SELLER'S RESOURCE »
The professional photos that are taken and used to sell your home are very important. At TK Homes, we want the photos that buyers see to be a true representation of your property. We show a lot of homes to buyers, and it is not uncommon for us to pull up to a property with our clients and see that the house doesn't match the pictures that were on the internet. Sometimes the house looks way better than the pictures, and other times, the home doesn’t look as good as the pictures make it look. Both scenarios aren’t positive. Let me give you some reasons why.
For the first scenario, if the home looks better in person than the pictures, it may not be what a client is looking for, especially if they are an investor wanting to do a fix and flip or the clients want to make the house their own. If it is already in great condition, they may not want to rip out cabinets, flooring, etc. because that is wasting positive resources. Also, if the home’s condition appears to be rougher in the photos than in reality, some potential buyers may skip seeing it altogether, thinking it’s in rougher shape than they want to buy.
If the house isn’t as nice as they thought based on the photos, the clients may not have money in their budget to improve it. It may not be move-in ready as they had thought. If a buyer is expecting it to be nicer, then they see the home, and it’s not, their whole impression is now negative. Even if they would normally have considered it, now they are seeing that the home actually needs some work, when originally, they thought it was in better shape. This can leave the buyers feeling like they were cheated or lied to.
Another concern in our current market is that sometimes it's very challenging to get showings for properties. It is not uncommon for showings to be booked up, and sometimes there are no showings available. So, one could argue that when a buyer sees a house that doesn’t look like it did in the MLS pictures and isn’t what they were looking for, the buyers are taking up a showing space that another buyer could possibly have benefitted from. As mentioned in the examples above, because of the unrealistic photos, the marketing missed the proper audience. The whole idea is that the photos will help to get the appropriate buyers into the home who will make the strongest offers.
Let’s learn more about real estate photography, both the good and the bad, from Mike Butler, our in-house photographer at TK Homes.
Human eyes are extraordinary machines and are capable of visually interpreting information in a huge spectrum of tonality—very dark to very light, all within the same view. This is beyond the capability of even some of the best cameras in the world. If a scene is too dark, a camera must make the image lighter (overexpose) for us to see it. If a scene is bright, a camera must make the image darker (underexpose) for us to see it.
In real estate photography both challenges are often present in almost every shot. One example is direct bright light shining in through a window into a room with low ceilings and dark furniture creating dark shadow areas in the same room. Another example is in the case of an exterior photo where there is bright midday sun shining just above the roof line and dark shadow engulfing the deck from the porch cover. This is one of the tricky things about photography, even with today's high-quality equipment, especially with real estate photos.
How do photographers overcome these challenges? HDR & Editing.
HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Resolution, is basically using multiple exposures of a single image enabling a wider tonal range of dark and light, and it allows the image to show color and details in both the dark and light areas that would not be visible in a single photo.
Editing photos can be done in many different ways. Editing images is such a commonplace thing these days that the Adobe application Photoshop has become a verb. We’ve all heard it before, "Just photoshop it!” There is an idea out there that you can pretty much edit anything to look like what you want, but should you?
At TK Homes, we don’t think you should, not when editing real estate listing photos at least. We believe the photographer’s job is to create photos that look as nice as possible while accurately representing the property as it really is.
Single exposure image: This is underexposed because of the bright midday overhead sunshine. The result is the sky has nice color and there are well exposed bright areas, but the shadows are dark and "plugged up", meaning it is hard to see the details and get a true sense of the backyard.
Overedited image: This image looks really nice and makes the backyard stand out and pop, while increasing the curb appeal, but it is misrepresenting the property. The brick in the exterior wall has been darkened and evened out, making it look newer than it really is. The highly edited photo also showcases amazing looking grass throughout the entire yard and fresh mulch in the upper yard. While these edits may showcase the backyard's potential, it is a clear misrepresentation of the current condition of the property and may leave potential buyers feeling disappointed during their showing, possibly even creating an underlying feeling of distrust.
TK Homes' images: Our property photos are gently edited to open up the shadows so that the details of the property can be easily viewed. Although sometimes colors and lighting can shift a bit in the HDR process, we try to achieve as realistic representation of the property as possible while trying to capitalize on any perceivable aesthetic we can leverage.
At TK Homes, we spend a lot of time editing photos, so they are realistic representations that get the right buyers into the home from the beginning. We have an in-house photographer, so we have full control over our photography and how it represents your home. After all, a photo speaks a thousand words, and you can never get that first impression of your home back. To sum things up, we make sure our listing photos are bringing in buyers with precise expectations of your home, making your sale as quick as possible and for the highest price. Contact us at TK Homes today and find out all of the ways we ensure your home sells fast and for top dollar.
~ Written by TK Homes REALTOR®, Mary Smith and by Creative Director, Michael Butler