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Market your home with photos that sell

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 12:06 p.m. CDT

By S.E. Slack

Out of utter need to contain costs, some homeowners are selling their homes without a professional real estate agent. The one element a homeowner should never pinch pennies on? Photography.

“Photos of your home are the first thing a prospective buyer sees,” said professional photographer Aidan MacKerracher. “The right photos will bring you buyers from the Hawaiian Islands. Offer the wrong ones out to buyers and your doorbell won’t ring at all.”

Bringing in buyers, of course, is the whole idea behind snapping eye-catching shots for your flyers and online ads. You’re not likely to get them with your camera phone, though.

Before you take any picture, be sure to de-clutter your home. If you’re snapping a shot of the living room, for example, buyers don’t want to see how many chairs can fit against the wall. They want to see a large, spacious room and imagine their own furniture placed in it.

Then borrow the best camera you can – preferably one that can be used with a tripod. The tripod will slow you down but that’s the point.

“With a tripod you can be more thoughtful about the images you’re composing,” he said. “And use a camera with a wide-angle lens, too.”

The wide angle, explains MacKerracher, helps capture more of the interior room. It can also help emphasize objects at the front of the room while still including sprawling backgrounds.

When taking photos indoors, flip on every light and remember to use a flash. Besides removing dark corners, the extra light helps the buyer notice details and the size of the room.

“Light a fire inside your fireplace if you have one,” said MacKerracher. “The glow brings warmth to the scene, which helps buyers feel a connection to the home.”

Get a few friends to look through all the shots and help you make a final selection. Then market like mad!

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