Step-by-Step Series #2: Creating an Irresistible Listing to Sell Your Home Faster-Expert Tips for Photographing Your Home (Hint: Lighting is Essential)

(courtesy of Lilly P Photography)

(courtesy of Lilly P Photography)

When it comes to quality photos for your real estate listing, lighting is the key, says professional photographer Paige Murphy of Lilly P Photography in Temple.

Prospective buyers must imagine themselves living in your home, so the photos must appeal to viewers in a personal way. Lighting creates that kind of appeal, Murphy says.

“When you allow a lot of light into a photo, viewers subconsciously see the room as more homey,” she says.

(courtesy of Lilly P Photography)

(courtesy of Lilly P Photography)

Take these two photos, for example. Photo A was taken with a smartphone camera. The on-camera flash makes features in the shadows a little darker. Photo B was taken using a tripod, which allowed for a longer exposure time. Keeping the shutter open longer lets in more light and detail, so the image is closer to what the eye actually sees.

A well-lighted photo is harder to achieve than it might seem, however.

“Most houses have insufficient lighting for photos, so it’s best to adjust the manual settings of the camera in order to brighten the image,” Murphy says.

Even novice photographers can take a few simple steps to get better-lit photos, however. First, avoid the camera flash. Instead, turn all the lights in the room on.

“Lamps give you light coming from different angles, and multiple lighting sources fill in shadows. A camera flash doesn’t do that,” Murphy said.

If your photos still have dark shadows, you can use photo-editing software to add brightness and contrast to the photo.

Another idea is to hire a professional photographer. A professional photographer can photograph a home in less than an hour and provide better photos for your listing at a cost that is friendly for your budget. For example, Murphy generally charges $50-$100, which includes basic editing of the photos. The small charge for professional images may even pay off by attracting more homebuyers to your listing and motivating them to visit the house in person.

“A bad picture could completely turn someone off of a home, but a great picture, with light and detail, can persuade them to look more closely, which might mean a faster sale.”