Homes Listed with Professional Real Estate Photos Sell Quicker and For More Money. This Is Why.

    

First impressions are everything, especially in home buying. A gorgeous exterior vs. a crummy one decides whether you walk in the front door. Inside, spotless interiors are more likely to inspire a life there than a cluttered house that’s clearly, well, someone else’s home.

And while this is where staging can play a huge role, it’s the listing pictures buyers see online that is often the first barrier of entry. So they better be really good.

In fact, a 2013 Redfin study found that homes professionally photographed with high-performance Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) sold quicker and for thousands of dollars, more than homes shot with amateur photos. DSLR cameras are also the preferred camera of Redin’s national photography manager, Drew Larrigan. Redfin provides professional photography to all its listing clients, free of charge.

Why Professional Real Estate Photos Sell Homes for More

“The iPhone is the number one camera on the market right now, but we are still very far from it replacing a DSLR, which offers a higher quality image with higher pixelation. It’s the level necessary in this business, that will be continued to be used in the market for years to come.”

But you need more than just a fancy high-tech camera, you also need the know-how.

“The number one thing people get wrong with listing photography is having the mindset that anyone can do it and deliver a beautiful photo,” he said. “There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work you don’t see, capturing layers of High Dynamic Range (HDR) images to create one beautiful shot.”

Layers, he explained refers to multiple exposures. “This allows us to highlight shadows and bring out brightness or darkness through the windows. And then you stack those layers, which creates the beautiful windows in our photos.”

As online searching and browsing is a critical part of the home-buying process, it makes sense that professional photos will entice people to visit the home as they know what they are getting before they even set foot in the home.

“Today we have more shoppers buying from abroad or out of state and making an offer sight unseen, and really want to see a home documented,” Drew said. “They want to see every corner of the home, and that’s the beauty of the DSLR is offering a resolution that allows the out of state or city buyer a chance to see the home in full.”

Amateur vs. Professional Real Estate Photos

To see these differences in action, Drew shared listing photos comparing those shot by an amateur, and those professionally photographed. “These examples are a chance to really look at the data visually, of the difference between a team approach that builds out quality, versus independent third parties,” he said. “It goes to show how important it is for Redfin to offer quality to the client, and how important it is to make sure our listings are as beautiful as possible.”

Home entry way side by side real estate photos

“In the above photo to the left, the photographer attempts to connect the front door with the dining area, but in the process, misses all the wonderful entry storage, and the white walls look brown. Redfin’s professional photo on the right chose to instead focus on the expansive hallway, beautiful entry, great storage, and crisp color tones. The professional photographer fully utilizes this space and frames key assets in the hallway.”

Dining room real estate photos with professional camera

“In the professionally shot photo above on the right, the color tones, wood tones, and white balance are perfect. The walls are WHITE. The frame orientation is centered around the chandelier and the photo invites you into this room. In contrast, in the other photo, the room appears to be leaning, the white balance is off, and the colors are dark, almost reddish.”

Master bedroom listing photos side by side

“Once again, a proper color balance comes into play here. When incorrect, the master bedroom feels small. It also misses an opportunity to show the adjoining bathroom. The composition should highlight the full room to its entirety.”

Master bathroom professional real estate photos

“This bathroom is bright and light but the white balance is off, and as a result, the images miss key features like the upscale shower head, vanity and lighting.”

Exterior of brick home shot with real estate photography

“In the first photo, your eye is drawn to other objects, rather than the house itself. The basketball hoop, open umbrella, neighbors to the left and right are distracting and more obvious. Additionally, the home isn’t centered, and the lens distortion bends the horizon line. When photographed correctly, you will notice the sky and the framing. This is a shot that is composed, center and square. The color tones are natural and the backyard feels private.”

Redfin Photos by: Matthew Deering

Homes professionally photographed with DSLR cameras are proven to sell quicker and for thousands of dollars more than homes shot with amateur photos.

Inspired by Drew’s insight, we took a look back at the 2013 study. The data revealed that professionally photographed homes priced in the $400,000 range sold three weeks faster and for more than $10,000 relative to their list price, than their counterparts with amateur photos.

10 Cosmetic Upgrades to Sell Your Home in Record Time

Caution: Project results may make your home so beautiful, you won't want to leave.

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May 20, 2019
 
 

We Recommend

Why You Should Take Home Ventilation Seriously

 
Residence 950 is pre-certified LEED-Platinum property set above San Francisco with stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, the East Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Downtown San Francisco and Coit Tower.

Residence 950 is pre-certified LEED-Platinum property set above San Francisco with stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, the East Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Downtown San Francisco and Coit Tower.

