Jim Gross of Virtual Tour Club

Jim Gross

A picture is worth a thousand words… but real estate studies have proven that great photos can bring offers up to 20% higher! In a market where bids start coming in well below the appraised price of a home, it’s comforting to know that there are ways to bump up that offer.

Like the guy who recently saw a large picture of a multi-million dollar home advertised in the Los Angeles Times. Not wanting to miss out on this beautiful home he called and placed an offer sight unseen. Now I admit, that’s a little extreme, but the advertised shot of the home exterior was a high end professional sunset shot.

Not all agents have the budget to pay for top dollar professional photography on each listing, but there are still things you can do to dramatically bump up the quality of your real estate photos.:

Download and learn a good post production photo software: I think one of the best real estate products on the market is Adobe Lightroom. Adobe also offers Photoshop elements which has several great tools. There are free software downloads like GIMP. Gimp will have lots of the tools necessary to edit your pictures, although eventually you will want a program that allows you to batch process your settings to all your images and then just make individual tweaks to each picture.

Brighten: This is hands down the most important. Photographers that shoot into a bright window will generally end up with a dark room. Bring the shadows or fill light up first. If you do not have those tools, lastly use brighten.

Crop: Often the sides of a picture are not necessary. Experiment with this feature. With bedrooms, when not using a wide-angle lense you will need to stand far back at the corner of the room and catch as much as you can.

Rotate: Unless you are using a tripod with a level (which you can get a home depot for a few bucks), you will need to rely heavily on rotating your pictures to make them straight. Dark, crooked images are the worst, and we see them a lot with agent taken photos, so use post production software unless you have hired a pro photographer for the job.

Color balance: This is the other big one. Cameras get fooled by light and often distort the colors within a house. If you have a white balance control you can set that control for each picture, otherwise use a color balance control.  The main three color balance controls will involve; Cyan-Red; Magenta-Green; Yellow-Blue.

Clone Tool: This is a handy tool to learn in-case you catch your reflection in a mirror, window or glass door. GIMP, the free online software has a clone tool. It is standard with Photoshop.

So in closing, use post production to make your pictures stand out among the crowd online or in print – it will make a huge difference.