Home Owner Tips, Real Estate Marketing Ideas, Guest Posts

Why Professional Photography Matters for FSBO Listings

By Meaghan Loraas Last Updated April 22, 2022 3 min read

Guest Post by Houzeo

As an FSBO seller, you have plenty of concerns since you’re navigating the sale of your property without a realtor. Your primary concern is likely to be attaining the paperwork for selling a house without a realtor. Most reputable flat fee MLSs, like Houzeo, Flat Fee Group, and FSBO.com, will supply you with these documents. A far more pressing concern should be property photographs.

When selling without a realtor, the most impactful recommendation you will receive is to invest in professional photographs. Those photographs are touted as essential for a reason. However, as a seller, they may seem like a frivolous expense. Especially so if you believe you have all the “tools” to capture incredible shots at your disposal.

High resolution, high megapixel, editable pictures come standard on most smartphones. 

So, obviously, you could save the extra $200 it would cost to hire a real estate photographer and instead take the images yourself, right? Not necessarily. Good property pictures are more than their quality. Instead, they capture specific elements to convince the viewer that this is the home for them.

Is There Value in Spending on Property Pictures for Your Home?

Most real estate photographers charge between $200 and $300 for 24 edited pictures. Since the initial cost isn’t that steep, if you decide to save money by foregoing professional images, the maximum you can save is $300. Now, consider the reverse. How much could you lose if you don’t invest in professional photographs? Thousands. You lose most of the money because you have fewer interested buyers, reducing buyer competition, ultimately resulting in lower offers.

For that reason, unless you are a real estate photographer, when you’re selling a house without a realtor, be strategic with where you will spend and save money. You may think you’re saving money now. However, you will lose more time and money than you could ever save by not using a real estate photographer for your For Sale By Owner property. This has to do with how property pictures affect two critical components in the transaction: interest from buyers and their agents.

Why Professional Photographs Are Necessary When You’re Selling a House Without a Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re selling a house without a real estate agent or with one, the function of professional photographs remains the same: attracting buyers and — more importantly — buyer agents to your property.

The Importance of Pro Property Pictures From a Buyer Agents Perspective

Buyer agents don’t use services like Zillow and Redfin to find homes for their clients. Instead, they rely on local MLSs to find and assess properties. Using the local MLS, they receive a detailed snapshot of your property: square footage, rooms, amenities, etc.

They are likely to prioritize these aspects as they most impact whether a buyer will be interested in your property.

However, if they determine your property meets the basic criteria their buyer has given them, they’ll next assess the aesthetic features since buyers care about form and function.

During this assessment, which requires them to examine your real estate pictures, they will home in on specific elements. These may be subtleties like the flow of the home or features like lighting, flooring, and kitchen cabinets.

Without knowledge of what a buyer agent is assessing, you cannot take appealing pictures, even if you have state-of-the-art camera equipment.

However, real estate photographers, who have worked with real estate agencies before, know exactly what agents are looking for and how to capture those elements of your home in the most appealing way.

The Importance of Pro Property Pictures from a Buyers Perspective

Buyers are all about the pictures. While they may have criteria about the home’s amenities, they are searching on websites like Zillow for a home that captures their attention.

They want to connect with a home beyond its square footage and location. They want the home to spark some emotion.

Professional real estate photographers can spark that emotion in buyers by making your real estate images functional while telling a story. Photographers achieve this through the angles they use and how they choose to edit the pictures. The result is making your home more inviting and welcoming to buyers than if you didn’t have these elements.

Therefore, if you’re selling a house without a realtor through a flat fee MLS, you should pay special attention to how many pictures your flat fee listing company allows you to upload. While most flat fee MLS only allow on average 20 images, sites like Houzeo and Beycome offer 24 or more images, giving you more room to convince buyers that your property is the one.