 JACOB ELLIOT

A newly built home in San Francisco, http://www.residence950.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Residence 950, takes indoor air quality very seriously. Built in 2018 by https://www.troonpacific.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Troon Pacific, the 9,500-square foot home on Russian Hill has hospital grade air filtration via a https://zehnderamerica.com/air-distribution-systems/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Zehnder whole-house ventilation system, which changes all the air in the home every two hours; a central whole-house vacuum system that keeps all areas allergen and dust-free and a below-grade air barrier to keep out all allergens and mitigate dust.

Ventilation, it seems, “is the new frontier for making houses healthy,” says Carl Seville, whose Atlanta-based https://www.skcollaborative.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">SK Collaborative does green building consulting and certification. The https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/inside-story-guide-indoor-air-quality" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">EPA cites indoor air quality (IAQ) as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. And, a recent study shows that people spend 90% of their time indoors – whether in houses, offices, schools, cars. And, recent https://iaqscience.lbl.gov/vent-info" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Berkeley Labs IAQ findings on ventilation suggest that when lots of people gather together in a small space, the CO2 they expel into the air can impact their health and cognitive performance. (So, you might not be able to blame the beer for your actions when you and your friends are packed into your kitchen.) Along with CO2, according to the https://www.neefusa.org/health/asthma/national-public-health-week-health-impacts-indoor-air-quality" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">National Environmental Education Foundation, indoor air is polluted with lead, dust mites, mold, radon, pests, carbon monoxide, pet dander, mold, and second hand smoke. Throw in some humidity and you encourage mold to grow.

Think about that as you take your next breath of indoor air and know that before the day is over you will breathe approximately 2,500 gallons of the stuff. It’s all enough to make you gasp – for fresh air.

 

 

While the top-of-the-line Zehnder products can be upwards of $10,000, we mere mortals, or at least those of us who don’t have $45 million for a luxury mansion, can still get fresh air into our homes. As Seville points out though, it’s not just about bringing in outdoor air but bringing in air from the right places. You don’t want to pull in air from your garage, for example.

A chef-inspired gourmet kitchen features custom Boffi cabinetry and island, Calacatta marble countertops, Mandarin white limestone floors and integrated Gaggenau appliances, including both gas and induction cooktops, and three ovens, including a plumbed in steam oven.

A chef-inspired gourmet kitchen features custom Boffi cabinetry and island, Calacatta marble countertops, Mandarin white limestone floors and integrated Gaggenau appliances, including both gas and induction cooktops, and three ovens, including a plumbed in steam oven.

 DAVID LIVINGSTON

What most older houses have now for ventilation are bathroom fans and kitchen range hoods to remove the bad air. Older homes may be leaky, so while you are getting some fresh air, you have no control over where it’s coming from. On top of that, your HVAC system won’t work efficiently. Newer homes are more tightly built. So, yes, they’re more efficient from an energy standpoint, but you may not be getting the fresh air you need.

Enter the HRV and ERV. Although they’ve been around a while, many people don’t know about them. But you should get to know them because you’re going to be hearing about them a lot in the next few years as more people focus on IAQ. Basically, these devices pull out the bad air and replace it with good air. (If you have an older home, the first thing you’d need to do is tighten it up for either of these to do their best work.)

An HRV, Heat Recovery Ventilation system, uses the heat from the stale indoor air that’s being exhausted to warm up the incoming fresh air; the two air streams merely pass by each other in the HRV’s core so they never mix. Overall, you are using less energy to bring the outside air to room temp.

The ERV, Energy Recovery Ventilation system, does things a little differently. It captures both heat and moisture, your indoor humidity. In winter, the system transfers the humidity from the indoor air being extracted to the incoming fresh (and dry) air. In summer, it pulls the humidity out of the outside air before it gets inside. You save energy by reducing the load on your air conditioning system and/or dehumidifier.

Talk with an HVAC professional to determine https://zehnderamerica.com/hrv-versus-erv-how-do-i-choose/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">which system will work best in your house, in your climate and for your lifestyle. HRV http://www.mnshi.umn.edu/kb/scale/hrverv.html" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">costs, not including installation, run anywhere from $600 to $1,100 for a mid-size system (this assumes you already have ducts and a central HVAC system.) Similar-sized ERVs may cost $150 to $200 more.

Of course, if you do have a bigger budget for air scrubbing, you can invest in some of these other things that Troon included at Residence 950:

  • Vents that look like a covered wall outlet and are flush with the wall, leading to a central location with a HEPA filter (air purifier) to ensure air is as clean as possible
  • Various extensions/tools for the whole-house vacuum system located throughout the home, including a dust pan attachment in the kitchen so crumbs can be swept up and sent directly to the central location
  • A sub-slab air and water barrier, which helps mitigate the risk of harmful gases such as radon and moisture from entering the home from below grade and influencing air quality.
  • Active ventilation from a below-ground air barrier with a fan system releases harmful air outside of the home.
  • A mud room with lockers and a built-in ventilated bench and shoe storage – to keep from tracking in allergens and pollutants. Closets and trash areas are also ventilated.
  • Hard surface floors only – wood, stone – which are easier to clean than carpet and don’t collect dust or allergens.

