Homes Sell Faster (If You Want Them To)
This is the first post in a three-part series on why professionally-taken real estate photographs are so important in today’s highly internet-driven real estate market. In this post, we’ll be talking about the how’s and why’s of using real estate photography to sell homes faster.
No matter if we’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, the better the photography, the more likely the home is to sell quicker according to a Redfin report. Regardless of the price, whether the home was $200,000 (however unlikely that is here in Orange County) or over a million dollars, listings that featured images taken by a professional “were more likely to sell within six months than homes with point-and-shoot” or smartphone photos.
The study also showed that 64% of the listed homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range sold within six months when the homes were shot by a professional photographer, in stark contrast to just 46% of homes that featured point-and-shoot or smartphone photos. For the upper ranges of homes in the seven figures—or the soon-to-be typical prices for many homes in Orange County—the study showed that 35% of professionally photographed homes sold within in six months, compared to 30% of homes with point-and-shoot or smartphone photos.
Now that we’ve seen professionally photographed homes are more likely to sell, let’s turn our attention to how much faster they actually sell. This is more difficult to judge. Particularly when we consider there are more factors than just whether a professional real estate photographer was used. Marketing by the agents, quality of the photographs, quality of the home compared to other similar homes on the market, and location should also be considered taken into consideration.
As a result, the numbers are kind of all over the map, with some studies showing professional photographs can help a home sell between 4 days and 21 days faster than a home with point-and-shoot or smartphone photos depending on the price of the home.
In stark contrast, some studies have shown that homes featuring professional photographs take 10 days longer to sell. Personally, I think that number is due to the more recent trends of high profile listing agents holding back sales for a couple of weeks to milk the market a little longer and build their brand—but more on that in another post.
So we’ve covered that homes sell more often and (sometimes) faster when they feature professional real estate photos, but the real question is why do professional photographs work so well?
It all comes down to impressing potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, at least 90% of all home purchases begin with internet searches these days, whether through Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, local MLS sites, or some other platform. When a potential buyer is quickly browsing through listing after listing, the ones with the striking photos stand out and can direct the potential buyer’s rapidly fleeting attention to that listing, at which point the click through, view the whole collection of photos, read the description, and hopefully call about the property. The importance of that first impression cannot be understated. In fact, professionally photographed homes get somewhere between 61% and 139% more views than homes that were not professionally photographed, getting your listing in front of more potential buyers and increasing the likelihood of a quicker sale.
Now, let’s be totally honest, there are times when selling a property faster is not necessarily a good thing. After all, if you can hold two, maybe three, open houses at one property you’re going to increase your personal exposure in the community, show off how well you can market a property, and bring in new potential buyers and sellers—particularly if a house is spectacular. However, even if you want a home to sell a little slower because you’re working to build your brand, professional photographs will also go a long way to show off your brand, too—but more on that in Part 3: Professional Photos Help Realtors Secure More Listings.
But the benefits to using a real estate photographer don’t end there. Be sure to check out the other two posts in this series: