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They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This adage certainly rings true when it comes to real estate listings. According to the National Association of Realtors, photos are the most important factor for buyers viewing properties online. In fact, listings with professional photos tend to get up to 200% more attention than those without. Clearly, your listing photos can make or break a potential buyer's interest at first glance.
"I can't emphasize enough how critical those initial listing photos are," says real estate agent Megan Smith. "Often buyers will make split second judgements about properties just from the photos. If they aren't enticed by what they see, they likely won't take the time to dig any deeper."
Smith recommends investing in high-quality, professionally staged photos to make the best first impression possible. "Messy, dark, blurry photos littered with clutter just don't cut it anymore. Buyers expect to be wowed."
Fortunately, new AI photo enhancement tools are making it easier than ever for agents to showcase listings in the best possible light. With just a few clicks, services like Colossis can declutter rooms, change furnishings, and adjust lighting to create magazine-worthy shots.
"I had a listing that just wasn't generating much interest. The house had lovely features but the photos didn't do it justice. The rooms felt small and cramped. On a whim, I tried using Colossis to edit the photos. The difference was like night and day - suddenly the rooms appeared brighter, more spacious and inviting. We booked four showings within a week of updating the photos!"
While first impressions are critical, every single listing photo still needs to pop to capture and hold buyers' attention. Lackluster shots scattered throughout your listing can diminish that initial wow factor.
"I always tell my clients - treat every single photo like it's the first one a potential buyer will see," notes real estate photographer Chris Lee. "You need to highlight the property's shine in every image."
"I look at each room and think - what's the 'money shot' here?" explains Lee. "How can I showcase the space in a way that packs visual punch? Often it's by finding the right angle, perspective, lighting, props or even lenses."
Says real estate agent Jennifer Kent, "I'm not the best photographer so I used to struggle getting shots that really wowed buyers. Now with AI photo editing, I can take decent photos and turn them into something incredible at the click of a button. My last listing felt palatial and majestic after using Colossis - the enhanced photos really helped seal the deal."
Clutter be gone! Decluttering listings is one of the quickest ways to help them shine online. Yet clearing out rooms can be an overwhelming and tedious task for busy agents and homeowners. Fortunately, virtual decluttering through AI tools provides a fast, simple fix.
"Decluttering made a massive difference in how buyers responded to my listings," says real estate agent David Chen. "Before, my photos were a turnoff. Rooms looked messy, cramped and dated. Now they appear clean, open and welcoming."
Virtual decluttering is near effortless. Simply upload listing photos and let AI algorithms identify and remove clutter. Gone are the days of trying to manually clear countertops, hide stacks of paper or find places to stash unused equipment. AI handles it seamlessly.
For home sellers and stagers, virtual decluttering means avoiding the grueling process of clearing out rooms. AI handles the hard work for you. Simply leave items in place and let the algorithms make them disappear.
Home stager Sandra Dee tried this with a cluttered living room. "I didn't have to spend hours sorting, packing and removing things. The AI tool just...decluttered it for me. It was like magic."
Chen explains, "I used to have to practically beg sellers to tidy up. Now I don't mention it. I know if there's clutter, the AI tool will fix it fast."
Says Rivera, "My best advice is to always shoot the cluttered state of a home too. That way, if you forget to declutter, you still have decluttered options down the line thanks to the AI algorithms."
Homeowners wanting to sell their property fast know staging is critical. According to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell 88% quicker and for 20% more money. Yet furnishing vacant properties to create that sought-after "model home" look is a costly and labor-intensive process. This is where AI virtual staging provides game-changing solutions.
With just a few clicks, vacant rooms can be outfitted with realistic 3D furnishings tailored to enhance their unique features and layouts. Savvy agents are turning to these AI tools to virtually stage listings to perfection in minutes rather than days.
"I used to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours getting vacant homes staged," explains real estate agent Amy Hernandez. "Now I just upload photos of the empty rooms and let the AI algorithms do their magic. A few minutes later I have multiple furnished options to choose from."
Hernandez says virtual staging has been a total game changer for her business. "Before, I"d often lose listings from owners who didn"t want the hassle of staging. With AI, there"s zero hassle and listings look magazine-ready every time."
She"s also saved huge sums that previously went towards hiring stagers, purchasing furniture and accessories, transporting items and more. "Now I put that money towards more targeted advertising to promote my perfectly staged listings instead."
While virtual staging excels at furnishing vacant properties, it also helps spotlight fine features in already furnished spaces. Home stager Sandra Mills tried using it to elevate a listing she"d already staged.
"There was a really unique sunroom I wanted to showcase better. The virtual AI tool helped rearrange and incorporate some new furnishings that really maximized the light and views. It looked breathtaking and tested really well with buyers."
For filled but cluttered or sparsely furnished rooms, AI staging adds warmth. "I had a bedroom with just a bed and nightstand," explains Hernandez. "It felt cold and uninviting. The virtual styling added lamps, art, linens, a rug and more to make it feel cozy and livable."
Homeowners can also explore different furniture options risk-free before purchasing expensive pieces. "One client was deciding between a sectional or loveseat for her living room," says Mills. "We were able to mockup both options virtually before she committed to buying anything."
