Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shopping for and Selling Homes Online

In today’s real estate market more people use the internet to shop for homes and in turn sellers have embraced the medium as the primary vehicle for advertising their homes. Buyers like to see lots of photos, which as we all know tell a thousand words. Better still, high definition video can bring the buyer right into the home.

For buyers, the more photos they can see and video they can watch, all the better. This creates a challenge for sellers to provide excellent photos and video which depict the true nature of the home. Poor photos and video are to be avoided. Care should be taken to provide proper lighting and images free from blurring.

The images the seller provides to market their home should give the potential buyer a true and accurate depiction of the property while matching the written description in order to attract the buyer to visit the home. Once there to see it in person, there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises, like a room that was made to look larger than it is.

Use the best equipment possible. It is better to use a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera than a point and shoot camera. A wide angle lens produces a better shot and soft lighting is better than harsh lighting. To get a distortion free photo, use a tripod or monopod to steady the shot.

Video is fantastic, but it isn’t always possible to produce good video, especially when size is a factor. Some smaller homes can’t always be videoed effectively. Again a wide angle lens is a must, but don’t use video which only shows partial views. Seeing half of the room doesn’t help anyone! Using photos with video editing software can produce a “video like” production which may be a better option if your video camcorder cannot adequately capture the rooms.  

Combining the internet, photos, video, QR codes and mobile websites may make printed brochures a thing of the past. Today, if a listed property has a web brochure available online, a buyer can use their smartphone to scan a QR code or enter the property address in a web browser search and see the online property brochure along with all of the photos and or video right from the comfort of their car or home.

Charles Kraus, GRI Associate Broker – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Annapolis, MD

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