Real estate photography in Las Vegas can be an adventure. This home that’s listed for 1m+ was setup to be photographed next week. I had the schedule set so I could spend all day on shooting and processing the photos for this beautiful home.
Thursday morning I received a call from the agent’s assistant in a bit of a panic. They had already received an offer and needed the photos fast. I turned on a dime and scheduled the home for Friday. I didn’t have the time I wanted to spend in the home, but in the real estate business we rarely get what we want.
I had to improvise and photograph this home quickly. Situated in the Anthem Country Club community this home is a robust beauty with shades of an Italian Villa throughout. The detailing on this home was easy to find and photograph. I do wish I have the chance to revisit this home someday and make some proper real estate listing photos for it. I’ve worked long enough in this business to know that that wish may come true.
The real estate agent was very pleased with my flexibility and the quality of photos I was able to produce in such a short time frame. My hats off to her on going into contract in such a short period of time.
I shot this classic home this morning. Even though this is a north facing home, the late winter morning light was perfect on this home. The sprawling backyard with pool soaked in my wide angle lens.
Inside the foyer photographed showing the grand staircase and solid wood railing lining the upper loft. The over sized master bedroom with sitting room shot very well. The photo of the secondary bedroom is one of my new favorite shots of 2020.
The kitchen and family room on the lower level were a joy to shoot. These rooms had south facing windows and were lit up well today. As always I have to give kudos to a diligent homeowner. A fun day to be a Las Vegas real estate photographer.
Check out my revamped website and let me know what you think!
I shot this golf course home in Summerlin at the end of a pretty busy week. This agent realy wanted to showcase the home and it’s country club surroundings. She ordered daytime photos, drone photos, and twilights. The homeowner did a stand-up job getting the home in tip top shape.
Everything came together wonderfully for a great presentation. If I were a betting man I would bet this home sells quicker and comparable to similar homes in this beatiful
January is always a tough month to shoot in. The lighting conditions are not always optimal this time of the year. This home in the golfing community at the Los Prados Country Club had it’s challenges.
The home sat at the end of a sleepy cul-de-sac beneath a mature willow tree. The lighting in the home was dim and warm. The lighting was great for a quiet Sunday afternoon, but not so much for real estate photos. I tried the best I could to making the home pop while not losing that curled up with a good book charm.
Professional Real Estate Photos Help Agents Prosper
Experts predict that the real estate market is showing signs
of cooling off in the coming year. Hiring a professional real estate
photographer is a no-brainer for agents that want to prosper through the market
downturn. Professional photos will increase interest from buyers when displayed
alongside listings with DIY photos on listing sites such as Zillow. Real estate
listings with professional photos will also attract sellers. However, there’s
more to the presentation of a real estate listing than calling a professional
photographer. Listing presentation is key to a successful transaction. The home
must be in tip-top shape for the professional photos to be completely effective.
Ideally, the home should be ready the day before
picture day. This ensures that all the time that the real estate photographer
set aside to photograph the home is spent on taking photos. Being ready will mean
the photographer has more time to take more photos. The photographer will be
able to capture more angles and deliver higher quality photos.
If the home is not ready when the real estate photographer
arrives this could compromise the shoot. Professional real estate photos are
high resolution HDR photos that will detail everything within the frame of the
photograph. That rumpled bedspread on the king size bed in the gorgeous Master
Bedroom will be a distraction in the photos. The broken blinds in the living room
will scream “repairs needed!” in the listing. Yes, the photographer can angle
the camera away from debris or infractions, but this will make the space appear
to be smaller. In some instances, it will be obvious that something is amiss
within the photo and look like a “cover up”.
Avoid Reasons for Buyers to Not Look at a Home
Professional real estate agents strive not to give buyers a
reason to not look at their listings.
Proper home preparation for photos and market only gives buyers reason to look at their home. Agents market
homes to attract as many buyers as possible to the home. It’s real estate 101—the
more interest in a home, the higher price that home will achieve when offers start
to roll in. Every agent knows this. However, looking through any listing site
and there are continually homes presented in subpar fashion. As the market
cools and inventories rise this means fewer buyers and more homes for sale.
Buyers will have choices and which homes will they choose first? Right, the
ones with professional photos and that are prepared for sale. Good agents
understand that they are not selling their clients’ old home, they are selling
the buyers new home.