More elbow room, please! When it comes to real estate, buyers crave open, airy spaces above all. Listings that feel cramped and confined are likely to sour buyer interest faster than milk left out in the sun.
"Nine times out of ten, tight, closed-in spaces are the kiss of death for generating buyer buzz," warns real estate agent Sandra Mills. "I learned that lesson the hard way early in my career trying to sell a cute but cramped bungalow. I could barely get anyone to view it."
"One listing I had just wasn"t generating much interest," explains real estate agent Megan Smith. "The living space felt really closed off and cramped but the room dimensions were decent. On a whim, I tried using an AI photo editing tool to open it up."
Smith had the AI widen the room"s perspective, include more outdoor views and add mirrors. "It made a world of difference! Suddenly the space looked bright, modern and inviting. We booked five showings within days."
"Lighting is one of the most critical but overlooked details," says home stager Paulette Myers. "Get it right and your property will shine. Get it wrong and rooms will look unappealing, no matter how beautiful the features."
Photos using natural light often turn out best, as long as it's evenly distributed. "Be very purposeful about when and where you shoot," advises photographer Chris Lee. "Pay attention to how sunlight moves through the home at different times of day. The 'magic hours' of early morning or evening tend to produce a warm, welcoming glow."
For interiors, Lee suggests bouncing light off white surfaces like walls or reflectors to fill shadows and brighten rooms. "Proper fill lighting can make a space appear larger, airier and more inviting," she says.
AI editing tools give agents even more creative lighting options. "I brighten shadows or add virtual accent lighting to direct attention towards selling features like kitchen islands or seating areas," says Smith.
Camera angles make a difference! How you frame and orient shots can highlight a property"s most coveted features and give spaces an instant "wow" upgrade. "One of the quickest ways to elevate listing photos is by finding the optimal vantage points," explains real estate photographer Nina Locke. "The right angles make rooms appear more spacious, accentuate high end finishes and create visual drama."
Locke advises experimenting with wide angle shots to showcase sprawling rooms. "A wide perspective can make average sized spaces suddenly feel grand," she says. "High ceilings also look taller which buyers love." For smaller rooms, she sticks to narrower shots that don"t distort proportions.
Locke is careful to frame focal points attractively. "I"ll get low to shoot upwards at a gorgeous chandelier or tilt up towards architectural crown molding," she describes. "Leading lines in things like hardwood floors, subway tiles or hallway arches also guide the eye when shot at an angle."
Real estate agent David Chen prefers to approach rooms at oblique angles rather than head on. "Shooting at a slant reveals more of a space versus flat front-facing shots," he explains. "I also love using the rule of thirds - placing focal points off-center makes photos inherently more interesting."
Agent Megan Smith tries unconventional vantages like extreme close-ups. "An artful, abstract shot of just the kitchen backsplash tiles or a textured throw blanket keeps buyers intrigued when scrolling." She positions cameras low to get "puppy"s eye view" perspectives of spaces or high atop step ladders for overhead shots.
Smith also shoots out through doorways and windows. "I want to give buyers a peek into the next room and a feel for how spaces flow together." And she takes advantage of reflections. "A kitchen or bathroom mirror doubles visual impact and dimension in photos when shot at an angle that reflects the room."
Another trick is lead the eye by composing diagonal lines that direct attention towards standout details like fireplaces or panoramic views. "Guiding the viewer"s gaze subtly highlights the most envy-inducing features," Chen explains.
Curb appeal can single-handedly make or break a home"s sale. While stunning listing photos reel in online interest, it"s the real life first impression that closes deals and gets signatures on contracts.
"I can"t tell you how many times seemingly interested buyers pulled up to the curb and immediately drove away," laments real estate agent Amy Hernandez. "Now I make curb appeal a priority with every listing."
First impressions are formed in seconds, so optimal exterior shots should prominently feature and frame the home"s front facade. Photographing from multiple flattering angles spotlights architectural details from doorways and porches to dormer windows and rooflines.
"I try to highlight whatever gives a home unique character," says home stager Sandra Mills. That can mean a vibrant red front door, elegant stone finishes or striking landscape design.
Photographing both daytime and twilight enhances curb appeal. Shadowy evenings amplify exterior lighting while daylight captures foliage and property details. "I love the graduated golden hour glow on my brick and clapboard listings," says photographer Nina Locke.
While lighting and architecture anchor curb appeal, outdoor spaces should feel welcoming and accessible. Gardens, patios and walkways beckon buyers inside. "I stage exterior spaces with cozy seating areas, stylish planters and pots overflowing with colorful blooms," describes Mills.
If time or budget is tight, a few quick curb appeal fixes pack a punch. Power washing siding, trimming bushes and removing dying plants and debris can work wonders. A fresh coat of paint on the front door immediately modernizes.
While professional photography provides the best impression, Chen says smart phones get the job done too. "I use the camera timer and take shots from multiple flattering angles, then touch them up with editing apps," he explains.
For vacant homes, virtual staging offers curb appeal solutions. AI tools add customizable landscaping, outdoor furniture, porticos, decorative features and more. "I virtually stage the exterior of my listings to maximize that critical first impression," says Hernandez. "It really gets buyers excited to see inside."