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How to Find a Real Estate Photographer Near Me

By Michael Yates Last Updated June 18, 2021 13 min read
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Have you ever had a great listing that took forever to get sold and you couldn’t figure out why? While there are plenty of factors that go into how fast a house sells in the market, one of the things that many real estate agents overlook is the quality of their listing photos. 

Most people start their house-hunting journeys by scrolling online and looking at pictures first. If your pictures don’t make a good impression then people won’t bother checking out your listing. The best way to get pictures that have that wow factor is to hire a real estate photographer. 

Keep reading this guide to answer questions like how to find a real estate photographer near me, what to look for in a real estate photographer, and how to get the most out of a real estate photographer’s work.

Do Realtors Take Their Own Pictures?

Yes, Realtors can take their own photos. Listing agents often don’t want to spend the extra money on hiring a real estate photographer and will try to take pictures of their listing themselves. While they may think this is a good way to save some money, it can actually cost them a lot more in the long run.

Realtors who take their own photos usually produce pretty average-looking pictures that buyers will gloss over. This attracts less attention to the listing, and it stays on the market for longer. Sellers may grow impatient and if their listing should expire, they’re likely to reach out to a different real estate agent. 

Realtors who end up taking bad photos of their real estate listings can cause even more damage. Bad photos can make a nice property look poorly maintained. This attracts buyers who are looking for a “fixer-upper” or a property to flip, therefore they’ll want to knock the price down as much as possible. 

Do Professional Pictures Help Sell a House?

Since amateur pictures can negatively affect the price and how quickly a house sells, it only makes sense that professional photos would help sell a house. Professional photos attract more attention to your real estate listings, which in turn help them sell faster and for more money. 

Do Realtors Hire Real Estate Photographers? 

Some real estate agents prefer to take their own pictures for their real estate listings, but we’ve already covered why that can be a bad idea. The real estate agents who don’t take their own pictures hire a real estate photographer. Even though professional photographers cost more money, it’s well worth it.

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Why Hire a Real Estate Photographer?

We’re going to list and explain all of the benefits of working with a professional photographer. You can also read more about the benefits of hiring a real estate photographer on our blog post here

  • Hiring a real estate photographer saves you time.
  • Your listing will stand out more.
  • Your listing could sell for more.
  • You’ll look better to your sellers.
  • Your listing will sell faster. 

Hiring a Real Estate Photographer Saves You Time

Real estate photographers already know what they’re doing, so taking so many pictures almost comes naturally to them. Therefore they’re pretty quick and efficient when it comes to getting good shots.

Not only do they have to take the pictures, but they also have to sort through them and edit the good shots. Editing can take a while, depending on how many pictures there are and what all needs to be done. 

The chances are that these tasks will take you much longer considering you don’t have the same skillset and equipment as real estate photographers. Hiring a real estate photographer will save you more time and effort than trying to take your own pictures. 

Your Real Estate Listings Will Stand Out More

There’s no doubt that professional pictures are going to stand out way more than amateur pictures taken with a cell phone. Buyers are going to notice the high-quality shots and stop scrolling to learn more information about your listing. Better quality pictures will attract more traffic for your real estate listings.

Your Real Estate Listings Could Sell for More

Earlier we talked about how bad photos could make a property look rough and cause low-ball offers. Having professional photos will have the opposite effect.

Listings with high-quality photos will attract more potential buyers. To have a better chance of getting the house, many buyers will offer more money above the asking price. If the buyers are motivated enough, there may even be a bidding war that dramatically increases the price of the house. 

If your listing sells for above the asking price, your commission also increases with it. Your sellers will also be happy and more likely to refer you. 

You’ll Look Better to your Sellers

When a seller signs a contract with their listing agent, they’re trusting that their agent will do everything they can to sell their home for the best possible price. Hiring a real estate photographer is a good way to show that you’re taking all the best steps to sell their home. You’re proving to your sellers that you are worth the commission.

It’s important to make sure your clients are happy with your service for many reasons. Satisfied clients are more likely to refer you to their family and friends who are thinking of moving. So hiring that real estate photographer could also get you more business in the long run.

Your Real Estate Listings Will Sell Faster

The more your listing stands out, the more people will look at it, and the faster it will sell. It just makes sense. On average, a listing that has photos from a real estate photographer will sell 32% faster than other homes

Another important factor to take into consideration is that listings with more pictures spend less time on the market than listings with few to none photos. Real estate photographers will get lots of creative shots with different angles of each room, so you can have plenty of pictures to use for your listing. 

How Much Does Real Estate Photography Cost?

The cost of hiring an experienced real estate photographer typically ranges anywhere from $110 to $300, but that’s just for some basic photos and their edits. To learn more about how real estate photographers charge for their services, check out this guide here. Some photographers will offer premium video services so you can offer a 3D house tour to potential buyers. 

While it may cost you more, there are benefits to having a video of a virtual tour to send to potential buyers. Oftentimes, buyers who live far away or out of state want to see a virtual tour of the house to help finalize their decision. Virtual tours are also great options for people with mobility issues. 

