The benefits of hiring a real estate photographer


benefits of real estate photographer

You see, the benefits of hiring a real estate photographer are not just about getting the house sold, as though it won’t sell without them. Of course it will … well, it probably will. Maybe.

The point is that hiring a quality real estate photographer (and it has to be said, not all real estate photographers are equal – you get what you pay for) will help you make a quicker sale and attract more interested buyers, and therefore a higher sale price.

You don’t bring in a photographer just because you want the house sold – you do it because you want the house sold quickly, for the highest possible price for that particular home, and because you (if you’re an agent) want more homes to sell.

The statistics, and the science, prove it, and that’s the point.

The photo is the most important factor in a listing

ocular-assessment-real-estate-photosMichael Seiler from the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University at Norfolk, did a study called “Toward an Understanding of Real Estate Homebuyer Internet Search Behavior: An Application of Ocular Tracking Technology”:

“Overwhelmingly (95.1%), participants first look at the picture of the home. After focusing on the photos, participants next turn to the quantitative property description section where the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc., are displayed.

Finally, the real estate agent’s open remarks section is viewed. Very little emphasis is placed on this section. In fact, over 40% of all participants (20% of homebuyers; 62% of students) do not even look at the real estate agent remarks section when viewing the first page of the home tour.

In our experiment, participants comply by viewing the remainder of the home, but in an actual setting, one has to wonder if the agent remarks would ever get read if the home searcher does not like the initial photo of the home.

Professional photos = higher sale price

In a study by Redfin,

“… 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.

The data also showed that listings with nicer photos get more online attention.”

House photo benefits

Agents say photography brings more buyers and a higher sale price

One real estate photography company in Australia surveyed 600 Australian real estate agents about how they market properties, and 99% said nothing beats good photography. They also said that great photography:

  • attracts more buyers (89%)
  • increases enquiries (79%)
  • increased clicks to their online listings (68%)
  • secure a higher selling price (52%)

And these are survey results from real estate agents who do the hard yards every single day, and would only continue using professional real estate photography if it was working for them.

According to Jacky Teplitzky, executive vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York:

“Good photos will grab people’s attention and help you sell a home. Bad pictures will absolutely give you trouble, because you won’t have any calls on it, and nobody will come to see it.”


Homeowners say the photos helped them buy their current home

Here’s another study of house hunters, where 25% said that online real estate photography led to them buying their current home:

Second only to price, quality real estate photography is the most important part of selling a home. It has never been more important to portray property in a visually aesthetic light that serves to promote its best assets. Capturing the essence of a home is not an easy task, but those who do so correctly may be rewarded with a timely and profitable transaction.

According to Barbara Corcoran, professional photography is one of the 5 smartest things you can do when selling a home:

“If your home doesn’t look good online they’re not even going to bother coming to see it.”

But finally, this is really why real estate agents ought to be investing or at least recommending professional photography for all of their listings …

Great photography helps agents get more listings and higher commissions

Let’s be honest here – if you’re an agent it’s great that you can help your sellers achieve a higher sale price. That’s a win for them, and it’s a win for you, too, to see your clients succeed, and then go on to tell their friends how awesome you are.

But what about YOU?

Well, we’ve got good news for you, my friend – high quality real estate photography helps real estate agents get more listings. Think about it – a homeowner is looking at two different agents to sell their home – Agent 1 takes their own photos on their phone, and Agent 2 hires the best real estate photography in their city.

Which one is going to make the homes look better, so much so that buyers (and the sellers) go “Wow!”? Obviously it’s going to be Agent 2 who hires the pro.

So which agent do you think the sellers would rather sell with – the agent that makes them go “Wow!”, or the one that makes them go, “Is that a reflection of the agent in the bathroom mirror?”

It’s not a tough decision for them, is it.

High quality professional real estate photography also helps agents make higher commissions. One study looked at the amount real estate agents make on their commission:

Real estate agents who use professional photography make double the average GCI  (Gross Commission Income) compared to agents who don’t.

Those agents who used professional photography on a consistent basis made $8,683 in GCI per transaction on average.  The agents who did not use professional photography made less than half that amount, or $4,292 in GCI on average per transaction.   Consider how the difference multiplies with the impact of quality photography on an agent’s long-term income.

“You’ve got to invest some money if you want to do real estate right.”

Finally, if you’re not yet convinced that you need to hire a pro, have a listen to these here fightin’ words from North Carolina real estate agent Leigh Brown:

(Professional photography is) one of the services that ought to be provided to all consumer listings, regardless of price point … Some of you may have forgotten that you are handling the consumer’s largest financial instrument, or one of their largest financial instruments, and so when you cut corners on things like professional photography you’re killin’ us all, man. You’re like, killing me slowly with a blunt fork stuck in my eyeball. …

You’ve got to invest some money if you want to do real estate right. Consumers deserve it. You’re calling yourself a professional realtor, and I think it’s a professional standard we should all be holding up.



How do you find a great real estate photographer?

Have a look at the list of photographers available here at