In our series of reports on The Real Estate Scientist we bring you data driven, no-nonsense answers to help you untangle the snarl of real estate advice you commonly encounter when trying to buy or sell a home. We’ve sifted through piles of real estate data to answer the following question: What is the true benefit of listing your home with professional quality photos?
Conventional wisdom would tell you that homes sell better when they have listing photos that were taken by a professional photographer, like the photo on the left.
Never ones to be satisfied with conventional wisdom, we turned to the numbers to answer the question at the top of every seller’s mind when deciding how to market their home. Is it truly worth the money to pay for professional photography? At Redfin we believe in the power of professional photography. Every house that is listed with our brokerage is marketed with professional photos, and we pick up the tab. So, is it worth the dough?
It turns out that in most cases the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
As The Wall Street Journal reports today, “listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $934 and $116,076.” The graph clearly shows that you are likely to receive thousands more if you list your home using DSLR photography than if you used a simple point-n-shoot camera to take the photos yourself.
Since the price of a DSLR camera (anywhere from $500 to $1,000+) is generally out of the price range of your average hobbyist, let us assume that photos shot with DSLR cameras are shot by professionals. Since professional photos could net you thousands more on the sale of your home, it stands to reason that spending the $100 – $500 on professional photos is a worthy investment of your marketing dollars.
Given this obvious upside, it is shocking that only 15.4% of homes in our data set were marketed using professional photography. The majority of listings, 80.9%, were photographed using point-n-shoot photography, and still another 0.7% used just a camera phone. Let’s not mince words: If you are not using professional photography to market your home, you are not really marketing your home.
A few more interesting tidbits that came from our analyses:
Homes shot with a DSLR camera:
- Receive an average of 61% more views than their peers across all price tiers.
- Have a 47% higher asking price per square foot.
- Have an increased likelihood of selling for homes priced above $300,000.
- Stay on the market an average of 10 days longer across all price tiers.
Homes with professional photographs get more page views and ultimately sell for a higher price, but they surprisingly take slightly longer to sell.