Virtual tour real estate has recently become much more popular due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some real estate agents are even offering virtual open house tours. To learn more about virtual open house tours and how they can benefit you, read about them on our page here

Some real estate photographers who are newer to the business may offer discounted rates. These can be great deals, but they can also be risky since newer photographers may not know what they’re doing yet. If you’re comfortable with hiring someone inexperienced, make sure to communicate exactly what you’re looking for and the time frame you need the work done in. 

What to Look for in a Real Estate Photographer 

There’s a lot more to finding a real estate photographer than just Googling, “Best real estate photographer near me”. You’ll want to look at their portfolio and even ask some questions to find out if they’re a good fit. Below are some guidelines that you should take into account when looking for a real estate photographer. 

Your Professional Photographer’s Experience

Two important factors play into a real estate photographer’s experience. The first one is actually real estate photography experience. Most Realtors want to find someone who has been working for long enough that they’re confident and know what they’re doing. 

While it’s nice to have an experienced photographer, just remember that everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re willing to communicate and be patient, hiring a new real estate photographer could give them a boost for their career, and may save you money. It all depends on your comfort level though. 

The other important factor that you should consider when looking at a photographer’s experience level, is their experience with the type of listing you’re selling. Are you selling a typical single-family home or a vacation condo that will be used as a rental? Every property has different features that you want to make sure your photographer is comfortable at capturing. 

Many real estate photographers will have a niche, just like real estate agents. Some photographers specialize in luxury real estate, while others will only work with commercial properties. Hiring these photographers may cost you a little more but they’ll be worth it in the end. 

Your Professional Photographer’s Portfolio

The next thing that you’ll want to check out when deciding to hire a real estate photographer is their portfolio. Every experienced photographer has a portfolio of their best work to showcase their capabilities. Most of the time you can find a photographer’s portfolio on their website, but if you’re unable to find it, reach out to them and ask! 

Portfolios not only show the types of properties that a photographer has worked with, but they also give you a good idea of what their editing looks like. Do their edited photos look natural and clean, or do they look too bright and tacky? Editing can make a world of difference in listing pictures, so you should find someone whose edited work is aesthetically pleasing to you.  

Your Professional Photographer’s Equipment

Experienced real estate photographers have professional equipment that allows them to get the best shots in more difficult places. Depending on what kind of shots you’re looking for, you’ll want to make sure that your photographer has the right equipment to get them. 

Some examples of what your photographer might need, include a drone for getting good aerial shots of the listing, or even just proper lighting equipment to brighten up a dark basement. It’s important to be clear about the types of pictures you want for your listing to make sure that your photographer has the equipment necessary to do the job before you hire them. 

Questions to Ask Your Potential Real Estate Photographer

If you’ve looked at a real estate photographer’s portfolio and you’re interested in hiring them, you should ask some questions beforehand to make sure the fit is right. Here are some good questions to ask that should give you a better idea of what to expect if you work with them. 

  1. What equipment are you using?
  2. Do you have experience in real estate photography?
  3. Are you covered on an insurance policy?
  4. How much do you charge, and what does that include?
  5. How long is the turnaround time for the final pictures?
  6. How many pictures should I expect?
  7. Do you have a niche in your photography?

 

What Should Your Real Estate Photographer Shoot?

Listings that have more pictures sell faster than listings without pictures, but which pictures will really draw the most attention to your property? Below we’ve listed the most important rooms and their features that your photographer should capture. 

Interior 

  • The kitchen is probably the most important room to get good shots in. The best features to be shown off are new appliances, standalone islands, refurbished cabinets, and large walk-in pantries. 
  • The bedrooms need to reflect as inviting and cozy spaces. Since many bedrooms can be similar, photographers should highlight any different or special characteristics. Some of these could include large walk-in closets, hardwood flooring, and large windows.
  • The living room is where homeowners tend to spend the most time, therefore pictures should reflect a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere. Unless the furniture is going to be sold with the house, pictures should focus on the whole room itself. Additional features that should be focused on are fireplaces, high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and other unique traits. 
  • The bathrooms can surprisingly have some of the best shots if done right. Since most bathrooms have the same contents, it’s important to show off unique features. Custom walk-in showers, clawfoot bathtubs, and granite countertops with double sinks are just to name a few.
  • The dining room is often a staple for homes with families, so getting a couple of nice shots of it can excite potential buyers. Since most of the things that make a dining room what it is are furniture, pictures should try to draw attention to features of the room itself, like hardwood floors or exposed wood beams. 
  • The basement can draw a lot of attention if it’s finished. Real estate photographers should try to make basements look as bright and inviting as possible since they’re often dark and stuffy. Any unique traits that are in the basement should be highlighted as well to pique potential buyers’ interests. 

