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Point and shoot just doesn't cut it anymore

by Samantha Elliott Krepps on

One of Amy Chorew’s missions in life is to “rid the world of bad real estate photos.”digital_camera

Chorew, a trainer and coach based in Connecticut, spoke at the Triple Play REALTORS® Convention in Atlantic City last week and said, “Photos are the most important aspect for consumers searching for a home.”

She said since consumers find homes on web sites, it’s very important to create online appeal. “The number one thing consumers want to see is photos,” Chorew added.

Chorew recommended purchasing a good digital camera and learning how to use it properly. “If you don’t know how to use it, take a digital photography class at a local community college or shadow a professional photographer. It’s worth the money,” Chorew advised.

Consumers want to see at least 15 photos of a home but the more the better. For the best photos, stage the home for the camera by utilizing the natural lighting. Add additional lighting if the photos do not feature the home’s best assets.

Chorew recommended:

• Start at the entrance of the house and lead the consumer throughout the property
• Imagine the house through the eyes of the buyer
• Purchase high-end home magazines and study the photos
• If the price of the home is more than $350,000, hire a professional photographer.

“REALTORS® aren’t in charge anymore, so get over it. With a click of the mouse, a consumer can leave one REALTOR’s® site if it’s not appealing and hop onto another one,” Chorew said.

Since consumers are in control of which sites they view, Chorew added, “Yours needs to be the best.”


Chorew Photos Web sites
Comments (8)


  • Diane Leisner    December 16, 2009 | 7:42 am

    I see far too many listings with photos that were obviously taken without one thought as to how it was going to be pereceived by the buyers looking online (ex: beds not made, dishes in the sink, etc). Today’s buyers are making the decision whether or not to put a home on their “To Visit” list, judging by the photos, or lack of, posted online. So Realtors are doing a disservice to their sellers if they are not ensuring that the home shows it’s absolute BEST online.

    Reply to Diane Leisner
  • John Badalamenti, Associate Broker, Prudential Fox & Roach, Wayne, PA    December 16, 2009 | 11:44 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I am discerning critic of my own listing pictures and probably drive myself nuts making sure resolution, lighting, color cast, cropping, & proper content are all in check.

    Reply to John Badalamenti, Associate Broker, Prudential Fox & Roach, Wayne, PA
  • Mary Lou Scheidemantle    December 16, 2009 | 12:27 pm

    As a rule, I take between 40 and 120 photos of each property, depending on the condition of the property and how much staging has been done. I can usually get enough good ones that I can display the 18 maximum that my MLS allows. If, out of those, I have enough really good pictures, I can change them occasionally in the MLS or do a virtual tour.

    Reply to Mary Lou Scheidemantle
  • Suzanne Strickler, Long & Foster - Haverford, PA    December 16, 2009 | 4:17 pm

    At this time of year listings don’t look their best on the outside. Drizzle. No snow. No flowers. I ask my sellers if they have pictures of the landscaping in bloom from earlier in the year.
    So many of us have a fortune in bulbs that take your breath away in April but not so much in mid December in the Philadelphia, PA area.
    I agree one picture is worth a thousand words.

    Reply to Suzanne Strickler, Long & Foster - Haverford, PA
  • Amy Chorew    December 21, 2009 | 9:04 pm

    Great comments. We put a post out on the Boston Globe asking buyers what they look for in photos. It was an interesting take. Check it out here.

    Reply to Amy Chorew
  • michael krisa    December 22, 2009 | 7:55 pm

    Spot on Amy!

    I would suggest taking it one step further by asking the sellers what features of the house they would like photographed.

    This engages them in the process and allows them to objectively see flaws, clutter etc. that may need to be addressed without the listing agent having to be the bad guy.

    The camera lens doesn’t lie.


    Reply to michael krisa
  • Eric Bouler    December 25, 2009 | 12:55 am

    It makes a lot of sense. With digital you can take a lot of photos and choose the best. You can never take too many. You can put the neighborhoods in a slide show once you get outside the house. People do want to get a feel of the lifestyle as well. Eric

    Reply to Eric Bouler
  • Linda Esposito    December 28, 2009 | 2:47 pm

    As a professional stager, I have to say that taking great photos of unattractive rooms doesn’t make much sense. Many Realtors think that they will offend their clients by suggesting staging but, I always tell Realtors to just put it out there. The best way is to say that many sellers are now using stagers and recommend a couple of great websites like so that sellers can first educate themselves. Don’t feel that you need to convince them that staging works or throw impressive statistics at them. Let them educate themselves and get back to you. This way, it is the clients’idea and they will be more willing to do what the stager recommends.

    Reply to Linda Esposito

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