I see a need to address an issue that it seems a lot of D.C. Realtors need a friendly reminder of: Listings with only a few photos are surprisingly common. Now, these are not always listings that are ugly or rundown homes that only an investor with a really good vision could love. Oftentimes, they are properties that are move-in ready and should be attracting a pool of interested buyers — but they’re not.
One gorgeous Georgetown neighborhood home really struck me as odd, having but only a handful of photos. When I probed more, I noticed this listing was syndicated for potential buyers to search and see it, and all locations presented only a small hand full of photos.
There is an increase in the use of virtual tours and video listings, but the argument still stands that still photos are key to the success of any listing. The adage of “less is more” isn’t necessarily a good option for listings agents. Maybe the less photos, the more homebuyers would be curious to check out the home. But unfortunately, this wasn’t a tactic that worked to find the right buyer: the listing expired.
Buyers want to see what there is to see before they’re motivated to physically come out to the property and figuratively “kick the tires.” What will not serve well for a seller is when the listing agent takes a shortcut on marketing a home.
Unless you’re concerned about an issue of privacy while your home is on the market, putting your home in the MLS for sale without any photos will immediately draw the ire of other agents with buyers. You’re reducing your chances with a few to no photos because you initially market to the local agents before you market to the available pool of buyers.
It doesn’t matter if the price point of a home is $100,000 or $1,000,000; if the buyer doesn’t spot your home driving by; they will more likely see it first online. Photos (both the quality and the amount) are the first impression and can make or break how much buyer traffic comes to your home, thus making a difference in attracting that buyer who will take it off the market with an offer and a sale.
But it’s never too late. If you have an expired listing or a home that you’re having trouble selling, consider investing a bit more in high-quality photography. A local real estate photographer is a great option, as the individual can find the best angles and light to entice potential buyers to check out the home.
Shantee Hayes is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty.