Tag Archives: photos

The Difference Real Estate Photography Makes

This is a tale of two homes; or, more specifically, the commercial brokers.

I’ve written about how great real estate photography can make the difference in the way a home is presented when it’s for sale – I firmly believe it’s a crucial component to the process of selling your home. In fact, starting in 2009 I was the first real estate agent in the New River Valley to use a professional photographer on all of my listings, and Nest Realty believes so much in professional real estate photography that we use it on every home we list – including foreclosures.

Sean Shannon and I have talked for years about doing a “With v. Without” series of photos, showing how a home looks both with and without professional photography, but we’ve never gotten around to it. Yesterday, a house came back on the market (listed with Coldwell Banker Townside) that highlights just what this looks like. The house – previously listed with photos presumably taken by the homeowner or agent – looks dark inside, but in reality it’s really a beautiful, light-filled home … which Sean’s photos captured. Here are some photos, of both the interior and exterior … most likely we buy houses that show beauty not those that seem out of the market.

Kit_1 Kit_2 LR_1 LR_2 WB_1 WB_2The same home, viewed through two different lenses (literally), looks completely different.

Professional real estate photos matter. Whether we ever work together or not – and I’d certainly welcome the opportunity to talk – insist that your listing agent present your home in the best possible light.

Want to see this house? Let’s set an appointment soon.

 

How To Sell A Home This Fall Or Winter

Like it or not, the season here in the New River Valley is getting ready to change from summer to fall, and then winter. Like death and taxes, the seasons here in Blacksburg are guaranteed.

While it’s hard to think about winter when it’s bright and sunny outside, humor me. It’s likely your house looks so much better with green grass, full leaves on the trees, and colorful flowers in the flower beds, than it does with gray cloudy skies, scraggly trees, and patches of snow on the ground. If you’re expecting to sell this fall or winter, go ahead and have a professional photographer take photos – at least of the exterior, we can bring Sean Shannon Photography in for the inside later – while the landscaping still looks great. The inside can wait until you are done getting the house ready, but I can promise you the outside photos will benefit from having clean, crisp images and lots of color. Your listing will look better for it, I guarantee it. To amke sure you get a good clean up, then go to https://www.maidcomplete.com/house-cleaning-seattle.php to see your options.

And don’t worry about the fact that there’s a foot of snow on the ground outside, while the photos show a lush, green yard; buyers aren’t going to rule out your house because it doesn’t seem to “match” the season, although I would recommend to clean up the snow or fast and quality Snow Removal Services can help you with that. If anything, with the right photographs, your house is going to look so much better than anything else, it won’t matter.

Want more tips for selling your house, anytime of year?  I have 3 Ls that I can’t stress enough …

  1. Lights – turn on the lights. All of them. Open the drapes and blinds, turn on the lamps, and let the light shine in. It’ll make every room look 10x better, even if there’s a wall painted deep black.
  2. Lids – put down the toilet seat lids. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing a house, and seen a kid’s doodie floating in a toilet with the lid up. We all know what happens there – close the lid.
  3. Leave – get out. Scram. It’s awkward for buyers to walk through a house when the seller is there; they don’t talk as candidly with their agent, which can often mean the difference between an offer and an early exit. Go watch a movie, or drive around the block … nothing says “make this house your home” like the seller following you from room to room.

And because I just think time lapse photography is so cool …

Get Your Photos Before The Weather Turns

This is a repost from August of 2012 …

Like it or not, the season here in the New River Valley is getting ready to change from summer to fall, and then winter. Like death and taxes, the seasons here in Blacksburg are guaranteed.

While it’s hard to think about winter when it’s nearly 90 degrees outside, try. It’s likely your house looks much better with green grass, full leaves, and colorful flowers than it does with gray cloudy skies, scraggly trees, and patches of snow on the ground … maybe I’m wrong, maybe your house is different, but I doubt it … the vast majority of homes fall into the first category. If you’re expecting to sell this fall or winter, go ahead and take photos – at least of the exterior – while the landscaping still looks great. The inside can wait until you and your agent are done staging the house, but I can promise you the outside photos will benefit from having clean, crisp images and lots of color. Consider hiring the best real estate photographer in the area, Sean Shannon Photography, to get the photos done now, or even just as the leaves are changing but haven’t started to fall.  Your listing will look better for it.

And don’t worry about the fact that there’s a foot of snow on the ground outside, while the photos show a lush, green yard; buyers aren’t going to rule out your house because it doesn’t seem to “match” the season. If anything, with the right photographs, your house is going to look so much better than anything else, it won’t matter.

Want more tips for selling your house, anytime of year?  I have 3 Ls that I can’t stress enough …

  1. Lights – turn on the lights. All of them. Open the drapes and blinds, turn on the lamps, and let the light shine in. It’ll make every room look 10x better, even if there’s a wall painted deep black.
  2. Lids – put down the toilet seat lids. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing a house, and seen a kid’s doodie floating in a toilet with the lid up. We all know what happens there – close the lid.
  3. Leave – get out. Scram. It’s awkward for buyers to walk through a house when the seller is there; they don’t talk as candidly with their agent, which can often mean the difference between an offer and an early exit. Go watch a movie, or drive around the block … nothing says “make this house your home” like the seller following you from room to room.

And because I just think time lapse photography is so cool …

Selling A Home This Fall Or Winter? Take Your Photos Now.

Like it or not, the season here in the New River Valley is getting ready to change from summer to fall, and then winter. Like death and taxes, the seasons here in Blacksburg are guaranteed.

While it’s hard to think about winter when it’s nearly 90 degrees outside, try. It’s likely your house looks much better with green grass, full leaves, and colorful flowers than it does with gray cloudy skies, scraggly trees, and patches of snow on the ground … maybe I’m wrong, maybe your house is different, but I doubt it … the vast majority of homes fall into the first category. If you’re expecting to sell this fall or winter, go ahead and take photos – at least of the exterior – while the landscaping still looks great. The inside can wait until you and your agent are done staging the house, but I can promise you the outside photos will benefit from having clean, crisp images and lots of color. Consider hiring the best real estate photographer in the area, Sean Shannon Photography, to get the photos done now, or even just as the leaves are changing but haven’t started to fall.  Your listing will look better for it.

And don’t worry about the fact that there’s a foot of snow on the ground outside, while the photos show a lush, green yard; buyers aren’t going to rule out your house because it doesn’t seem to “match” the season. If anything, with the right photographs, your house is going to look so much better than anything else, it won’t matter.

Want more tips for selling your house, anytime of year?  I have 3 Ls that I can’t stress enough …

  1. Lights – turn on the lights. All of them. Open the drapes and blinds, turn on the lamps, and let the light shine in. It’ll make every room look 10x better, even if there’s a wall painted deep black.
  2. Lids – put down the toilet seat lids. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing a house, and seen a kid’s doodie floating in a toilet with the lid up. We all know what happens there – close the lid.
  3. Leave – get out. Scram. It’s awkward for buyers to walk through a house when the seller is there; they don’t talk as candidly with their agent, which can often mean the difference between an offer and an early exit. Go watch a movie, or drive around the block … nothing says “make this house your home” like the seller following you from room to room.

And because I just think time lapse photography is so cool …

When Selling Your Home, GREAT Photos Matter

Several months ago, I started hiring Sean Shannon Photography to take high-quality photos of the real estate properties.  I was finding that while my camera certainly takes good photos, it couldn’t show the house off quite as well as a professional could.  I talked with Sean about my problem, and he immediately showed me what I was missing.

Now, my properties stand out.  They pop.  And they turn heads.  I use Sean’s photos everywhere I run an ad, and everyone comments on how they look.  I don’t have a Before and After for you, but look at some of the things that are showing up in our MLS these days:

Now if you’re a seller in a crowded market where price and exposure matter, wouldn’t you want your home to stand out?  Wouldn’t you want to take the time to make sure it gets noticed?  Every single listing now gets Sean’s special attention to detail, and I can tell you that it shows.  The second set of photos are all photos Sean did of my listings – and to try and level the field (if that can be done) – I chose homes that were all listed for less than $160000.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what the price point is, a home listed by Jeremy Hart is going to stand out in every way it can.

