Whether you're designing your own sales ad or having your agent do it, bear these points in mind when photographing your house:
If you're buying a newspaper or magazine display ad and you get only one photograph, shoot the front of the house from a slight angle as you see it from the street.
Shoot in full daylight, preferably sunshine. Take the photograph when the sun is in back of you to avoid glare. Never take a photo of your house with a shadow across it.
Frame the photo to include as much of the house as possible, and preferably all of it. You don't need to include the tops of the trees or the picturesque mountain in the background, or the sidewalk and street. Get as close as you can to the house and still include nearly all of it in the photo.
Be sure there are no toys, bicycles, trash cans, people, or pets in the photo. And be sure the cars are out of the driveway. You're selling the house, not your husband's truck.
Make sure the front yard is neat, the grass mowed, and the leaves swept away. Open the blinds and curtains. Closed curtains send a message that says "stay away."
Resist the impulse to get artsy. Don't shoot the house from a weird angle or at sunset. You're aiming for a clear, professional-looking "portrait" of your house that makes it look attractive and inviting.
If you are creating a flier or have bought enough advertising space to include several photos, include a few photos of the inside of your house. Everyone wants to see the kitchen and living room, and if the master bedroom or bathroom is impressive, include those too.
When shooting inside, be sure there are no pets or people in the shots and make sure each room is extremely tidy. No jackets over the chairs or breakfast dishes on the dining room table. Move (or remove) all excess furniture and belongings - less "stuff" means more open space, which makes it look like your rooms are more spacious.
Photographing inside is tricky and you'll often be standing in one corner of a room to shoot the rest of it. Pick the most attractive or interesting end of the room and shoot it by standing in the opposite corner. Open the drapes and turn on the lights. Add nice fresh flower arrangements and replace them when they start to wilt.
Use a photo editing program to adjust the light and crop all of your photos so they are as clear and professional as possible.
You can also create online virtual tours with digital photos of your home, which can help your home stand out from the others. The term "virtual tour" has different meanings depending on who you ask. As defined by most MLS boards and virtual tour vendors, a virtual tour is a hosted Web page that has rich content about a property for sale, including some mix of the following: still pictures, panoramas (sometimes also called "virtual tours"), floor plans, links to maps, school info, and aerial photography. Virtual tour vendors offer a package service that includes professional photography, the Web page that hosts it, and often other add-ons like a domain name registration, sign riders that advertise the domain, and brochure printing. Only about 20-40% of all listings have a virtual tour, but many buyers use advanced filters to put preference on listings with tours. Almost all full-service real estate agents will also set up a virtual tour if asked. If you are using an agent, you might consider asking them for a professionally photographed virtual tour of your home.
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