How much does a real estate photographer cost? - Articles - OpenAgent

How much does a real estate photographer cost?

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Good photography is an essential tool in selling your home. It can make a huge difference as to whether potential buyers are attracted to your home online and decide it’s worth an inspection – or whether they just click onto the next property listed on the internet.

Remember that when potential buyers are scrolling through the many properties advertised online, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. First impressions do count in your bid to lure them across your threshold. The more people you get through your home’s doors, the more interest you generate and the better the price you are likely to get for your property.

Real estate photography involves much more than just aiming a camera and clicking. It’s a way of selling a lifestyle – capturing settings that people can imagine themselves enjoying. And with the constant advancement of technology, drones, videos and 3D home scanning are increasingly being used in real estate marketing to help a property to stand out from the pack.

With your home likely to be one of your most valuable assets, it doesn’t pay to skimp on good quality professional photographs. Remember that the photos will be used on a range of marketing materials including the signboard, advertisements, flyers and brochures.

But how do you find a good photographer and how much will it cost you?

A great starting point is to ask your real estate agent. He or she will have worked with various photographers and should have some recommendations, and a sound idea of the costs. Alternatively, you can search for photographers on the internet, carefully reviewing their portfolios and customer reviews. Or you can ask family and friends who have recently sold their homes who they used.

Costs vary. For example, some photographers charge as little as $95 for eight photos for a small home and $120 for 12 photos of a medium to large home. Twilight shots will cost you more.

Photographers can also digitally declutter – or clean up messy home images electronically –  at prices starting at $15 per image. In addition, they can virtually stage an empty room with digital furniture at an estimated cost of $45 per image. For properties that have little or no street appeal, they can also take elevated shot to improve the view, at a cost of around $150.

Videos can start at around $225 for a 30 seconds, but the price will rise depending on the length, professional voiceovers and other editing services.

For a special touch, drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can add an extra $300 to $500 to your marketing price tag, but much more to the impact of your marketing campaign by allowing potential buyers to appreciate the full dimensions of a large property or by showing off in seconds a property’s surroundings and illustrating its proximity to shopping hubs, schools and transport.

But when it comes to professional photography, remember cheapest is not always best. Those photographers charging bargain basement prices may not be as skilled and experienced as those who can afford to charge more.

And, while they cost more, taking twilight photo shoots can really be worth it. Adding that hint of a yellow or orange to a photo can sometimes enhance its mood and make your home look more romantic. In addition, some homes just don’t look as appealing in daylight as they do at dusk.

Good photographers can be worth every cent because they are able to consider a range of factors, including lighting conditions, vertical lines, angles, lines, furniture and size when they frame a shot. They can also make a space appear larger than it really is. In addition to their experience and skill, they also use equipment and lighting that gives them an edge over amateurs. And they are able to edit and retouch photos to meet specific needs. They can insert bright blue skies to photographs taken on a rainy day, digitally clean up murky swimming pools and improve the greenness of grass.

But while real estate photography editing is common practice in Australia, there is a right and wrong way to incorporate it into property marketing and some alterations can be deceptive and even illegal.

The aim should be to use photography to portray your property in its best light; not to misrepresent it. You are not going to secure a better price for your property if potential buyers feel disappointed or misled once they arrive to inspect it.

Here are some factors to consider before choosing a property photographer?

  • What kind of training and experience does he or she have?
  • What kind of equipment do they use?
  • Who has recommended them and why?
  • What does their portfolio of previous photos look like?
  • How good are they at retouching photos?
  • How quickly can they deliver the images and how will this fit with advertising deadlines?

Before the photographer arrives, it’s important to set the scene by ensuring your home looks its sparkling best. Consider bringing in a stylist. Get rid of all your clutter, clear away dishes from the sink, remove any furniture or objects that can obstruct the photographer and wash the windows to allow more light into your home. Ensure lawns are mowed, hoses put away and wheelie bins are out of sight.

Also be sure to alert the photographer to your home’s key selling points and have a good idea of which features you’d like his or her to highlight. But most of all, listen to the photographer’s advice gained, hopefully, from years of experience and an eye for what makes good visuals.

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