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Listing Photos, oh how important are you?

This is another one of my rants, inspired by the post Why You Need to Add More Photos to Your Listing NOW.  As usual Melissa does a great job of talking through the topic and quoting experts on the topic as well as studies and the like.  I on the other hand just speak from experience.  I show lots of homes to buyers who start the process on-line, looking at photos.  It will often turn to discussions of those very same photos that brought us to the home.  Comments like “Well that’s not what it looked like in the pictures”  or “This should be interesting since there was only one photo”.  Some of my favorite comments are the postage stamp is bigger than the photos on-line and I was really impressed by that photo of the wall.

I consider photos like resumes, they are designed to get the interview, entice the buyer to want to see it in person.  Yet it is often overlooked or cut from the listing agents attention to detail.  Listing agents are so excited to get the listing contract signed that they will whip out their pocket camera and take pictures right there often coming up with horrible shots of the home.

Here is another fact that I find interesting, the top producing agents, the top 20% that do 80% of the transactions, all hire a professional photographer to take pictures for their listings.  Want to know if you have a top producing agent, ask them about the photos they use in the MLS, if they say they take a bunch of pictures and use the best one, you’re not getting a top producer.

I recently lost a listing to another agent that took her own photos and put them on the MLS, yes, she sold that listing, but for 10% less than what I would have listed it for (that’s $30,000 difference), think about the cost of photos (and professionalism) that the seller’s missed out on.

In short, I agree with Melissa, you need good photos to succeed.