How To Make Your Listing Stand Out In The Real Estate Market According to Sterling Home Styling

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May 4th, 2014

Everyone knows that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but did you know it could be worth a $1,000 as well?

Consumers are going online at a rapid pace to look for information to support their home buying decisions. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 92% of homebuyers searched online during their home buying process, and when viewing an online real-estate listing, home buyers spend about 60% of their time on photos alone.

Plus, a joint study from the NAR and Google found that real estate-related searches on have grown 253 percent over the past four years. In addition, listings with professionally staged photos generated an average of 139% more clicks when compared to similar listings without.

According to nationally recognized licensed Realtor and HGTV real estate expert Brendon DeSimone, sellers and their agents should spend as much time and energy on the photo shoot as they do on creating curb appeal or staging an open house because with limited time and countless listings to review, buyers will quickly move on if photos don’t reflect well on a property. Well-staged, high-quality photos create a good first impression and show the property well; which means that buyers will stay interested and be more likely to take a second look.

As social networks like Instagram and Pinterest increase in popularity, consumers will continue demanding that online product be evermore visually in order to keep their attention. Because of this, real estate agents worldwide have begun to voice valid concerns about how to ensure their property listing photographs stand out from the crowd to attract and retain prospective buyers.

However, in the rush to supply images, many agents and home sellers have lost sight of the fact that it’s not just having a photo or even having one of good quality that matters. How the spaces are presented and staged is of utmost important as well.

“Without an eye-catching photo, the battle is lost before it begins,” says Professor Michael Seiler, founder and director of the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University. When photographing a property listing, you want images that will impress a prospective homebuyer enough to click your “contact” link.

Home staging expert Michelle T. Sterling of Sterling Home Styling offers the following photography tips to make a great first impression online:

When photographing entryways, foyers, kitchens and dining rooms, make sure the areas are clear of shoes and coats. Clean and declutter tabletops and counters, and put all dishes and cleaning supplies away. Remove magnets and photos from the refrigerator exterior and any above cabinet collections should be removed.

For the living room, clear away clutter and depersonalize the space by removing family photos, knick-knacks and toys from the mantel, coffee tables, shelving units and the floor. Get rid of overflowing piles of magazines and tidy up stacks books. Lastly, make sure that all art and lampshades are hanging straight and keep the television turned off.

When photographing bedrooms, make sure there is a dust ruffle on the bed and that its bottom edge meets parallel with the floor. Have the beds neatly made and remove any clutter or piles of laundry.

In the bathroom, you would be amazed at how many people forget to close the toilet lid before taking pictures. Also be sure to remove any toiletries from the sink and counter area. Close the shower curtain, hang the towels neatly, and be careful not to photograph any unwanted reflections in the bathroom mirror.

Other tips from Michelle T. Sterling for better digital photos:

Scan the room closely through your camera’s viewfinder before snapping your picture. Look for anything overly distracting in the shot and remove it before you press the shutter.

Don’t ruin an otherwise perfect photograph by partially covering the lens with a finger. Be sure to hold the camera straight, and try not to move after you’ve focused. Investing in a small tripod for your camera can help make sure your shots stay crisp and clear.

Shooting towards a window may seem like a great way to capture the light, but what actually happens is that everything in the photo will be dark. Allow yourself time to experiment taking photographs from plenty of different angles and in a variety of different lighting at various times of the day.

As real estate photography guru Larry Lohrman observed, in this slower market, good photography can really give a seller an edge. “Market times are very long, and in any given submarket, the inventory is huge,” Lohrman says. “So I think the real issue is how you stand out among the competition. To me, one of the best ways to stand out is photography.”

By adopting these tips from Michelle T. Sterling, you can make a big difference in the quality of your photos, but to make an even bigger impact on buyers, increase the emotional appeal of your listings by enlisting the services of a professional home stager. Not only will they save you valuable time and energy by attending to all the details for photography, a stager can also oversee your entire shoot to ensure that everything is in perfect shape.

About Sterling Luxury Group

Sterling Luxury Group redefines the meaning of living a luxury lifestyle. From helping you select the perfect home through Sterling Luxury Homes, to refining the finishing touches of your interior décor through Sterling Home Styling, to styling you from head to toe through Sterling Personal Styling, let us redesign and restyle your life.  We are Global Image Group‘s luxury lifestyle makeover image stylists in real estate, interior decor, and personal styling in Miami, New York, L.A. and Dubai.

Contact Sterling Home Styling

USA: +1.888.868.8329 | Dubai: +971 04 313 2467 | |

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