In Real Estate, A Picture Is Worth $1,000 or More
Attention desperate home sellers. Don’t want to lower the price on your house? Consider better photos. Real-estate listings that use photographs taken by the higher-end SLR cameras favored by photographers and photography enthusiasts, tend to do better than those that use photos from cheaper point-and-shoot cameras, according to a new analysis done by Redfin Corp., a Seattle-based brokerage.
Not surprisingly, listings with better photos command higher asking prices: If you believe your home is worth the investment of good photography, you’ll probably ask more money for it. The surprising part is that the tactic works. At the closing table, listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $934 and $116,076–as measured by the difference between asking and final price–over listings using photos from point-and-click cameras.
SLR or single-lens-reflex cameras give users more control over what they capture and tend to produce high-quality images. They cost more than point-and-shoot cameras, but considering the data may be worth the investment for a home seller. Even better, ask your broker to bring in a professional photographer.
Redfin only looked at listings in Boston and Long Island, where there was enough metadata incorporated into photos to do a complete analysis.
The data also showed that listings with nicer photos get more online attention. And yet, for all this, only 15% of listings incorporate higher-end photography. This is even true at the high-end. Redfin found that more than half of $1 million-plus listings were shot with low-end cameras.
One exception: The low end of the market. Listings priced below $300,000 were less likely to sell with nicer photos, possibly reflecting unrealistic expectations on the sellers behalf. At the low-end, price cuts would seem to be more important than photography.