The Importance of Good Photographs

When I was selling houses on Chicago’s North Shore, I visited a house that was so aesthetically pleasing that it actually moved me to tears. Nestled amidst woods at the end of a circular drive, its expansive rear lawn dropped down beyond the garden to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Walking up the stone steps and entering through imposing carved front doors, I had the impression I was in a stately home that had been in one family for generations. Every aspect of the house, from the Persian carpets to the millwork, was of the finest quality imaginable. I lingered for a long time, so awed by its beauty that I never wanted to leave.

When I returned to my office, the managing broker, a man with impeccable credentials and superb taste, asked if I had viewed, quote: ‘that hideous house.’ I was shocked, since I knew we often saw eye- to -eye on architectural matters. I wanted to verify that we were, indeed, speaking of the same property. We were, but he had only seen the photos which had appeared on the Internet. Sadly, that gorgeous mansion had been photographed so badly that it had ended up looking tired, drab, small, and shabby. Though the house was correctly priced and in the best location, the photographs were never changed, and  it sat on the market for over a year, with few showings, before it was withdrawn.

The following week I was showing houses in a different neighborhood to a young couple, when the husband remarked, ‘Wow, you really know your stuff. We thought you were crazy when you put this house on our list, but it really is great.’

Those two back –to- back incidents alerted me to the fact that buyers were making their selections based on the images they were seeing on the Internet. A house might be an absolute jewel in real life, but if it doesn’t show well on photographs it could be completely overlooked, causing sellers to lose both money and valuable time.

In our next post, we will take a look at how to best edit a home for the benefit of the camera.


Guest Post by Lily Temmer

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