Sunday, August 25, 2013

Real Estate - Photos Rule! - by Margaret Krainin

It used to be (back in 1973, which was when I got started in real estate) that photos were not often included in real estate ads. It wasn't considered necessary, and it was expensive. Besides, property ads were usually designed to give only basic information, to pique buyers' interest so they would phone for the details.
Fast-forward to 2013, when nothing is left to the imagination (including underwear), and too much information is not enough!

Technology changed everything. The arrival of the digital age caused a huge shift in the real estate paradigm, because so much more information could be displayed. And when photography was finally released from dependence on paper and developing chemicals, data aggregator dot-com behemoths took the real estate information floor, and for better or worse, brokers had to start displaying not just one, but many attractive photos of their listings.

Nowadays, when you put your home on the sales or rental market, you have to have great exterior photos. (Interior photos are a topic for another time.) They should be taken on a bright, sunny day.

The Sebago region's fully green season is only about four months long, so you need to be nimble. Even if you're not planning to put your home on the market, go out in August and take photos! Find the best angles, the times and locations when shadows are least, and keep those photos from year to year.

August is one of the best times to take house photos -- the leaves are still green and the air is clear, but it's a good idea go out at least once in every season, every year. Even if you stay in your home for 50 years, and never rent or sell it, you'll get pleasure from looking at those old photos and the series of changes your home has gone through. And if you do decide to rent or sell, your agent will be able to use your summertime photos to good effect, especially if you list in the depths of winter, when piles of snow obscure the lawn and driveway.

This is also the time of year that vacation rental agencies like to take listings for the upcoming season, but the busyness of the summer often prevents them from starting before Labor Day. They can take the interior shots any time, but if you have your green-leaves, sunny-day, outside photos already taken, you'll make it much easier for them to rent your home during the main booking time, which is in winter.

So get out with your "real" camera (not just your phone) in this gorgeous, almost-fall weather, and take some great photos of your house!

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