When excited home buyers look online at the newest Edmonton MLS listings that their Realtor provides them, they usually look at the photos first. With the increase in easy to use photo editing software, many home listing photos have been lightened, stretched, and manipulated to the point where they are no longer a snapshot of the condition of the home. Knowing which photos are more authentic and which photos are not will help home buyers avoid disappointment later on at the home viewing stage.
Marketing rules for Realtors that state that they cannot intentionally deceive clients or potential clients in advertising of my services or of properties they have for sale. These rules, however, are a bit blurrier (pardon the pun) for visual advertising such as photos taken of a home. As a result, I often see small rooms shot with a panoramic view to appear much larger than they are, rather than clear representations of what the room actually looks like. I have had many clients state "this house doesn't look like the pictures" and become frustrated when this happens. This is never a good thing - the buyer is disappointed, and I feel their time has been wasted as a result.
Many Realtors have turned to professional real estate photographers to capture the best photos possible. I asked local real estate photographer Trevor Boller to comment on some of the things he has noticed in his area of expertise.
The goal of real estate photography is to highlight the home's attributes. Trevor states that he enhances the look of the listings he works on by making sure that the best feature of each room is highlighted in his photos. Trevor notes that he hates seeing photos taken of crooked walls or under bad lighting. This is an excellent point - as it doesn't give a buyer the chance to get a good idea of what the home actually looks like in person. Buyers will get turned off by this, and potentially miss out on a great home. Trevor also mentioned that he does his best to take a great photo of a room, but finds that when buyers walk into the same room and it is not in the same condition it is in the photo, that it is also a disappointment.
Not all real estate photos are easy to take. Trevor says that one of the most difficult rooms in the homes to photograph is also one of the most important ones - the bathroom. This is because the bathroom is "usually quite small and hard to get any angle of it most of the time". Trevor goes on to state that angled wall lines and dirty mirrors also make it difficult to make a bathroom shot look appealing. This might explain why some MLS listings do not have any bathroom photos in them!
Finally, it is a good bet that if there is not a picture of a certain part of the home, that particular room may not be a highlight of the home. Remember - look for room features in photos, discount photography 'tricks', and be wary of photos with bad lighting - 3 tips to keep in mind the next time you are viewing MLS listings online!