleaned or replaced.
The most important aspect of showing your home when you have animals is the safety of both your pets and the realtor/buyers. You want your home to sell as quickly as possible while keeping your furry friends comfortable and as stress free as possible. Remember, the easiest way to turn potential buyers into actual buyers is for them to imagine themselves living happily ever after in your house. And while it may not feel like home to you without Scout or Miss Fancyclaws, the new buyers may not see it that way. Cleaning up, repairing damage, and removing pets during the showings can help make your house more salable and keep everyone happy during the process.