Professional Real Estate Photography Sells Homes

portland real estate photography

As a real estate agent, it’s hard for me to name just one thing that sellers MUST do before they list their home for sale. But getting professional photographs of the home is pretty high up on the list. There’s just no arguing with the facts: A well photographed home is a home that sells more quickly, and often for more money. 

Professional vs. Non-professional Photos

Let’s make a distinction between standard, camera-phone photos and professional photography. The pictures that most real estate agents take are simply inadequate for accurately displaying a home online. Even though high-megapixel smartphone cameras are pretty nice these days, they’re not good enough to replicate professional photography. 

Amateur vs Professional real estate photography comparison Credit

Professional photography isn’t just about the high-end camera, lighting and lenses — it’s the person using the tools to make homes and outdoor spaces look their best. For example, you can expect your real estate photographer to take hundreds of photographs of your home, capturing every room from multiple angles. They will then take the time to sort through all those photos to find the best shots. They also have the editing tools to fine-tune photographs so that colors come true and glare and shadows are minimized (along with the ethical standards not to doctor a photograph to mislead buyers). 

Professional Photography allows the buyer to See Outside

It takes multiple layers of light exposure to have a bright interior and be able to see crystal clear out the windows. This is one of the easier ways to differentiate between good and bad real estate photography or professional versus amateur.

Sellers Undervalue Professional Photography

According to a 2019 survey, only 31% of home sellers believe that professional photography is important when selling a home. So here’s a quick rundown of the data on how important it really is:

  • According to the National Association of Realtors, 93% of buyers shop for homes online. They also found that, for a huge majority of online home shoppers, photographs of the home are the most valuable item in the online listing. See everything that does make a home sell in 2020 in our real estate market research article here.
  • In a 2013 study, Redfin found that professionally photographed homes in the $400,000 range sold for $10,000 over list price, and in three weeks less time, compared to similar homes listed with non-professional photos.
  • Another 2013 study by a real estate photography network examined all the home sales in the Chicago area for a year. They found that home sellers who hired a professional photographer sold their home 32% faster than those who did not. This cut the number of days on the market by five weeks.  

It would be great to have more studies on this, especially as the dynamics of 2020 drive even more home buyers online, but we think that the results are pretty clear so far: Professionally photographed homes sell for more, in less time.

We Professionally Photograph Every Listing

Professional real estate photography can be a big expense, but we offer it to all of our clients at no additional charge because we know that it works. In fact, professional photographs comprise the core of our comprehensive marketing package — they appear not only in the MLS and online listings but also on the home’s unique website, on listing flyers and advertisements. It’s all included when you list with us, and there are no hidden fees, just our reasonable 4.5% commission rate. Nor do we stop with professional photos, 3D home tours are standard for all of our listings as well – the new standard in real estate marketing to complement the photography.

September 14, 2020

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.