Home Staging: One Reason Why your Home’s On-line Photos are Important!
I was inspired to write this article because, frankly I am shocked at many of the residential listing photos posted on the Canadian Real Estate Association’s internet listing system. There are far too many listing photos of homes for sale that are blurry, poorly lit, badly composed and very cluttered. To be frank, it appears like some of the photos were taken by a shaky cell phone camera.
In many photos, it is evident that the photographer made no effort to provide slight tweaks to the room, such as opening up the blinds to show off the view or removing the pet dishes! (Remember you are selling architectural features not rickety old blinds!)
There are several web posts devoted to bad real estate photos. Do a Google search of “bad real estate photos” and there are 136,000,000 results. Check out this one for a good laugh: badmlsphotos.com/
But, we have to remember, laughs aside, that these are people’s precious homes, and in the vast majority of cases, their largest asset.
SO BACK TO MY (HUGE!) REASON WHY MARKETING YOUR HOME IS SO IMPORTANT!
Because, every so often – like a shining beacon of light – there is a real estate listing in which it is obvious that great care and attention was paid to the online photo presentation. And, boy do those homes stand out!
Intentionally or not, these home sellers are utilizing the concept of ZMOT or Zero Moment of Truth.
ZMOT was penned by Google over 3 years ago as the idea that shopping is no longer about showing up in person. Instead, consumers are going online at a rapid pace to look for information to support their buying decisions. According to Google, people are increasingly making these decisions at the Zero Moment—the precise moment when they have a need, intent or question they want answered online.
This recent Google article explains that ZMOT continues to grow in importance and scale; in the span of a single month, Google answers over 100 billion searches, according to internal data. So, in the few minutes it takes you to read this, there will be over 7.5 million searches on Google.
Today there is a new, empowered consumer generation that does its homework ahead of time at this new and critically important Zero Moment.
It’s not surpising that, according to the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers by the National Association of Realtors, over 92% of home buyers used the internet in their home buying process.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE HOME SELLER?
This means that a fantastic online photo presentation is essential for bringing buyers to a home. Not only are home buyers checking out homes online before they actually visit the home, but they are also quickly discounting homes before they view them, based solely on the online photographs.
All Before and After Staging Photos via my “Home Staging Information” Pinterest Board
Another important statistic for sellers is that the majority (90%) of buyers are unable to visualize the potential of a home. As stated in an online article at Realtor.com:
Buyers can only imagine what they see, not what it’s going to be.
This means that they can’t get past the bold wall colour, out-dated window coverings and stained carpet and envision the home any other way.
ZMOT MARKETING OF YOUR HOME HAS HUGE BENEFITS!
Home Staging Industry Expert, Audra Slinkey mentions in her recent article 3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging:
the marketing of the home in both staging and photos has a dramatic effect on the outcome of the sales price.
FOUR WAYS HOME SELLERS CAN MAXIMIZE THEIR ONLINE PHOTOS
- Arrange a professional Home Staging Consultation, which includes a customized Home Staging Action Plan.
- Complete (as much as possible) the recommended cosmetic and purchase recommendations of the Home Staging Action Plan before Photo Day.
- Work with an experienced Realtor who knows the value and importance of both professional photography and staging.
- Hire the professional Home Stager to come back to style the home for photographs once the Home Staging projects are completed.
It is important to note that de-cluttering and organizing is an essential part of the selling process but Professional Home Staging is the final step that adds the WOW factor to your online listing photos!
Photo Credit: Top After Staging Photo – Mary Ellen Nealis