The Most Important Photo to Sell Your House

by Nick Molnar on February 19, 2009

Recently, I wrote about how most Realtors around South Bend don’t max out their chances of making a positive impression on home buyers based simply on the number of images they use to market the home (original article here). That’s bad enough, but the situation is even more dire when you look at the quality of the images.

Here are a few photos of homes for sale now in our mls:

Do They Make You Want to See More? Me Neither.

The front outside shot, looking at the home from the street, is the single most important image for selling a home. If you had to have just one good picture, this should be it. That’s because it is the only picture most people will see, at thumbnail size, and they will base their decision to spend more time on your house or to move to the next property on that photo. And in most cases they will do so in a fraction of a second. 

It can be difficult to get an enticing image of the face of some homes, but it is worth the effort. If this isn’t a good picture, the rest of your pictures probably won’t even be seen. Think how you search for a house for sale:

  1. You punch in criteria like price and number of bedrooms and get a list of results. 
  2. You click through them, pausing on the most interesting and attractive to see it on a map or see the rest of the photos. 
  3. Those that still look good upon this second look get flagged for a visit and further scrutiny.

If you’re front photo isn’t good, you lose the buyers before you even have a shot at them.  So you need a good lead photo.

You can’t take a picture better than the house, but you can take one that is worse. Look at these four photos of the same house, at roughly the size most people would see them online:


Can you guess which one sold the house? 

Photographs matter. Especially the front, outside photo. If you are selling a house by yourself, hire a photographer if you can’t take a high-qaulity photo. If you’re working with another Realtor, look at the images they are using and make sure they’d make you want to buy the house. If you want help selling your house from Realtors who thoughtfully and actively market your home, start here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dean February 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I’ll guess the second pic.


Nick Molnar February 20, 2009 at 10:14 am

In this case it was the fourth photo. A photo taken from a slight angle often stands out amongst the dozens of straight ahead “mug shot” pictures buyers see. Each house is different, for example this home has a large tree they obviously shot around, but you want a photo in which the house fills the entire frame and looks good at a quick glance. A blue sky in the background is a big help too, though none of the photos above have one.


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