Real Estate Sellers & Professional Photos – Do they really make a difference?

© Rick Bethem Photography

So you have a Naples seller that says he wants to sell and a real estate agent that is chompin-at-the-bit for a sale.  Yet, the agent brings along a point & shoot camera and considers that to be sufficient.  Or you have the lazy agent that doesn’t want to “bother” to do either and the property sits for eons before it gets a showing, leaving them scratching their heads.  Now folks, this has to be the simplest form of logic:  How can you expect tp sell a property without any photos?  Does it make sense that with 91% of today’s buyers starting their property search on the internet it would perhaps be a good idea to show them the property rather than putting the burden on the buyer to use their imagination or worse, ESP, to imagine what this glorious property looks like that you’ve so richly described in the remarks?  I’ve never been able to understand it but the practice continues and that is for every price point out there, not just the lower end.  That is why it is imperative for a seller to demand the real estate agent hires a professional photographer.  The Wall Street Journal had some pretty interesting stats on the difference in salability between those properties over $300,000 that sold with professional photographs vs. point & shoot photos http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2010/10/04/in-real-estate-a-picture-is-worth-1000-or-more/ (stats provided by Redfin Corp).  Now, I have to admit I’m a bit biased since my business partner (and husband) Rick Bethem is a professional photographer.  With 30 years of experience (and owning a photo studio for 20 yrs) he launched his own real estate/architectural photography business last year http://www.rickbethem.com/residential/residential.html and the Naples Realtors® are keeping him very busy.  Don’t be misled that he’s only photographing higher end, although it is a sufficient portion of his clientele, there are many Realtors® that understand the importance of hiring a professional for their listings, no matter what the listing price is, specifically under $1m.  After all, a seller has chosen to hire a professional real estate agent for their needs, and there’s no reason why the lower end properties shouldn’t be represented in the best possible light (ok, pun intended) as well.  The WSJ reports:

Not surprisingly, listings with better photos command higher asking prices: If you believe your home is worth the investment of good photography, you’ll probably ask more money for it. The surprising part is that the tactic works. At the closing table, listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $934 and $116,076–as measured by the difference between asking and final price–over listings using photos from point-and-click cameras. One exception: The low end of the market: Listings priced below $300,000 were less likely to sell with nicer photos, possibly reflecting unrealistic expectations on the sellers behalf. At the low-end, price cuts would seem to be more important than photography.

If the seller wants to sell, it’s the job of their professional real estate agent to convince them the importance of showcasing their property to the world in the best possible light (sorry guys, I just had to do it again!) and that would be to hire a professional photographer.  For further information or any questions on Naples real estate please contact Ruth Bethem at Ruth@RuthBethem.com or direct at 239-777-7007 or toll free 877-777-7545.

Swamp walks through the Everglades

Everglades Swamp Walk

Well, I must admit that I’ve never taken this walk, just can’t seem to get the “kahoonas” needed to walk waist deep in murky water. I only go where I can see my feet, just ask Rick. Picture it, Bermuda, 1983, in gorgeous aqua clear water, except for a few sea oats that clung to the bottom, I shamelessly had him carry me over it. So, you can see my resistance to the swamp walk. However, with that being said, if you don’t have any hang-ups like I do, then this is the muck about for you. I have been out to Clyde Butcher’s Gallery and have done the tour of the grounds and darkroom (no fear of the dark here, no sir) which I highly recommend. As Rick and I processed many of our photos for our photography business in Virginia for endless hours, usually nothing bigger than an 11×14, I was completely in awe when I saw the sizes of their developer trays and fixer trays for their large format prints. Impressive! I’m including this information from a friend of mine at the Chamber of Commerce in Naples in hopes you’ll take advantage of this wonderful opportunity we have in our backyard.

From Clyde Butcher:

Our Swamp Walks continue Every Saturday thru March: We have had several requests from those of you that could make our two annual swmap walks, Labor Day Weekend and Presidents Weekend. We will now be offering swamp walks every Saturday thru March or you can schedule a private swamp walk Wed-Friday. Donna Glann-Smyth is a Master Naturalist, she is now working for us at Big Cypress Gallery, she will be your guide.
Big Cypress Gallery ~ SWAMP WALKS
We are currently excepting reservations for Saturday walks
10:00 and 2:00 thru March
Space is very limited

questions email bcg@clydebutcher.com or call (239) 695-2428