Standing Out from the Rest: How a Real Estate Photographer Can Help You Sell Your Home

Many home sellers feel that a budding photographer in their family can take decent photographs of their home for the Knoxville, TN MLS listings. Unfortunately, many of these sellers end up facing longer stints on the market and possibly an expired listing. Poor or amateur photography can delay the sale of your home and leave you with far less profit.

Some real estate agents offer to take the photographs themselves using their iPhones, or they’ve taken photography at the local community college in the hopes of adding more value to their services. This is noble of them to try and help you save money, however, many times their efforts fall short and you end up losing in the end.

Professional photographers are career photographers, not real estate agents with a hobby. Below, are some points to keep in mind when you consider hiring a real estate photographer for your listing.

Photography as a First Impression
Listings that are accompanied by professional photographs sell for more money and they sell quicker. According to, 92 percent of home buyers search for their homes online. So, listing photographs play a critical role in selling your home to these buyers. 

This doesn’t just go for upscale homes selling above $1 million. This applies to all homes selling on the market for more than $200,000. A great photograph can entice a homebuyer over the threshold of your home. The photographs are the first impression buyers receive of your home, so you’ll want to make sure it’s a good one. Photographs can also affect the homebuyer’s perception of the home before they even see it.

Photographs Trigger Emotions
A professional photograph of a home can set a positive emotion that the buyer associates with the home. It’s often said in the realtor field that emotion is the number one trigger of the luxury home buyer. Placement of props is important, too, so you’ll want to make sure that you hire a professional stager to “set the stage” so to speak. A professional photographer will be able to select the correct lighting and angle to give your home the best presentation possible. 
So, how can you tell a professional grade photograph from an amateur one?

Great Team
When photographing a home for sale, a professional photographer usually takes around 10 to 15 interior and several exterior photographs. There’s no point in taking 200 photographs.

A good art director can help make sure the photographer captures images of the rooms they feel would best represent the home. 

Teaming up with a Home Staging Professional
A professional photographer knows the value of working with a professional staging expert. If you don’t want to hire an art director and home stager, that’s okay, too. I’ve worked with many clients who chose to stage their own homes and were highly successful in doing so. 

A staged home will be easier to photograph and capture the right images to make the home stand out from the other listings on MLS. Photographing an empty home is difficult because the home does not give off any emotion. A poorly furnished home gives a negative impression. That’s why it’s a good idea to team a staging expert with a professional real estate photographer.

The stager will be able to set a stage that will feed the imagination of a potential buyer. That’s why home buying shows like the ones you see on HGTV are so popular. The viewer imagines themselves living in the featured homes. If the home is already furnished, the photographer and a home stylist can rearrange items to create a spectacular shot. If you’re not going to hire a home staging expert, make sure you remove personal items because this can distract a potential buyer from imagining the home as their own. And if your home is empty, please consider hiring a home stager. Empty homes sell for considerably less. As a professional real estate photographer in Knoxville, TN, I know and have worked with the best staging professionals in the area.

The Right Angle
You’ve probably heard people say that when it comes to photography, it’s all about the lighting and angles. It’s true. A professional real estate photographer highlights the best features of a home by using the right angles and lighting. They often use a tripod and sometimes add light to certain areas of the home to make sure each room looks desirable.

Preparation or “Scouting”
A professional photographer often visits the home a few days before a shoot, to scout the property. Sometimes an art director is hired to assist the photographer in selecting the best rooms for the photo shoot. During this scouting time, the photographer will sometimes take sample photos and analyze the light exposure inside the home. This allows the photographer to determine what composition he wants and which tools to bring to the photo shoot. 

Perfect Composition
Photographers use straight lines and curves to guide the homebuyer’s eye along the image and to make the home more appealing. A photographer will decide how best to fill the space, where to focus, and where to create vertical and horizontal lines. The lines should fall in such a way that they lead the potential buyer through the structural elements of the room. This is very important when photographing homes.

Enhancing Photos in Post-Production
Choosing the right photos that best represent the home’s finest features and enhancing those photos is what happens in post-production. Once the photographer artfully selects the best photos, he enhances the color and edits the photos to ensure that the brown patches of grass are removed, the home’s paintjob is impeccably presented, and the sky is bright and clear. This sounds easy, but it’s not. It takes quite a bit of expertise to lengthen and clone certain sections of a photograph.

These are just a few of reasons why a real estate photographer can make the difference in helping you sell your home quicker and for more money. With most home buyers turning to the Internet for their home search, professional photos are powerful tools in making a good first impression and promoting a call to action. 

Mike ONeill Real Estate Photography has been serving the Knoxville, TN area since 2007. Professional real estate photography can help you sell your home weeks earlier and at a higher listing price.
Call Mike today at (865) 292-3865 to schedule a session.