A PICTURE CAN BE WORTH MORE than a thousand words. Much, much more. When selling luxury properties online, agents and web designers say that the photographs buyers see of houses and lofts for sale are often the first – and sometimes the only – chance for a seller to make a good impression. Less-than-flattering pictures can turn buyers off and lead to lonely open houses and lack of showing activity.
Good photos will grab people’s attention and drive their desire to come and see it in person. Bad photos have an equal but opposite effect, because on the internet buyers are one click away from a non-buying decision.

Eighty percent of people across the country who bought a new home last year used the internet while house hunting, and they rated photographs as the most useful tool in their search, according to a survey of buyers and sellers by the National Association of Realtors. The survey also found that 24 percent of home buyers got their first glimpses of their new homes on the web, up from a mere 2 percent in 1997.
In many cases, it is the agents themselves who are snapping the pictures and posting them on various sites. Because of this, it is important that sellers choose an agent who has access to professional architectural photographers.

William Hauptman, with Paragon Realty Professionals states, “I only use photos taken by professional photographers, because “if things look appealing and professional, not only are buyers going to find the property appealing, they’re going to associate my work with being appealing and professional.”
Real estate agents who represent luxury homes say that virtual tours are another crucial tool for attracting buyers. Good virtual tours will provide various views of a room. “They’re a really great way of seeing a property without actually being there,” said Hauptman. “Buyers use them to narrow down the properties they absolutely must see.”

A National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) survey found that when it comes to web features that buyers considered “very useful,” 83 percent cited pictures, 81 percent cited detailed property information and 60 percent cited virtual tours.

Unless you are selling your home yourself, your real estate agent will ultimately decide which photographs will go up on the various syndicated real estate web sites, but brokers vary greatly in their policies on pictures. Some send their teams out armed with digital cameras, but others use only pictures taken by professionals. Still other agencies let brokers decide whether to take their own pictures or pay a fee to use the broker’s recommended photographers.

All of which explains why there is such a wide range in the quality of photos found on real estate websites.
“When you look at the difference between professional photos and ones taken by brokers with digital cameras, it’s not hard to see that you get what you pay for,” said Hauptman.

“Professional photographers have top-of-the-line equipment, and they have an eye for making a place look its best,” Hauptman said. Their equipment can include a high-resolution digital camera, special lenses, a tripod and lighting equipment.

Since the photos are meant to be a sales tool, they will probably not showcase a property’s negatives.” Hauptman, said: “Our web site is going to be the face for your property, and we’re not going to put you up there without your makeup on. We’re going to make sure you’re ready for your photo opportunity.” But while agents will help by urging owners to get rid of clutter or by bringing in flowers to add color, most advise against making a property look better than it really is.

“Every home has a birthright to have its best features shown,” said Hauptman. “But you can’t be deceptive. If you take a shot that’s not within the realm of reality, buyers aren’t going to talk to you when they come and see it, and they’re going to distrust the whole process.”

Still, there are some common mistakes that brokers and sellers make with photos: taking pictures on a rainy day or at night, for example, or photographing a room that is too cluttered to actually show the space.

Urban living offers effortless lifestyle combined with a wealth of opportunities and cultural experiences. This downtown loft is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and security all with panoramic views of the Front Range and the Denver skyline due to the building’s unique architecture and location … Sold in 2010 for $2,500,000 by Faun G. Hauptman