Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fixing Bad MLS Photos

Remember yesterday's post about staging the entryway of your home? (OK, so it wasn't yesterday. I got a little busy.)

A few subtle photo fixing tips can make all the difference in the photos that go in the MLS.

First of all, if your home is priced above about $225,000 or so, your Realtor should hire a professional photographer. A pro's photos won't need any of this fixing.

If you're doing the FSBO thing (for sale by owner, aka Fizzbo) or your Realtor doesn't hire a professional photographer, at least make sure you or your Realtor do a little minor photo-fixing. I'm not talking about photoshopping in a lush green lawn where it doesn't exist, or deleting a telephone pole in the middle of your yard, mind you.

Nothing deceptive, just make the photos look as good as the house. See the before and after below. It's a really minor change. Photo fixing won't overcome the fact that the seller didn't spend a couple hundred dollars to fancy up the front entryway, but it helps.

[caption id="attachment_1838" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Before"]Before[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1848" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="After"]After[/caption]

More Before and After photos. I used Google's freeware photo editing software, Picasa. I highly recommend their "Straighten" feature.

[caption id="attachment_1852" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Before"]Before[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1854" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="After"]After[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1856" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Before"]Before[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1857" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="After"]After[/caption]

In each case above, the "After" photo has been cropped, straightened and "Sharpened" using Picasa. For the living room shot I also used Picasa's "Warmify" tool to take out the bluish tinge to the white walls. It all took about 90 seconds.

Will that 90 seconds sell these homes? No, of course not. But in a market that's as tough as the one we're in, sellers need every advantage they can get. The "After" photos might get a couple more people to come look in person. A couple more people looking in person might equal 1 offer. And one person making an offer is all you need.

Related Post - Good MLS Photos