How important are on-line photos when trying to sell your home?  With more than 80% of home buyers starting their search on-line, they could mean the difference between selling and not getting buyers through the front door.  Whether a potential buyer’s first impression comes from physically driving by the property or doing a “virtual” drive-by, it is imperative that the first impression be a good one.  If they don’t like what they see in your photos, chances are they won’t make the trip to check it out in person.

It’s important to remember that a space (and the things in it) can look very different in a picture than they do in person.  When we work with our staging clients, we often encourage them to snap some pictures as they are preparing their spaces.  What do you notice that you didn’t see while standing in the room?  Do your small accessories look like clutter in the shot?  Does the wall color look sickly or too bright?  If you were the buyer, would you be excited about what you saw and want to see more?  If not, then there is more work to be done.

In my opinion, there are a few “rookie mistakes” that you never want to make when posting pictures of a house for sale, but I am still amazed how often I see them.  Here are a few of the most obvious things to pay attention to:

  1. Quality Counts…Blurry pictures will not attract buyers.  If it looks like someone snapped it with their cell phone, it’s not good enough.  If you don’t have a good camera and the skill to take good photos, consider investing the money to have a professional do it for you.
  2. Lids Down Please…Always, always, always have the toilet lids down for photos.  Always.  And while we’re talking bathrooms, put away all of your personal toiletries (toothbrushes, shampoos, loofahs, used towels, etc.), empty the garbage can (or tuck it away), and get the plunger and/or toilet brush out of sight.  Buyers don’t want to see this stuff in pictures or in person!
  3. Pet Patrol…Make sure Fido’s food bowl is put away and Fluffy’s scratching post is nowhere in sight.  Even people who have pets don’t want to see evidence of yours.  (And they certainly don’t want to see Fido or Fluffy in the photo either.  This should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway.)
  4. Mirror Mirror on the Wall…Watch out when taking pictures in front of large mirrors, especially in bathrooms.  No one wants to see the reflection of you taking the picture.
  5. Magnet Mania…Ditch the refrigerator magnets.  And anything else that might be cluttering up the front, sides and top of your refrigerator.  This happens to be one of my personal pet peeves, but to me nothing is more distracting in a photo than a bunch of stuff on the fridge.  Except for maybe that garbage can standing front and center in the kitchen shot.  Move that thing!