Now more than ever, making a stellar first impression with your online home listing is key, and any Realtor worth his or her commission will tell you that. Which is why, in 2017, I’m amazed that I still see cardinal listing sins all over the Middle Tennessee MLS.
To start off, I have to focus on the biggest, most consistent mistakes: photos. A picture’s worth a thousand words, and way too often, I see Nashville home listings that mostly say “Ugh” (repeat 999 more times).
In a hot real estate market like Nashville’s, you can sometimes get away with a few more mishaps and still make a quick sale. But that’s more the case with lower-budget homes, bargains and fixer-uppers. With mid/higher-budget homes that draw picky buyers, being on your game is as important as ever.
So to end up with a Nashville MLS listing that really delivers, here are the photo mistakes I’d encourage you to steer clear of:
Going the DIY Route
Yes, we all have a pretty great digital camera in our back pocket. But unless you’re a serious iPhone photography pro, you’re not going to come up with photos that effectively accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives in your home. By going the DIY route, you’re not saving yourself any money — more likely, you’re leading your listing to languish on the MLS, and costing yourself more in time and lost buyers.
Every time I see a fish-eye-lens photo in a Nashville home listing, I facepalm myself dizzy. A home listing is definitely not the place to get weird — it distracts from the space itself, and that’s quite literally the opposite of what you want to do. You want clean, well-lit shots, some good wide-angle images that get across the full space, some key detail images where it counts. Get crazy on Instagram. Be clean and clear on the MLS.
Shooting interiors at night
If you have great landscape lighting, I love a good exterior night shot. But natural light is your best friend when it comes to home photography (and most photography, really), so don’t stick yourself with an interior night shoot.
Even the best professional photographers will have to really work to effectively showcase your space with artificial light. More likely than not, you’ll end up with murkier photos that don’t wow, and unwowed buyers might click past your home.
Not clearing clutter before the photo shoot
This is almost mind-bogglingly prevalent — the MLS listing photos with stacks of papers on tables, boxes piled in the bedroom corner, kids’ toys lining the walls of the living room. Most Nashville home sellers know to mega-clean before showings, so how do we fail so often before the home gets its close-up?
I can’t encourage this enough: Get everything picture-perfect before the photographer shows up. Every surface should be clean and clear, except for decor. Every room should be decluttered and staged. Pretend its your house’s wedding day. Everything in its right place.
Letting your pets make a cameo
Another big one: If you’ve read our blog before, you probably know that I’m a huge pet lover. But clear your furry family members out before the first shutter snap. You might think a shot of the master bedroom with your fluffy buddy curled up on the carpet is funny and cute, but plenty of buyers will immediately think “pet damage,” and move on to the next listing.
I think every home is better with a pet in it. Home photos, on the other hand: always better without.
by TJ AndersonIf you’re about to embark on your first home-buying ex
"T.J. is a top notch sales and service professional. I have bought homes in multiple states and dealt with a dozen real-tors and T.J. is the best of the bunch. I need three things from my real-tor: local knowledge, responsiveness, and honesty. T.J. is off the chart in all three areas. I follow his real-estate blog and regularly bounce market questions off of him. T.J. responded quickly and professionally to each and every question my wife and I sent his way. Ultimately T.J. talked my wife and I out of a not so good deal and advised us to wait a while before purchasing a second home (due to our situation not the market). I would not hesitate to recommend T.J. to anyone interested in Nashville real-estate. Form a first time home buyer to someone just new to the area you can't go wrong with this guy!"