3 Tips for Getting the Best Listing Photos in Lake Forest Park, WA

When it comes to selling your home in Lake Forest Park, if you get your listing photos wrong, you’ve really shot yourself in the foot.

Most people today begin their home search online (93% according to the National Association of Realtors, back in 2014), so ONLINE where you have to make sure you create that critical great first impression. And you do that with your listing photos.

Great listing photos make a potential buyer slow down, take a closer look, and read about how wonderful your home is. A picture says a thousand words, and due to short attention spans, most people skim by looking at photos before they do the hard work of reading! (Thanks, Instagram!)

Read on for 3 tips for getting the best listing photos in Lake Forest Park, WA.

1. Tour Your Home As If You Were a Buyer

sell home by owner
My two Siberian cats, Copper and Smokey, love to own the view and spend a lot of time looking out the windows. Unfortunately, they are tough on window screens. Clean or remove screens before taking photos!

The best listing photos begin with the right preparation, that is, looking at things from the right perspective. Before you take any shots, walk around your house and imagine how it looks to someone who doesn’t live there, viewing it critically from a buyer’s perspective.

Prepare The Home Before The First Photo Is Taken:

The home needs to be neat and clean, well-lighted, and properly staged before any photographs are taken!

Any signs of pets should be put away (food bowls, toys, cages, etc.) Once it’s looking good, then you can consider the shots you want.

If you’re thinking about staging, the time to get that done is before the photographer gets booked!

We Include Home Staging For Your Listing

Take a look at this video to see the difference professional staging can make in an already-beautiful home. Yes, that’s right, we pay for it, so you don’t have to.

Before & After: Bothell, WA Home Staging Make-Over (with and without Staging!)

Get The Right Shot:

Try to assess each room from various angles. The reason for this is that you’re not really photographing your home. You are, rather, photographing a prospective buyer’s home. Consider introducing them to the home starting at the front door, and really backing into corners to try to show the entire space, as well as the layout and flow of the house. Don’t stand where you typically would if you were living in the home. Try to get back by the walls and corners so you can give the full picture.

So you have to try to find the very best angles that capture all the important details and that show showcase your home’s best features while minimizing flaws and detractors. Every home has knicks and scratches. If these will be repaired, great.

Even if flaws won’t be repaired, you don’t have to feature them in your photos. The buyers will see them when they come to the house. However, if there are significant problems, like an unfinished room, or structural issue, it would be nice to reveal that to buyers to avoid wasting people’s time, if there are unexpected projects they wouldn’t be able to handle.

If you find that you’re having difficulty viewing the house as anything but your home, you can consult a Lake Forest Park, WA real estate agent for assistance. A good agent will have a keen eye for appeals to buyers and what turns buyers off and so will be able to help you choose the best, most appealing angles and views. To talk to me about this, just call (206) 578-3438.

17802 10th Ave NE - Shoreline, WA 98155 - Home For Sale Video Tour
Your listing photos can be incorporated into a video, for even more exposure on video-based social media platforms such as youtube, facebook, instagram and more!

2. Shoot Listing Photos at the Right Time of Day and in the Best Light

“The Bluest Skies You’ve Ever Seen Are In Seattle…” So says the song, but is this even true?

It is important that you take your listing photos at the right time of day and in the best light. These best times for shooting are often not what people think.

For example, you may be tempted to photograph your home’s exterior on a slightly overcast day, thinking that doing so will minimize shadows. This may be true for portrait photography, but most experts agree that for photos of homes, a sunny day and bright blue sky are better conditions.

However, your house is in gray, rainy, shady Lake Forest Park, so don’t worry! We can ask our photoshop editors to brighten the sky and show us some blue instead of clouds, to make sure everything looks just as it would on an “ideal” day… so we don’t have to delay the photo shoot waiting for a sunny day to appear.

Even When Taken On A Nice Day, Cell Phone Pictures Just Don’t Show Up As Well As Professional Listing Photos Do.

Sometimes, sellers want to take twilight shots because they can highlight great landscaping and make the home look cheery and inviting. These types of photos are more common for luxury homes with great outdoor lighting, professional landscaping, sunset views, and big budgets.

You may want to duplicate the look, but unless you’re a professional photographer, these twilight shots are just too difficult to pull off successfully and the window of time in which you can capture them is just too short. The pros have special camera settings and techniques for shooting in low-light conditions, and that can be hard to replicate for average amatuer photographers.

Murray Sold Sign
Low Light Conditions Make It Tough To Get A Good Photo! My daughter took this one using the flash and the cell phone, but there’s no way it would work to use a flash for a whole house photo.

It’s usually better to take photos during the day when the light is more predictable and the window of time is larger. Schedule your photo shoot when the sun is shining directly on the front of your home for the best effect. So, for example, for an east-facing home, you would shoot your photos in the morning.

3. Pay Careful Attention to Photo Composition

Finally, you need to pay close attention to the composition of your listing photos, an ingredient of which is the height at which you take them.

There is some debate about the optimal height, but it is generally agreed that taking photos from the chest height will yield good results. Even better is to make sure to take photos from a height that best suits and best captures the contents of particular rooms.

Unlike instagram influencers who like to take their selfies from above, looking down at their faces; this “taken from above” angle is not usually appealing for house photos.

What you want to do is get just the right blend of showing what’s in a room without overwhelming the viewer. This means striking the right balance between floor and ceiling along with the contents of the room so as to avoid having any dead space in a photo, or making it overly cluttered.

More Options for Listing Photos

Emily Cressey - HomeSmart, Real Estate Broker
We will invest in the all-important listing photos for your house in Lake Forest Park, WA when you sell with Real Estate Agent Emily Cressey.

If this all sounds more than a little complicated, that’s because it is – getting great listing photos is no easy task.

You may, then, be better off hiring a professional real estate photographer.

As your Lake Forest Park real estate agent, I can certainly make some recommendations. However, the good news is that professional listing photos, drone photos and videos are all included when you list your home with me.

Some agents *take* listing photos themselves as part of the services they provide. I *invest* in photos for your home through a top-of-the-line professional real estate photo company, that will be color balanced, retouched and optimized to make your home “picture perfect!”

That’s why, when you want to get the best listing photos in Lake Forest Park, WA, you should contact us at (206) 578-3438.

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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