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9 Real Estate Photo Errors to Avoid

Let's face it: Every listing isn't going to be a gorgeous manor on a picturesque hillside.

That's where a good feature real estate photo can make a big difference. By following a few basic tips, you can enhance any home's strong suits and minimize weaknesses.

Make sure to avoid the following errors with your feature listing photos:

Error 1: The hidden house

Hidden house in a photo

Don’t leave your clients confused about what’s for sale in your listing. Your feature listing photo should be taken from the front of the home, ideally without obstruction. You can certainly use pictures of outbuildings in your listing, but your feature photo should highlight the home itself.

Error 2: The artsy photo

Artsy photo doesn't show home

Buyers want to know what a house truly looks like, so save your Photoshop skills for a photo contest. Don’t “enhance” your photos or experiment with fancy photo techniques. Keep your real estate photos original.

Error 3: Photo taken too close

Close up on house won't sell

This appears to be a beautiful home, but this listing photo will leave clients puzzled. Is it two stories? Three? Is there a garage? What kind of roof does it have? Don't force your clients to guess what the rest of the house looks like. Make sure your feature photo shows the entire exterior of the home.

Error 4: Photo taken from too far back

Far away house in picture

Your feature photo needs to highlight the house itself and not the surrounding hillside. Make sure you’re standing close enough to fill the entire frame with the house. Landscape shots are great but should be saved for the “additional photos” section.

Error 5: Poor photo quality

Blurry photograph of a house

Blurry or hazy photos are an obvious no-no. Upgrade to a better camera if you're constantly having problems with photo quality. Don’t embarrass yourself and put your client at risk by using sloppy photos.

Error 6: Poor angle

Lopsided house because of a bad angle

From this angle, the house looks lopsided, the lot looks tiny (due to the neighboring house being included in the picture), and the cars in the photo are distracting. By taking a picture head-on, the photographer could eliminate the visual "noise" of the photo. Experiment with angles, and strive for a clean, uncluttered photo.

Error 7: Poor editing

Rough looking picture of a house

Hopefully you’ll never have to list a home in this condition. When dealing with any fixer-upper, do some strategic straightening. Ask the seller to remove debris and tidy up the front landscaping. Put the best face possible on every home.

Error 8: Poor lighting

Dark house due to poor lighting

A beautiful house can appear foreboding or abandoned if taken in low light. You may need to experiment with different times of day, but you’ll generally get the best results with the sun behind you (mid-morning or mid-afternoon, depending on location).

Error 9: Wrong season

Winter house should be snow free

Most houses don’t look their best behind snow drifts and bare trees. Do your best to photograph on a snow-free day, or ask the sellers for a great picture of the house from the spring or summer.

Photos courtesy of metal213, JackPeasePhotography, enbris, blkhawk68, elisa_piper, Hugo90,, PhillipC, and Benedicte Jourdier

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