Most buyers in today’s market are looking for move-in ready homes. Home buyers have busy lives and families to look after. They’re like everyone else and live on a budget. They don’t have the luxury of living in their current home while their new home is being renovated. Usually there is just a 4 to 6 week window between selling their home and buying a new one. They have a million things on their to-do list and fixing up a home isn’t on their list. If they see things in the photos such as a moldy shower, deep purple walls in a dining room, or a broken drawer in the kitchen they will keep scrolling. Other “keep scrolling” triggers may be a cluttered kitchen counter, a pile of dirty laundry in the Master Bedroom, or a cat tree in the living room. If the sellers don’t take the effort to remove or fix these for the photos, what else didn’t they bother to maintain while living there?
Coach the Homeowners
Homeowners know how to live in their homes and enjoy their
homes, but very few know how to sell
their homes. This is why they hire a professional real estate agent to sell
their home in hopes of getting top dollar. What they often don’t realize is
that it takes more effort to sell their home than only hiring a real estate
agent. The trusted real estate agent has the duty to be a partner in the home
selling process. The agent can market, network, show, and do everything else in
their power to sell the home, but if the home is not prepped it’s not going to
command the expected interest or price. Here are a couple of checklists for
real estate agents to help guide their clients through the home preparation
process. One list requires a budget and the other requires little to no budget.
Keep in mind that it’s the cosmetic items that will matter most in the photos. This
article is not addressing mechanical or structural issues that may arise during
Cost Required Improvements
Neutralize the color scheme throughout the home
Paint walls and trim a neutral gray or subtle
Have home professionally cleaned
Replace outdated flooring—If not needed, have
carpets professionally cleaned
Replace windows—If not needed, have windows
Fix all sliding glass doors and screens
Fix all window screens
Rent a POD and declutter
Install professional landscaping for curb appeal
Paint exterior if needed
The preceding items will require an investment from the homeowner.
If the homeowner has the means to make some of these improvements a
professional real estate agent can guide them with advice on which improvements
will give the seller a return on their investment.
Low Cost or No Cost Improvements
Have home professionally cleaned
If this isn’t in the budget then make sure home
is spic and span on photo day
Declutter, declutter, declutter
Utilize the garage and closets to empty home to
Photos will look much better if the viewer can
see from floor to wall to ceiling unobstructed in several areas of large spaces
and at least one area of small spaces
It is ideal to have nothing in front of sliding
Make sure all window treatments are working
properly and can open
If not, remove them for the photos—Let the sunshine
Make sure ALL lights are in working order and
replaced with bright white light bulbs
The secret to good photos is good lighting
Clean all windows and mirrors
Clear kitchen counters and vanities in bathrooms
Clear all magnets, notes, etc. from refrigerator
Clear entryway of shoes, door mats, jackets, etc.
If using the space under a bed for storage be
sure that bedding reaches floor
Only place items on the floor behind bed in secondary
bedrooms, if they are not visible from door. Don’t place items on floor next to
bed in Master Bedroom
Utilize walk-in closet for storage. It’s ok if
walk-in closet is not photographed versus a cluttered Master Bedroom that looks
small and dingy in the photos
Remove all signs of pets—Pets can be a red flag
Remove seasonal décor
Remove all family photos—Depersonalize the home.
Buyers want to feel as if they are in their home
Remove religious symbols
Remove vehicles from driveway
Close garage door all of the way
Remove garden hoses
Spruce up yard—Mow where needed, sweep and trim
Remove all debris—Toys, pet belongings, pet
waste, garden trimmings
Utilize small side yard if needed
Remove flags—Flags will be distracting and can
look blurry in HDR photos
Clean and tidy up outdoor living areas/furniture
Clean pool – remove leaves, toys and vacuum hose
Turn on waterfalls and fountains
To do all of the tasks mentioned above will take a lot of
hard work. Agents can ensure their clients that putting in the extra effort
will pay off. The home will look better than competing homes and this will
increase interest and showings. There are only so many buyers in any given
market at any given time. Smart agents want to cast a wide net to attract as
many buyers as possible. Savvy agents will also roll up their sleeves and pitch
in where needed to get home prepped for photos.
An agent that is selling a vacant home is not off the hook
when it comes to preparations for real estate photos. A vacant home is
generally clean and devoid of clutter, but there are a few tasks that should be
completed before photos.
