Selling Your Home – 15 Good Photos

Gone are the days when you can advertise “must see!” to sell your home, as if people have to come into your house as the first step in the home buying process. You can scream that from the roof top all you want, but unless you have a location that would cause anyone and everyone to come to and into your home, it’s all about the photos.

So where do your start? You start with The Three Basics – Paint -Floorings – Clean

Home For Sale

Once you have your walls and floors together (see post linked above) you move to taking your “test photos”. Once you know which angles will end up in the 15 Photo Display, then you stage those “photo areas”. because it’s all about the 15 mls photos!


The cost to stage the above townhome was $2,500 BUT I staged it myself within the cost of Listing the home. I used that $2,500 as follows. $1,500 to refinish those now gleaming, satin finish hardwood floors on the main floor and $1,000 to have the place painted. We also put in all new carpet and the $1,000 to paint was for the main pro painter and did not include the prep-tape-helper. I use a painter who let’s me bring the “helper” myself, to save on cost.

Of course there are whole HGTV shows devoted to ALL of the steps that lead to FIFTEEN GREAT MLS PHOTOS.

I just try to give you a snapshot of the process…one blog post at a time. Both of the above homes are recent. The top one closed in December of 2012. The lower photos are of a Pending townhome over in The U-District. The top one sold in 1 day, the lower one in 2 days. The top one took SEVEN WEEKS to get ready for market. The lower one about THREE WEEKS.

So “SOLD IN ONE DAY” took from September 7th to October 25, 2013 to get it ready to list…and sold on October 26th as to Offer and Acceptance. The lower one “SOLD IN TWO DAYS” took from January 6, 2013 to Jan. 26 to get it ready to list…and sold on Jan. 28 as to Offer and Acceptance.

A few recent real life examples…to give you an idea of what it takes to get your house from Day One to SOLD.

29 thoughts on “Selling Your Home – 15 Good Photos

  1. I am glad that you discussed what went into getting those homes ready for the market, the time it took in weeks, and the fact the market responded. Understanding what consumers want and will pay for helps give your clients a real edge.
    By the way, I really like how those shades are adjusted!

  2. Thanks Doug. I adjusted the shades that way for two reasons. One, it is near impossible to highlight that they are “top down; bottom up” shades unless you show them this way. Also it drives me bonkers when people play with the shades and leave them all crooked at the bottom, and when you have them this way they are not as bold about pulling on the cords. 🙂

  3. Ardell – I agree. I am continually surprised at how many people underestimate the impact (positive or negative) that the MLS photos can have on the number and quality of showings for a new listing. We did a blog post on this recently here.

    All the best,

    • Love the gallery on your site, Anne. The After photos are all crisp and clean and believable. There’s a trend going round here with over saturation of color, stretched photos that make the rooms appear much bigger than they are. Your photos, like mine, are very honest. Love them. I did just buy a wide angle attachment to try to capture more of the bathrooms, but if they make the sink like twice as wide, I’m not going there. 🙂

      • Thanks for the nice comments on our gallery Ardell. Same here. I’m not a fan of using wide angle photos to unrealistically portray the space as larger than it really is. Personally, I think that this is just setting potential buyers up for a let-down at the showing.

        • I also like that you don’t “over stage” the place by throwing in everything under the sun. Sometimes it looks like the stager just brought in everything in their arsenal. 🙂 I do that once in awhile, but my “arsenal” is not all that big.

          Usually I am buying extra pieces specifically for each house vs trying to “make” things work just because I happen to have them. Your style is clean…crisp…I like it. I am not known for handing out compliments. 🙂 I am quite sincere.

  4. I’ve definitely seen people who are completely turned off from a house that shows great in person due to great pictures. At the same time I’ve seen a lot of clients walk into a home that looked great in photos and was actually a complete mess. But in order to get more showings and more exposure, you definitely need good photos.

  5. Thanks for showing this to us. It is good to make the home ready before it went to the market. I just finished reading “profits in real estate rentals” and it gave me lots if ideas on how to get started in real estate.

  6. I too am surprised at how many people/realtors don’t see the value in having beautiful photos. With the consumers having more information now than ever it’s still shocking to see dark, blurry and un-staged photos on the MLS. Totally love the idea of a ‘test photos’ and help plan… will have to try that on our next listing!

    • The test photos also help me visualize different objects in those areas so that I am bringing the right things with me. I also take photos of objects that need to be fixed prior to listing the home. Better than taking “notes”.

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  8. Photo’s make all the difference online these days. In Regina where I sell, the market seems to be behind other places but that makes it easy to see where the market is going. Great post.


  9. Thank you for going into detail on this. Too many agents now days try to sell a property for as much as possible with only putting in as little as possible. I think we could learn some valuable customer service skills from your post. It’s amazing how a few bucks can make a home shine like that.

  10. Great post, photo’s are the top of our priority list and having a well staged home adds to the draw. Our area allows 30+ photo’s so a small 1 bedroom unit can be a challenge…

  11. Good advice. I’d also add “LIGHTING” which is often the difference between a dynamic, engaging photo and a lifeless, dull one. I’ve been known to spend several hours on a single shot though, which needless to say an agent would never do.

  12. Hey Ardell,

    I like the kitchen pic. Keeping cooking as a hobby since the age of 14 or so. Most of my free time is spent in kitchen always trying to bother the knife and the vegetables in the hunt of something new , some new flavour to add to my personal dinner menu

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