Selling guide

10 tips for taking great photos that will help sell the house

A few tips on how to catch the buyer's eye and help sell your home.

Great imagery is one of the most important aspects of marketing your property for sale, especially when you’re selling a house privately.

Excellent photos are a key part of the marketing strategy when selling your property. They help the house stand out to potential buyers online, and encourage them to come to open homes. 

While a good camera helps, you also need to think about the presentation of the property and choosing the right angles. Here's our advice.

Our 10 best photography tips to help you present your house in the best light:

1. Know your property’s key selling points

Is your home an entertainer’s dream, a romantic hideaway, a spacious family haven, a brilliant bachelor pad, or something else entirely? Starting your photo shoot with a clear idea of the story you want to tell will help you produce a coherent set of images.

2. Declutter and tidy

Before touching your camera, present your house as you would for an open home; clean, tidy and decluttered. Your unmade bed and dirty dishes won’t attract buyers, and a photograph of your lounge jam-packed full of knick-knacks and family photos will make it hard for buyers to imagine themselves living there.

3. Open the curtains and turn on the lights

A light, bright and airy room will look far more appealing than a dark, dank cave, so try to take your photos during the day. Remove the curtains if you have to. A tripod may be helpful for allowing longer exposure in a dark room.

4. Think big ... and wide but be honest

Choose the angle that will show a room or garden at its largest, and use a wide angle lens if you have one - but be careful not to distort the photograph by making items closer to the camera look larger than they are. Stand in the furthest possible corner of the room to get the widest angle.

5. Be wary of flash

If you’re using a flash, try to avoid reflections in mirrors or shiny furniture. No one needs to see you in your PJs.

6. Keep your camera level

A wonky photograph doesn’t look great, so check your framing carefully before you push the shutter!

7. Focus

Ensure the photographs are sharp and of high enough resolution to publish both online and in print.

8. Variety is the spice of life

Take plenty of photos from different angles, inside and outside. You won’t use them all, but they’ll give you plenty of options to choose from.

9. Take advantage of golden hour for exterior shots

A pro photography tip that anyone can adopt is using golden hour for exterior shots. Technically, there are two golden hours a day – the time shortly before sunrise, and the time just after sunset. No one likes getting up super early, so we’d recommend dusk as a great time to take photos looking back at a house with its lights on. We’d also recommend photographing at different times of the day to get a good range of shots.

10. Will your pet help or hinder?

A rule of thumb for photographers is not to work with animals… but if your pooch is a budding star, it could add great context to a property photo (just don’t place Fido in every photo!)

Bonus tip: Show friends and family your photos before putting them on Trade Me Property and if they give them the thumbs down, bite the bullet and hire a professional. Your home is probably your most valuable asset. Your home photos need to look top-notch to attract a large pool of buyers.

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