How to Take First-Rate Listing Photos to Attract Top-Quality Buyers

The listing images for your home can have a strong impact on selling the property. It may seem like such a small detail, but good photos can inspire buyers far more than the best property descriptions. Quality photos establish a level of trust, all but proving the elegance and quality of your home. They show that you’ll take extra measure to sell the home, emphasizing that you are a seller to work with.

Above all, good photos help sell the home by attracting more visits from top-quality buyers.

But good photos need to be done right. With a few extra steps, you can take images that help sell the home faster and (possibly) bring a higher price for your property!

Isn’t This Something My Real Estate Agent Should Handle?

Yes, technically the listing photos are, in most cases, the responsibility of the selling agent. But let’s face it, the best agents are busy, and while they are dedicated to selling your home, they may not spend as much time and energy on listing photos.

There is nothing keeping you from taking your own photos, and your agent may appreciate having this task handled for them. As the owner, you understand the best angles and features for the home, so you are clearly the best person to take the images.

How to Take the Perfect Listing Photos

Pick Up Inside and Out

The first step to taking fantastic photos is to declutter and pick up the home and the exterior. You don’t have to do a full cleaning, wiping every surface and scrubbing all the floors. But you do need to go through the home and the yard to pick up toys, clothes, equipment, and random objects that are often sitting throughout the house.

This will create the best platform for taking the perfect listing photo.

Tour Your House First – Without the Camera

Once your house is clean, you might think it’s time to start snapping photos. But hold on for a few minutes. Take a moment to walk through the house without the camera and look around for the most attractive features and angles.

Create a plan for snapping excellent photos and you’ll get the best possible results.

Taking exterior listing photos during the “magic hour” makes your house look elegant and attractive.

Take Exterior Photos During the “Magic Hours”

There is a term in photography and videography called “the magic hour.” This is the time of day when the sun is at the perfect angle for elegant, stunning photos. The magic hour is twilight, when the sun is sitting at an angle just above the horizon in the mornings and evenings, just after sunrise and just before sunset.

This angle of light creates the best photos, and it’s the time when you should snap your exterior shots.

Get a Welcoming Shot of the Front Door Slightly Open

You’re going to need an image of your front door. To make it more attractive and welcoming, take a photo with the door open about one-third of the way. This creates a pleasant welcoming sight that is more engaging and warm to potential buyers.

Highlight Views

People love views, and gorgeous scenery is virtually impossible to recreate, making your home one of the most unique on the market. Don’t hide that scenery. Show it off with your listing photos. The best way to show off a view is from the outside, such as a deck, but if you have to take the photo from inside, try to avoid harsh reflections from windows.

You should also have an image or two that doesn’t just show the view directly, but displays the area from where the view can be enjoyed. Any photo that displays the view itself, as well as the deck, living room, bedroom, or kitchen where the scenery is visible makes a great shot.

Show As Much of a Room as Possible in One Photo

Instead of taking multiple shots of a single room, do your best to include as much of the room as possible in one shot. This is usually best achieved by backing yourself into one corner and snapping the image from there. A wide shot helps the room look larger and more spacious.

Get a Bird’s Eye View of the Property

A photo from above shows the open spaces, layout, and scenery of the property, and these types of photos have become increasingly common thanks to drone technology. Make sure the photo is from an angle that shows the best aspects of the property and shows off any special features, such as a lake view. While you want the photo to be high, it should not be so high that you need to draw an arrow or outline the property being sold.

Focus on Key Features

Is there a feature in the house that is particularly unique or impressive? Perhaps you have a fireplace with a stone hearth, perhaps the backyard has a stunning pool. Perhaps there is an island in the kitchen that always attracts the eye.

If so, these special features need to be included as a major part of your listing photos.

Avoid Capturing Personalized Items

When preparing your house for showings, you are going to depersonalize the space. This simply means taking out items that are highly specific to you and you alone, such as family pictures or personal honors. People want to imagine their own lives in the house; that’s hard to do when you have photos someone else’s kids on the wall and items laying about that only the homeowner would use.

Depersonalize before taking pictures and you’ll have the best results.

Take a Night Shot of the Exterior

You should avoid having too many pictures at night. However, an image of the home’s exterior at night is a wonderful addition. Make sure the house is well lit with interior lights glowing through the windows for the best possible image. Turn on all (or most) exterior lights and you’ll have a stunning nighttime image of your home.

Above all, remember that the point of good images is not specifically to sell the home, but to attract the most potential buyers. Once you draw them in with good photos, you and your agent can focus on selling the home.

Dedicated Support for Your Next Purchase

If you are ready to sell your home and need a top-quality mortgage for your next purchase, let us help. We take a common-sense approach to mortgage underwriting, helping you find the right financing for a fantastic property!


“Chad and his entire team were over the top amazing, professional, and attentive throughout the entire home loan/buying process. I could not have asked for a better team to have on my side through what could be one of the most challenging and stressful processes one experiences. From the first conversation I had with Chad, I felt comfortable with him. He helped guide us through the process without ever once making us feel uneasy, unimportant, or uninformed. I never felt silly or stupid for asking the same questions over and over until I fully understood what we were getting into, or until something made total sense to me. The home loan world is fast paced, overwhelming, and confusing, and Chad and his team held our hands and helped us to feel comfortable and confident about our choices. He and his team were always there for us day or evenings, weekdays, or weekend and never made you feel like you were a bother if you had a burning question you had to get answered at 8pm Saturday night. I will use them again and again, and suggest them to any friend, family, or acquaintance. Seriously, they are rock stars. They work hard for you to get you into your dream home, we could not be happier with their hard work, dedication, and kindness.”

Thank you Chad and Team

Chad and his team have been a pleasure to work with. I’m a 3rd time home owner. Wish I had known Chad and team a lot sooner. He made my 3rd home purchase very easy. There were a lot of moving pieces and they handled with professionalism and care. Juliann was a pleasure to work with too. The whole team made it possible for us to move into our dream home. Thanks you Chad and Team!

Outstanding experience

I was referred to Chad by my Realtor for a purchase of a new house. The experience with Chad and the team (I mainly worked with Juliann) was nothing short of outstanding. From start to finish there were always quick to respond and when needed, notify me of any new documentation that was required. There were very helpful explaining to me the pros and cons of different financing options as well as some other loan related issues, such as termite clearance outside the purchase contact and septic tank certification process. Overall, very knowledgeable and processional team. Loan preapproval was done in a single day and loan documents were ready for signing in 21 days, which was 9 days ahead of schedule. That never happened to me before.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. It's my goal to keep you updated with the latest real estate mortgage news. I'm proud to provide you with 100% original and unique content. Subscribe now to get high quality real estate mortgage content and articles delivered directly to your inbox. Chad Baker is Regional Manager for Cross Country Mortgage. Chad is consistently recognized in the top 1% of mortgage originators in the United States 2011-2019. Got a question for Chad? Call (858) 353-8331 or submit your question online