We photograph a lot of houses for a variety of real estate agents, companies and rental property owners. Our real estate photography takes us to all areas around the region from Chicago and neighboring suburbs, to homes in Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana. We even photograph apartment complexes throughout the state from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis.

One recent lake house which is marketed on Air B&B for rent reminded us of the importance of staging a home for photographs. This home owner went all out to tell the story of what it would be like to rent her lovely lake house located in Valparaiso, Indiana. The photos of this home are sprinkled throughout this article to show you how a little imagination and time, with little expense, can enhance your real estate photos turning them into marketing images, not just photos.

One common denominator is that the homes and/or apartment homes that are “staged” always produce better looking marketing photographs. And let’s be honest, the only use for the photos are to get interested parties to come in person to actually see the home/property. And with todays online shopping craze, potential buyers don’t want to waste time looking at houses that don’t interest them quickly when reviewing listings.

Staging is a tactic that more and more homeowners are starting to take either on their own accord or through the recommendation of a REALTOR® – and it’s proving to be effective.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homes that are staged are selling faster and at higher prices than those that are not staged.

“REALTORS®  know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor®  from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

According to the report, nearly two-thirds of sellers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market. Sixteen percent of sellers’ agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home’s time on the market.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 40 percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online.

The importance of having really great photos that ‘tell a story’ of the property have never been more important. As humans, we buy with our eyes first! If practicality was our most important factor, wouldn’t we all be driving Volvo’s (one of the safest cars on the road)! The days of sitting in a car driving around from property to property with a real estate agent are becoming less and less frequent as a way to spot the perfect house. Online viewing is the first thing potential buyers do to see what they want to view in person. This happens fairly quickly, so unless you have great imagery that “pops”, you might not entice a buyer to stop by in person.

Listed in this link: 7 Pro Tips To Help Your Home Sell Faster, For More Money, by Vanessa McGrady in a Forbes article are some great tips on how you can stage a home for showing or most importantly for the photographer to capture great marketing imagery. And yes, we wrote “the photographer”. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars here, and in some cases, millions of dollars. The marketing photography for your home needs to be done properly, be well lit, and professionally edited to showcase your property. A cell phone camera just won’t do the trick here! Have your agent use a pro shooter for great imagery that SELLS!  Then you can just sit back and have a glass of lemonade! -Rick Bella for Bella Photography

All photos by Rick Bella for Bella Photography. Email us for info at rick@bellaphotographs.com