Trade Secrets for Listing Photos of Sacramento Homes

photographerI didn’t believe it myself when I heard it, but a seller recently asked me to list his home yet insisted that I use photos he shot with his cellphone. Stuff like the back of his sofa. A shot of the pool with the garden hose lying tangled in mud on the sidewalk. A half-cocked angle of a dark hallway. They were dreadful photos, but apparently some sellers think a crooked roof-line is an acceptable practice when it is obviously not. The guy wouldn’t listen. I threw a few of those awful photos on MLS, his home in Elk Grove withered on the market for a few months, and then he asked me to cancel because “nobody wants to buy it.”

For crying out loud, nobody wants to go see that mess. That’s the problem. You’re not trying to sell the home online; the object is to entice buyers to view the home in person.

Another seller in Elk Grove first couldn’t sell her home before she came to me. She had it listed with another agent, and after looking at the photos, I could see why. I told her I didn’t want to bad-mouth another agent but those photographs were hideous and why didn’t she see that in Trulia or Zillow? You’ve got to wonder about some sellers and why they don’t complain, or at least I do. Then she hit me with the fact they were HER photos — again, shot with her cellphone. What the? I invested my time to take professional photos with my Nikon, color-correct, brighten, and her home sold.

It’s not just the professional photography that sells homes in Sacramento. It’s the type of photographs, how they are tweaked in Photoshop and the order in which they are uploaded to MLS. Some Sacramento real estate agents get it and some do not.

I ran across an article this morning by an agent in Atlanta who gets it. She mentioned that emotion is a quality she injects into her listing photos, and that is absolutely an essential ingredient. It’s something that can’t be taught. It’s a connection to the property. Now, I know that sounds squirrelly and maybe woo-woo but it’s precisely how I shoot photos of homes. I want to take the internet buyer by the hand and gently lead her through the home, showcasing all of its special features and views.

For example, I listed a lakefront home in Elk Grove, and shot a photo of the lake as viewed from sitting at the dining room table and also while rinsing dishes at the kitchen sink. I walk the buyer through the home, into the entry, the view of the clerestory windows, through the living room and into the kitchen. Photos are interspersed throughout with views of the lake because the entire reason to buy this home is to live on the lake.

I want the first photograph in MLS to entice, and I try to arrange the order so the buyer will feel inclined to click through all of the photographs and be left with a lasting final impression of arousal — which doesn’t mean inserting a photo of the trash cans. It’s just like writing. If you don’t capture the reader in the first sentence, she won’t read the next paragraph or even your entire article. If you’re looking for a Sacramento real estate agent who cares deeply about her photos of Sacramento homes, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

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