Taking professional real estate photos of your property has never been more important.

Before the Internet became the main venue for advertising homes for sale, buyers were limited to a brief description of a home in the local newspaper to decide whether to look at a property.

Today, buyers are busier than ever, and they turn to online listings with professional real estate photos to narrow down their list of “must sees.” Considering their time limits and the countless number of listings available to review, buyers will quickly move on from listings in which photos aren’t included, or if the photos posted do not reflect well on the property.

The Value of High Quality Real Estate Photos on FSBO Properties

While many realtors already know this, for the FSBO seller, high-quality photos that show the home well are critical to attracting interested buyers. Even after buyers tour house and leave interested, when they return home they often want to look at photos of the property again online; if the photos posted are poorly shot or reveal imperfections, an interested buyer can suddenly lose interest.

If you don’t have a good-quality camera and some real estate photography experience, consider hiring a professional who does. Although it’s another expense, consider this: When you put a home on the market, you’re competing against many other properties. If those competing properties feature professional, attractive, highly flattering pictures and yours doesn’t, you may have trouble getting potential buyers in the door. Your home can end up sitting on the market longer than it needs to, and make what should be seen as a “fresh” property look stale.

Put Away Your Cellphone: Successful Real Estate Photos Require Good Quality Camera Equipment

Properly lit, high-resolution photos are the only type of images that should be used in an FSBO home marketing campaign. Like any other sales effort, visual cues are half the battle. Photos taken with a smartphone often turn off potential buyers, and simply can’t measure up to the quality of pictures a professional real estate photographer can deliver.

Resist listing your home until you have photos. With so much competition available online, you only have a few seconds to catch potential buyers’ attention. If they do an Internet search and your home is listed without pictures, they will most likely skip ahead to listings with photos, and won’t come back to yours.

First Impressions Matter: Stage Your Home to Attract Buyers

 It’s all about making a good first impression. For this reason, sellers and should spend as much time and energy on the photo shoot as they do on creating curb appeal or staging an open house. This means planning the shoot well in advance, as much as a week.

As the homeowner, you know when it gets the best natural light. Make sure your photos are shot during those times. Have the home fully cleaned and in top shape before the shoot; remove all clutter, including children’s and pet’s toys. Try to envision the photo shoots retailers and catalog companies do to showcase their products. There’s a good reason you’ve never seen a retail catalog with dust bunnies, a toy pile or bad lighting. Look at your home as a product for sale, and remember you’re marketing it as such.

Your Home Listing Photos Leave a Lasting Impression

Just as poor images can turn off a buyer after they have toured your home, high quality photos can have the opposite affect. Once buyers return home from your open house and logs online to review the listing, you want the photos to remind them of the qualities that charmed them when they toured it.

Take advantage of your high quality, well-planned real estate photos to attract buyers and keep their attention. The added expense may mean the difference between selling your home quickly, or having it languish unsold indefinitely.