When it comes to selling a property, the cost of real estate photography can be an incredibly wise investment. It can be a huge contributor to a successful sale. For one, it can make a big difference as to whether potential buyers are attracted to your home online and their decision of whether it's worth an inspection - or whether they just click onto the next listed property in their search.
When you're selling, marketing is key, and unfortunately, a first impression online counts in your bid to lure buyers across your threshold.
Remember that when potential buyers are scrolling through the many properties advertised online, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. When you're selling, marketing is key, and unfortunately, a first impression online counts in your bid to lure buyers 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.
What's involved in real estate photography?
Real estate photography involves much more than just aiming a camera and clicking. It's a way of selling a lifestyle to potential buyers – 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.
Remember that photos of your home will be used on a range of marketing materials including the signboard, advertisements, flyers and brochures.
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?
How much does a real estate photographer cost?
Before you hire a real estate photographer, you'll want to have an idea of how much they'll charge for their services.
A great starting point is to ask your real estate agent. They will will have worked with various photographers and should have some recommendations, as well as a sound idea of the costs involved. Alternatively, you can search for photographers on the internet, carefully reviewing their portfolios and customer reviews, and asking them directly for a quote. Or you can ask family and friends who have recently sold who they used to photograph their homes.
Costs for real estate photographers can vary
- Some photographers charge as little as $150 for a small home and $350 for a medium to large home. Of course, 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.
- Photographers 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 shots to improve the view, at a cost of around $150.
How much does real estate videography cost?
Photographers might also offer real estate videography services, but like photography, the costs will vary depending on whether you want something simple like a slideshow or something more elaborate with drone footage.
As a guide, you can expect to pay the following for real estate videography:
- Videos can start at around $100 for a slideshow
- For a specially filmed video, you can expect to pay at least $225 for 30 seconds, but the price will rise depending on the length, professional voiceovers and other post-production editing services.
- Drone footage can add an extra $300 to $500 to your marketing price tag
While drones may add more to your overall real estate marketing costs, be aware that they have the ability to add a huge amount of impact to your marketing campaign. They're especially great for expansive rural properties or properties by the sea. Drone footage allows potential buyers to appreciate the full dimensions of a large property or by showing off a property's surroundings, illustrating its proximity to shopping hubs, schools and transport, in literally seconds.
Choosing a real estate photographer
When it comes to professional photography, keep in mind cheapest is not always best. Those photographers charging bargain-basement prices probably aren't 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 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 and angles
- 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.
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.
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.
Read more: How to stage your home for sale
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 real estate 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 for them to highlight. But most of all, listen to the photographer's advice, hopefully, from years of experience and an eye for what makes good visuals.
Wondering what other costs you might be up for when selling your home? Check out our real estate fees and costs knowledge hub for a detailed breakdown.