Exterior

  • Aerial shots are really cool if the option is available. They can show the size of the whole house as well as the lot it’s on. They’re especially popular for properties with a lot of land or on the water. 
  • The front yard is the first thing that people see when they come to the property, therefore pictures of it need to make a great impression. Shots should focus on the landscaping and front exterior of the home. Minor eyesores like garbage or yard debris should be edited out to make a better impression. 
  • The backyard is a wonderful space that almost all buyers are looking for, so having impressive pictures will attract a lot of attention. Every backyard is different, but some characteristics for the photographer to target are fences, inground swimming pools, well-maintained landscaping, and scenic views. Similar to the front yard, minor flaws that will be fixed should be edited out, such as dead plants, holes in the ground, or cluttered junk.
  • The garage may not be a visually attractive room, but it serves a lot of purposes and should be included in your photos. Aside from being a place to park your vehicles, spacious and clean garages make for good storage spaces, workshops, gyms, and even man caves. 
  • Patios, porches, or terraces are lovely features of any home and should have good pictures to represent that. Pictures of these should show off the size of the construct, the outside views, and any other special elements. 

If you’re a visual learner, like us, it might be more effective to show you what the best pictures consist of. To see some perfect examples of what rooms and features should be captured, take a look through our gallery of professional real estate pictures

What Should NOT be in Your Real Estate Listing’s Photos

Now that you know which features of the house should be included in your real estate photos, we’ll go over the things that shouldn’t be in photos. You probably already know that people and pets shouldn’t be in pictures, but there are a lot more things that should be moved or even edited out before your pictures go on the listing websites.

Before your real estate photographer taking pictures of your listing, the property should be cleaned and staged. Clutter and personal items, such as pictures and knick-knacks, should be hidden away if possible; people can visualize themselves in a new home much easier if there aren’t personal items lying around. To get a better idea of how to stage a property, read through this guide from the National Association of Realtors. 

Reviewing Your Professional Photographer’s Edits

Once you’ve gotten your edited shots back, it’s important to review them before uploading them on your listing pages. You’ll want to make sure the pictures meet your expectations, look good and uniform, and don’t have excessive photoshopping. 

Some real estate photographers, including us, work with HDReal, which is a fantastic picture processing software. The HDReal software uses AI to make a series of adjustments to perfect every picture, which significantly reduces the need for any editing. To learn more about how this software works and how it benefits our real estate agents, you can read about it here

When we say excessive photoshopping, we mean the editing and deletion of flaws that can’t be easily fixed. If a potential buyer sees pictures of a property that looks well maintained when it really isn’t, that can be misleading and grounds for problems. The only flaws that should be edited need to be minor and something that the seller will fix before selling the property. 

Uploading Photos of Your Real Estate Listings

Once your pictures are done and have been reviewed, you’ll be ready to post them. This may seem like a simple task, but it can actually be more complicated than you realize because of copyright laws. To get a better understanding of how copyright laws work with photographs for your MLS, check out the National Association of Realtors’ policy here.

Where Should You Post Your Real Estate Listings’ Photos?

Once you’ve figured out all of your copyright laws and where you can use your pictures, here is a list of some of the best platforms to post your listing and its pictures. Always confirm with your photographer and your MLS before using these pictures anywhere else to avoid lawsuits.

  1. Your local MLS
  2. Your real estate agent website
  3. Zillow
  4. Realtor.com
  5. Trulia
  6. Facebook
  7. Craigslist

If you’re really trying to get your listing out there and these sources aren’t giving you enough traffic, here is a list of potential places that you can advertise your real estate listing.

How Many Photos Are in a Real Estate Listing?

When you’re uploading your photos, you’ll want to use the best shots that will get the most attention first to keep potential buyers looking. This is also the best method if you’re making an advertisement to generate leads on social media since most ads will only allow a select number of images. 

It might be tempting to use most or all of your professional pictures since you paid for them. However, that isn’t an effective method, and in some cases, it isn’t allowed. Your local MLS can have restrictions on how many images you can use for your listing. 

Statistics have shown that listings with around twenty pictures sell faster than listings with one or fewer images; so what is the appropriate number of pictures to use? Fortunately, we have a guide here that you can read to help you figure out how many pictures are suitable for your listing.

Continuing to Work with Your Professional Photographer 

As a real estate agent, having a network of professionals that you trust to help you do business is very important. If you’re on the fence about maintaining a business relationship with your real estate photographer, we’ve made a list of questions that can help you determine if you should or not. 

  1. Were they pleasant to work with?
  2. Was their service worth the money to you?
  3. Did their photos meet your expectations?
  4. Did they get their work done quickly?
  5. Were they professional?

If you don’t feel that your professional photographer met your expectations, then it’s reasonable to start searching for someone else to work with. If you were happy with your experience, then you should stick with them and see where your business relationship goes. Hiring a real estate photographer that you know and trust can be a weight off your shoulders than having to find a new one. 

Where to Find the Best Real Estate Photographer Near Me

Now that you know the ins and outs of working with a real estate photographer, it’s time for you to hire one. You don’t even need to ask the question, “Where to find a real estate photographer near me?”, because you’re already at the right place. If you’re still on the fence, read our testimonials here and see for yourself how much we can improve your career.