Have home professionally cleaned
If not in budget then make sure home is broom
swept at the very least
Remove all window treatments and make sure
blinds are in working order
An experienced real estate photographer will shy
away from opening blinds because it is very common for these to fall off of
their mounts when attempting to open
If blinds are damaged or in poor shape remove
Be sure wood floors are dust free
Shoe prints may show in photos if floors are not
at least swept with a Swiffer
Do not try to enhance floors with a clear coat
or sheen—This will degrade photos and floors will look flawed and in need of
If not in budget, then have them professionally
Don’t fret over stains that cannot be removed—Experienced
real estate photographers will not remove these in the photos as this is a
misrepresentation of the home
If stains are present it is still best to have
them cleaned—The carpets will look better and this signals the buyers that home
sellers did what they could to prepare the home
Have windows cleaned
Windows will become the main focal point in an
empty room. It’s best to have them looking their best
Make sure all lights are working and change all
light bulbs to white lights
Non-working lights will create uneven lighting.
Old yellow light bulbs will make rooms look dingy and dirty. It is best to
replace all lights with bright white lights to make the photos pop
Complete minor repairs
Make sure missing trim, broken drawers, or
missing tiles are replaced. These items, albeit small, will give the impression
that a major renovation needs to be done in the photos
Remove odd furniture pieces
Place these in the garage
Remove debris left behind
If physically removing from property isn’t an
option try to place all left behind debris in side yard or garage. You want the
front and back yard empty, same as the interior
Fix or remove broken screens and shutters
Have pool cleaned the day before photos
If property has a pool, often times it is neglected
in a vacant home. Make sure it’s blue and sparkles on picture day
It’s Photo Day!
All the things above have been done as of the evening before
the scheduled real estate photo shoot. What needs to be done on photo day?
There’s still work. Prior to the professional real estate photographer arriving
these last-minute things need to be done. To best utilize the photographer’s time,
make sure she or he can start taking photos the minute they arrive.
Real estate agent present
If the home is occupied it is best for the agent
to be present to make sure all items are complete. Agent should arrive at least
30 minutes prior to the shoot in order to complete any missed tasks
Homeowners are gone
Ideally it is best that only the agent and
photographer are present at the photo shoot. An agent can direct the
photographer to get the angles they feel is the best. Both photographer and
agent can exchange ideas on what looks best and what should probably be looked
over without interference from home owner. If homeowner insists on being
present it is best that only one homeowner is present. There should only be
three people in the home at a maximum during the photo shoot
Pets are removed from property
This is a good opportunity to clear the home of
both pets and occupants. Having pets in the home can be a distraction even if
they are contained. A barking dog behind a closed door can distract the
photographer. The photo shoot can be a dry run for showings and open houses for
homeowners to vacate for short periods of time
All Lights on all ceiling fans off
Window blinds open
Toilet seats down
Cell phones and chargers are put away—These are
the most commonly overlooked items
Televisions are off or paused on an appealing scene
No One Said it Was Easy
If it were easy then anyone could sell a home. This is why
real estate agents are needed. It is tried and true that the most successful agents
also have the best prepared homes. Market fluctuations happen all the time. Some
experts are predicting a slowing in most real estate markets across the
country. At the time of publishing this article, inventories are up, days on
market are increasing, and price reductions are becoming common across the
board. If there is a downturn, agents will have to do everything they can in
their power to make their real estate listings stand head and shoulders above
the crowd. This will mean having professional photos and well prepped homes on
all their real estate listings. Good listing presentations will attract both
buyers and sellers.
It’s not a perfect world and having a seller do all the
things above is not realistic in most cases. Successful agents will approach
their listings with a grading scale. If the home is 90% or above prepped that
is an A. 80% or above is a B and that’s enough to earn them a place on the
honor roll. Anything below a B is average and should not be accepted.
Today’s Featured Home
The home featured today is an example of a well-prepped home.
Normally we don’t like to post all the photos from a shoot, just the
highlights, but this home is an exception. We wanted our readers to see what a
well-prepped home can do for their listing.
This home at the time
of the photo shoot was occupied by 3 adults, 2 children and several pets
(homeowner was a veterinarian). Home was neutralized, decluttered,
depersonalized (not 100%, but acceptable) and free of pets at time of shoot.
There was a turtle and guinea pig in the children’s bedrooms, but ok in this
case. It is most notable that there were small children living in this home,
yet bedrooms and yard well neat and tidy.
We would also like to mention the real estate agent listing this home is a very successful agent in Las Vegas and has had Rick shoot several of his listings over the past year. He is present at every shoot and 95% of his homes look like this or are very close.
For more info on the services provided by RCRdigital click here.
For more info on preparing a home for real estate photos please check out our friends at HGTV.