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Real Tip for Real Estate Agents

As a photographer, I have my pulse on the real estate market in my area. I watch what's new on the market and I look at every picture. Sometimes, those pictures are cringy. Like real cringy. While editing software is available on our phones and an image can be changed, literally, with the touch of a finger, sometimes, it's best to leave the editing to a professional. After all, I'm not going to sell my house without a realtor, because that's not my expertise. However, if you are going to take your own photos, following some simple tips can greatly improve your images. Today, most realtors find the use of the camera on the cell phone is a much easier way to take and upload images. Fortunately, cell phone cameras have greatly improved in their quality. Although, they still have many limitations. 1. Use a wide angle lens. (There are actually attachments for your cell phone.) If you can tuck yourself in a corner or shoot through the doorway, the wide angle lens will give you a much better view of the entire space.

2. Shoot in a well lit room. Natural light is best because cameras struggle focusing on both the room and lamplight. Use a flash if necessary. But don't post dark photos, they make a potential buyer wonder what is hiding in the darkness and create a negative mood. Buyers want bright, airy homes, not dungeons.

3. Clean lines, horizontal and vertical. After you take the photo, look at both the horizontal and vertical lines. Ensure they are all aligned. If the vertical line is suddenly diagonal, retake the photo and adjust your angle.

4. Don't use distortion tools. A room that is distorted just feels odd. It doesn't feel like a place a buyer wants to see. In fact, it can actually make the viewer nauseous...don't use the fisheye setting, it isn't pleasant.

5. Virtual staging is a great way to stage an empty home without the expense, however, this requires some skill. A skilled graphic artist can make an empty room look like an interior designer stepped in, but if that's not your specialty, an empty room is better than a poorly edited, virtually staged room.

6. A good photographer knows that although editing is an amazing tool, starting with a good photo is even more important. Use linear and radial gradient tools to change the exposure on parts of the photo that appear dark. Use the tint and saturation sparingly as going too far in either direction changes everything, not just parts of the photo. Take a look at this photo. The realtor wanted to enhance the brick, but by doing so created a very dark and gloomy photo. It was taken in the evening with little natural light with no flash. I took what they had and increased the exposure on certain parts of the home. In the original, the trees seem to take over and create an eerie image. By brightening the trees, grass and front of the home and adding a sun flare, the house (although still needing a bit of sidewalk work) appears welcoming and bright. Never underestimate appropriate exposure.

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