Taking Great Photos – Why You Should Care and How To Get That Great Shot.

Since the internet has become the biggest selling tool in real estate, it has become harder and harder to generate interest in a property without photos posted online. Great photos can generate interest in a home, interest equals foot traffic and views which can result in more sales. More sales puts you on the radar for asset managers who are on the hunt for people like you…you can see where this is headed right? Photos are important in property valuations too! Property valuations go to the banks that are handling the loans. If the bank sees great photos and can clearly see and evaluate the home’s condition and features, not only have you provided a great service, but you have now shown them what you are capable of if they were to give you their listings! Here are some tips to help get you started getting those great shots:

Basic Equipment:

To start, having a digital camera with multiple settings, a tripod and lights can help you get the professional looking shot that everyone loves. A well lit room and a level and steady camera will help lengthen exposure time without getting blurry photos.

Techniques:

Set your camera to take a high resolution picture.

Proper photo exposure and use of the flash are very important. A dark room with sun shining through a window can fool your camera’s sensor and cause the camera to slow down the shutter and underexpose the photos making rooms look dark. Be sure to turn the lights on before taking the photo. Choose the correct camera setting by taking a photo and look to see if it is still to dark. If it is, bring in extra lights or slow down the shutter speed and use the tripod. The longer the exposure time (slower shutter speed) the brighter the photo will come out if light in the room is limited.  Hold the camera straight. Try to line the top, bottom or side of the frame with a wall or corner to be sure your shot is level and professional looking.

Make sure you are in a corner or doorway when shooting each room to ensure you can fit most of the room in the photo. A buyer can’t tell much about a house if they can only see a corner or a piece of carpet. Use a slight wide angle setting or slight fish eye setting to get the entire room in the photo. A strong wide angle or fish eye can distort a room, so tone it down so you get as much of the room as possible without it looking like a fun house mirror.

For exterior photos, pay attention to the sun! Morning and evening sun bring out colors and tones that typically get washed out in the midday sun. Plan ahead where the sun will be when you take your shot. If the sun is behind the home in the evening, morning would be a better time for a photo. Do not shoot directly into the sun or the home will not show through the lens flair it creates, try to find an angle or shade the lens with a lens shade, your hand or piece of paper if you are in a pinch.

Remember, each valuation requires a front and side shot and a clear address verification and 2 street scenes. This gives the bank confirmation that you photographed the correct house and shows them the condition of the house and what setting it is in. If an address is not posted on the house or mailbox, photos of the neighboring house numbers or a plat map will do the trick. Interior photos should showcase the house and it’s features and should also show the bank any damages that may impede the sale process or impact the sale value.

Here are some great resources with more information and advanced tips.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/interiors.htm

http://www.photocentric.net/real_estate_interiors.htm

http://photographystepbystep.com/others/real-estate-photography-tips/

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About saraschlosser

Sara Schlosser is the Community Manager at InsideValuation.

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