Use More Realistic Photos that More Accurately Portray House
Even with real estate reopening in Pennsylvania, some of your clients may not feel comfortable having an outsider in their home. With these tips, homeowners can take better photos on their own, which can help you better showcase their property.
“Traditional” photography was approached with the goal of making spaces look bigger, said Matt Difanis, chair of the National Association of Realtors® Professional Standards Committee. The tool kit would include ultra wide-angle lenses, filters and framing shots to “make people fall in love with what they see in the photos.” This approach, even during times of a thriving market, frequently results in buyers commenting: “This doesn’t look at like the photos.”
With any showing posing a potential risk, Difanis, broker/owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign, IL, said both buyers and sellers want to avoid the unnecessary exposure brought by a showing that could have been avoided had the buyers been fully aware of the layout of a home along with any defects that may exist. Both sides want the buyers to be aware of all the “bad and ugly stuff” before deciding to see the house in person, he said.
“Stop selectively showing cherry-picked views that look like a Pottery Barn catalog,” he said. “Showing everything you can to help those buyers who would be destined to ultimately rule out the property be more likely to do so without imposing all the inconvenience and risk of a physical showing.”
He noted that today neither buyers or sellers will tolerate showings that quickly result in a determination the layout won’t work for the buyer.
There are other new challenges for sellers, too, as they now have nowhere to go during a showing. Families with children who are trying to manage working from home and distance learning now have a higher degree of difficulty when it comes to preparing the house for a showing. Sellers with someone in the house that falls into a high-risk category have to be more vigilant in protecting these family members from unnecessary exposure.
“Sellers don’t want any more strangers in their living, breathing, cooking and sleeping spaces than absolutely necessary,” Difanis said.
Difanis suggests using 3-D tours, such as those from Matterport or Ricoh THETA. These are options that would require an experienced agent or photographer who can access the home while following state and public health guidelines.
In the case where the agent or buyers cannot enter the home and the seller needs to move the process forward, agents can assist the seller with a virtual showing. Agents may also enlist the homeowners to conduct a virtual pre-listing walk through. While typical pre-showing preparations, such as turning on the lights and de-cluttering should be done, Difanis also has these tips:
- If the showing or tour doesn’t have to be done live, consider recording a video on a smartphone that can be shared later. This will allow for drastically improved quality over real-time video calling apps such as FaceTime, Zoom or Skype when done straight from a smartphone.
- Move slowly, so that you don’t cause the viewer to have motion sickness.
- Higher-end smartphones, such as current Samsung and iPhone models, have ultra-wide lenses. These get cropped a bit in video mode for electronic image stabilization, but this still gives a much more sweeping view of rooms than a more standard lens.
- Get closer to show detail when needed. This can be done by physically getting the smartphone close to smaller items of interest, such as premium windows, cabinets, appliance controls or trim details, or by switching to a longer lens on a multi-lens smartphone.