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Want to sell a house quickly? Of course you do. And having great photos are a huge part of making that happen. While a lot of real estate agents use a professional photographer, many choose to own the entire process. If you’re a DIYer ready to take on photography, check out these five tips to help you take listing photos that sell.

Prep Your Space

Before you even pick up your camera, make sure your subject is ready to be photographed. Ask yourself these three questions.

  1. Is this space being used appropriately?
  2. How do I want this space to make me (or a buyer) feel?
  3. Is it doing both of those things?

If you’re unsure, you’ll want to get everything crystal clear before you start snapping photos. It could involve removing clutter and personal items, reorganizing the layout or bringing in a professional to stage the area.

Have a Contract

Know what you’re getting into and what your client expects. How large is the house? When do the final photos need to be ready? Is the home being staged or is that something you will have to take care of as the photographer? A contract settles the details and set expectations for both you and the seller.

Lighting

Good lighting is ESSENTIAL. And the best type of lighting is also free – sunlight. Open the windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Schedule your shoot for the time of day when each room will have the most sunlight. You’ll want to avoid taking any photos as night, unless they’re exterior photos showing off the outdoor lights.

Good Equipment

Unless your hands are steady like a surgeon, having a tripod is a must. The slightest breath can sometime create a shaky shot. You’ll also want to think about using a high quality camera. Camera phones are awesome for selfies, but don’t offer the same quality as professional equipment. Advance techniques like adjusting shutter speeds or trying out the use of HDR (High Dynamic Range) to adjust conflicting light patterns will be easier with a professional camera.

Be Flexible

When you arrive to shoot a house, things might not be perfect. An occupied home might need a few extra minutes to tidy up. Appointments run late, dogs get sick and children make messes. Life happens. Patience and an optimistic outlook can help keep the experience positive for everyone and maintain healthy professional relationships.

Use Editing Software…But Not Too Much

Editing your photos can mean the difference between an image that wows and an image that makes people cringe. Good editing is subtle and enhances the subject, like adjusting the colors or removing small imperfections. Most editing software comes with preset lighting filters that can change the look of your photos with just a few clicks. But be careful not to overuse filters or contrasts. A heavily edited photo can be a distracting turn-off to potential buyers.