Six Must-Have Online Real Estate Photos

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Online real estate photos are the first thing that buyers look at when they search for a new home, over 90% to be precise. 

A recent survey found that 86% of home buyers felt that online real estate pictures were the most important and useful feature of their search. 

Additionally, most buyers said they skipped right past listings that didn't have real estate photograpy to view! If you want to make a fast home sale, you must include visual elements of it online.

Don't disappoint home buyers by leaving out the six most important rooms that should be included in your online real estate photo gallery. 

See photographing your staged home for more diy tips.

Six must-have online real estate photos

1. Home exterior pictures

Home exteriorShoot home exterior pictures from an angle, not head on

A home exterior photo should be first in your online picture gallery.

When I see online real estate photos that are missing an exterior shot of the house, my immediate thought is, “What don't they want us to see!” A collection of listing photos should always include a good mix of interior and exterior shots. 

Home exterior photo taking tips:

  • Don’t shoot the home exterior dead on. Take pictures at an angle, from one corner of the yard. Doing so will emphasize the depth of your home. 
  • If you have an attached garage, don’t make the mistake of shooting from the garage side of the property. This will make the garage look enormous in comparison to the rest of the house. Most home buyers prefer more living than garage space.
Home with great curb appealShowcase a beautiful front entry and garden in your online real estate photos
  • Take seasonal landscaping pictures, as well. If it’s summer, who wants to see a property buried in snow? Think holidays too. Prospective buyers who are searching for homes during the holidays are usually serious about buying. Tasteful holiday decorations can be emotionally appealing for many home buyers. 
  • Take exterior house pictures from a ladder, especially if using a wide-angle lens. 
  • Avoid shooting pictures in the full glare of the sun, as the house windows may reflect back the sun’s glare and cast shadows on your home.  
  • Remove cars from the driveway and garage, toys from the yard, garbage cans, flags, and anything with your name on it before taking pictures outside. See depersonalizing your home.
  • Frame landscaping pictures by shooting from behind a hedge, shrub, or other decorative feature... This will add perspective to your photo. 
  • Shoot from one corner of the yard to the other to make your yard look more interesting.
  • Highlight attractive landscaping-- a home with a beautifully landscaped yard will add tremendous appeal (and value!) to your listing. Showcase mature shade trees and gardens in your online real estate photos.
  • Be sure to include pictures of outbuildings, like a shop or greenhouse. Only if they look good, though. Please, no photos of collapsing sheds or greenhouses with broken glass!

2. Outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living space

Present a fun lifestyle to prospective buyers by including pictures of a sparkling swimming pool, a hot tub, a patio or deck with a built-in barbecue, a porch swing... make a fast home sale by showcasing the good life!

Home buyers with children will be interested in property with play equipment in the backyard, while others may be looking for the privacy of a backyard wilderness.

Whatever attractive outdoor features you have to offer, be sure to highlight them in your online real estate photos. 

3. Kitchen photos

Kitchen interior design picturesClean, bright, shiny...beautiful!

For most home buyers, the kitchen is the yardstick by which they measure the rest of the house. If the kitchen design doesn’t meet their expectations, it can be the deal breaker in a home sale, no matter how great the rest of the house may be. You MUST include the kitchen in your gallery pictures lineup.

If you have any outstanding features in your kitchen design, by all means, showcase them! Take close-up shots of high-end details like; a farm-style kitchen sink, chef’s range, granite countertops, glass-faced cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.

Know what the current target audience wants-- if you have it, show it off!

See staging the kitchen and small kitchen decorating ideas for diy tips on making a small kitchen look larger. 

4. Master bedroom photos

Master bedroom interior design picturesLuxurious fabrics in neutral colors appeal to most people

Home buyers these days view master bedrooms as a place of retreat from the stresses of the world.

When photographing your staged home, make it more attractive to potential buyers by presenting the master bedroom as a haven of luxury and rest. Emphasize intimacy and comfort in your master bedroom photographs by home staging with luxurious bed linens, draperies and pillows.

See staging the bedroom and small bedroom decorating ideas for home staging diy tips.

If you have a large bedroom, create a cozy sitting area with an upholstered chair and small table. Create a tempting vignette by staging with a lamp, books, tea set or other comforting items.

Walk-in closets are huge with home buyers! If your master bedroom has a walk-in closet, be sure to feature it online. If it has a built-in closet organizing system, post pictures of that as well.

Showcase your walk-in closet by staging it attractively. See staging the closet for decorating ideas.

5. Master bath photos

Bathroom interior design picturesWhat buyer could resist this soaker tub?

A bathroom renovation can give you a big return on investment when you're planning a home sale.

If you're limited to working with what you have, you can make most spaces look more luxurious with some well-chosen accessories. See staging the bathroom for home staging ideas.

Todays home buyers have a strong preference for "en suite" baths. They want a spacious, relaxing, spa-like bathroom right off the master bedroom. 

Make a quick home sale by showcasing the master bath’s best features in your home staging, and featuring them in your online real estate photos.

If you have a  jacuzzi or soaking tub, a gorgeous glassed-in shower or double sink vanity, be sure they are highlighted in your gallery pictures.

It’s often tricky shooting pictures in a bathroom without getting a "mirror selfie!" You may have to stand outside the door to keep your image out of the photographs. 

See small bathroom design ideas for diy tips on making a small bathroom look larger.

6. Living room photos

Open concept living room. How to sell your home.The living room is defined by an area rug in this large open concept room. Photo by

The living room is one space where proper home staging will pay off. This may be the most important room of all, because of all the family activities that take place in this room.

Your goal is to present an inviting lifestyle, by showing home buyers a room they can relax and entertain in. 

Highlight this rooms most attractive features in your real estate photography. Shoot pictures of focal points like; a fireplace, French doors, crown molding, beautiful windows, a great view, wood beams, arches or high ceilings.

Float furniture (away from the walls) and arrange into cozy conversational areas. This will make your living room appear more inviting, unlike the impersonal "waiting room" effect when furniture is pushed against the walls.

Stand in the far corner of the room opposite a window view to shoot your photo; try to encompass the outdoors into your living room shot. This see-through view will create a feeling of spaciousness and depth, as in the photo above.

See staging your furniture and space planning for more information on placing furniture.

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