I write about all things house related with a particular interest in how our homes should adapt to us. As much as I like imagining I’ll be the same me for 40 more years,...

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Here's What To Do If You Get Behind On Your Mortgage

 
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Whether it's a job loss, unexpected medical bills, or something else, financial hardships can happen to anyone. If you've hit hard times and fallen behind on your mortgage, the most important thing to know is that there is hope. As long as you're willing to talk to your lender, there are plenty of options available to help you avoid foreclosure. We've laid them out for you below. Keep reading to learn what you can do to get out from underwater.

Call your lender

If you get behind on your mortgage - or sense that you may have financial trouble in the near future - your very first step should be to call your lender. Foreclosure is an expensive process, so most lenders will be willing to work with you if it means they can avoid spending the money. There are two common methods that they use to help you get caught up on your payments.

Repayment plan

The first method is known as a repayment plan. This is a good option if you've gone through a temporary financial setback like a job loss, but it's come to an end. With a repayment plan, the amount that you've accrued in missed mortgage payments is split over a set number of months and added to your existing mortgage payment.

 

 

Reinstatement and forbearance

With reinstatement and forbearance, your lender agrees to temporarily suspend or reduce your mortgage payments for a certain period of time. At the end of that time period, you'll be expected to make up for all of your missed mortgage payments with one lump-sum payment. Again, it's an option that works best if you're confident that your financial hardship will be resolved by the time your repayment is due.

Change the terms of your mortgage

If you feel that keeping up with your mortgage payments may be an ongoing issue, changing the terms of your mortgage may be a better bet. Again, there are a few different ways to make this happen.

 

Newly Listed Homes Get 3.4 Times More Online Views Than Those With a Price Drop

    

Price your home right from the start to maximize the homebuyer interest it will get on day one

Homes get 3.4 times more online views the day they are listed than they do the day the seller drops the price. So if you’re thinking about testing the waters with a high price and then lowering it a few weeks later to drive more interest, we advise against it.

Homes Get 3.4X More Views The Day They Are Listed Than After a Price Drop

“It’s critical to price your home to sell from the start,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Fair or not, buyers judge a home by how many days it has been on the market. A home that has been on the market for more than a few weeks has a scarlet letter on it, and buyers will wonder why no one else wanted to buy it. Dropping the price can help get your home onto the radar of some buyers who are searching for homes priced just below the original price, but you likely won’t be able to regain the appeal of a newly listed home.”

A home for sale that is viewed by 100 buyers online in its first day receives an average of just 17 views per day after 30 days on the market. Dropping the price only boosts that to 29 views, and the bump only lasts a single day. The day after a price drop, the home’s views fall back down to just 18 per day.

It is critical to put your absolute best foot forward the moment your home hits the market. Price it right, include the best quality photos, and make sure all the details are just right. You’ll never be able to replicate the surge of attention your listing gets on its first day on the market.

Online views of home listings drop off steeply after the first day, with half as many visits on day two and a quarter as many after a week on the market.

During the 4-week period ending May 19, nearly a quarter (24.2%) of homes for sale had a price drop, up from 21 percent a year earlier, but down from the 30 percent record high posted last October. As home sellers this spring adjust to a market that’s less favorable to them than it has been in years, it’s increasingly important to make your home as appealing as possible to the most serious buyers whose phones will alert them when your home is first listed. Alerts about a price drop are more likely to inspire skepticism than excitement in homebuyers.

“Especially in a market where bidding wars are not the norm, it can be tempting for a seller to price their home a little high to avoid leaving money on the table,” explained Seattle-based Redfin listing agent Dorothee Graham. “If we have to drop the price, I’ll run a new comparative market analysis (CMA) so the seller can see how much similar homes nearby are listing and selling for, then I offer to take them in person to tour those properties so they understand where their home should be priced.

“I also pull a list of everything available in that price range I’m recommending so they can see what else is out there, regardless of property type, size or condition, because this is how buyers are searching,” continued Graham. “We also keep in mind price intervals and how homebuyers tend to search on Redfin and other real estate sites. A seller might want to reduce their price by just $10,000 to $15,000, but we advise that this won’t work unless it puts them in a different price bracket on real estate sites. When you do a price drop it has to be meaningful.”

Methodology

For this analysis we collected Redfin.com pageview counts of 1.2 million listings of homes for sale across the U.S. between January 2018 and March 2019 that had at least one price drop during the period. We averaged the number of views listings got each day on the market, relative to their listing date and the date of their first price drop. The data was indexed to 100 views on day 1 of the listing in order to clearly show the volume of listing views relative to day 1 of a new listing.

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