Want to know how he does it?  It’s really pretty easy (for a pro), and doesn’t require any special equipment other than his Nikon and a tripod.  The technique is called HDR – High Dynamic Range imaging – and it works REALLY well for real estate.  Recently, I talked with Sean about HDR and how he takes such great photos:

JH – Sean, what makes HDR so appropriate for real estate photos?
SS – Taking photos at multiple exposure, like you do with an HDR photo, brings outMaster Bedroom the contrasts and colors of a room better than a single exposure of any camera, no matter how expensive.  The other thing it does is that it keeps the windows and any other bright sources of light from being “blown out”, and prevents dark areas of the room from losing details and being too dark.

JH – So you take multiple exposures, and then what?  How does it work?
SS – In a nutshell, you take at least three identical shots, each one at a different exposure level.  So if I’m taking five shots of a room I’ll take one normal shot, two darker shots, and two brighter shots, then load them into a piece of software that merges the variations into one beautiful photo.

JH – Are there particular types of shots that HDR really works well for, or, conversely, doesn’t work well for?
SS – HDR really works best when there is a drastic range in dark and light areas in a Open Main Levelshot, along with bright and contrasting colors.  Most homes aren’t stark white – there are colors on the walls, in the furnishings and accessories, that complement the overall photo – and this allows the multiple exposure technique to really pop.  HDR really works well with windows, as well – most of the time, when you take a picture of a room and light is pouring in through the window, the window gets “blown out” in the photo … you can’t see outside them.  HDR prevents that.  HDR also doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment so it’s pretty easy to do once you learn to tweak the software to maximize the potential of the photo, and it doesn’t require the homeowner to spend all day standing around for equipment to be moved around.

Thanks to Sean for taking the time to explain it a bit more; you can also check out this guide on his website.  I guess the point is that when you’re selling your home, we’re gonna do the work necessary to make it stand out.  We’ll move stuff around, get rid of things by either putting them in storage or giving them away, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get your house ready to sell; it just takes time.  But I can promise that if you take the time, even just 30 minutes, you’ll be 30 minutes ahead of a lot of other competition.

It makes a difference.

A New Look For NRVLiving Real Estate Listings

I’m working on a new program for listing real estate here in the New River Valley, and Phase I of the program is now ready!  I’m really excited to share this, as I think it’s going to make listings stand out even more.

Christiansburg, VAThe idea is pretty simple, and one that I am not ashamed to say that I copied from The Bloodhounds, as well as Mariana and Jim.  Real estate signs traditionally all look the same, and too often are used as reasons to call the agent to find out anything of value about the house.  Sure, we can say more about the house through the use of flyers, but IF a buyer pulls up and grabs a flyer who knows what condition that flyer is going to be in, whether the information is correct, or if there are any flyers at all!  I wanted my new real estate signs to be more about the house, and I think this first iteration has done just that.

Think of these new signs as one big flyer.  The price is at the very top, in bold numbers so it’s easy to see as you’re driving by.  At the bottom is my contact information, if someone wants to call to find out even more.  And the main part of the sign is the static brochure – fulBlacksburg real estatel
of information about the house, with professional real estate photos done by Sean Shannon Photography.  The signs are going out now, and already sellers are saying they’re seeing more brake lights as people drive by – that’s the kind of instant feedback I like to hear!  Oh – AND they’re recyclable, so Valley Curbside Recycling could swing by and take care of them at closing if need be!

As I said, this is the first iteration of signs, and I welcome your feedback – good, bad or indifferent, would love to hear your thoughts.  Personally, I think it’s a great way to market a home, and as part of the entire package I’m rolling out will make my seller’s homes stand out even more than they already do.  My thanks to Kelsey and Caroline for their design, and Justin at SignSpot for his help with the printing – I sent him a LOT of files, all at one time, and he knocked them out in short order.

And Jim – you wanted to know how long until your signs were copied?  Here’s your answer.