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20 Seconds to Like What They See, or They Won't Buy - The Importance of Real Estate Photography

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

Study Reveals the Importance of Good Real Estate Photography

The importance of the first photo seen by buyers viewing online listings is a vital selling point that can make or break a sale according to a study by Professor Seiler on the Ocular Tracking. What this study reveals is the importance of good real estate photography and it is essential to selling fast.

20 Seconds is All You Get

Researchers found that more than 95% of viewers viewed the first photo for a total of 20 seconds. They did this by tracking eye movements. After the 20 seconds, their eyes drifted to other parts of the screen.

“Without an eye-catching photo, the battle is lost before it begins,” Prof. Seiler says. “You have to grab people’s attention within two seconds. Do it the way a billboard does.”

-Michael Seiler, Founder/Director of the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University at Norfolk, Va.

This means the first photo has 20 seconds to catch the attention of the buyer. Do not let that discourage you, this is where the opportunity opens up for agents who invest in high-quality photography. The buyer's first exposure to a home is on the internet and they will search through many listings and the best way to catch their eyes is by giving them high-quality shots that stand out.

Real Estate Photography is an excellent investment.

The study also explains they will only 60% of viewers who click will actually read the property description. That is more than half that will only look through the photos. The need for high-quality photos is even more important knowing it might be the only thing a buyer will invest their time into.

Phone Camera vs Professional Camera Shot

Phone Photographer

A dramatic difference between the amateur phone photo and the professional photographer shot is impressively distinct. From the angle of the photo capturing the entirety of the room to the superior contrast of the color of the room. Hiring a professional photographer offers numerous benefits that help you market your brand effectively to potential clients. A pro’s expertise in photo composition and editing produces high-quality photos that help you beat the competition, especially in competitive list price brackets. Hiring an experienced photographer saves both time and money and is a necessity for any successful real estate professional.

Professional photography is superior to amateur phone photos in several ways:

Technical Superiority

-The equipment used to take listing photos can mean the difference between good and bad real estate photography. While smartphones offer both convenience and web connectivity, they can’t produce the same high-quality photos as a traditional professional camera.

Professional Photo Editing

-After taking the pictures, the editor will choose the best photos and begin editing them which requires the knowledge of professional photo editing software. Even the most skilled photographer uses an editor to enhance their pictures to ensure that all of the elements of the home look their best. Some of these include:

  • Color correction: Home listing photos must be edited to ensure color accuracy.

  • Perspective and distortion correction: During the editing process, your listing photos will also be corrected so that they appear clear and straight.

  • Twilight conversion: Professional editors can also add special effects during the editing process that enhance the home’s appearance. The twilight conversion effect creates a lovely day sky above.

Saved Time and Effort

-Photographing each room in a home takes a significant amount of effort and attention to detail, not to mention the time that could be spent on tasks that help grow your business. Hiring a professional photographer who focuses on taking high-quality real estate photos will save you several hours or even days of work.

Other benefits of hiring a professional real estate photographer include:

  • Quick turn around time

  • Not having to be present at the listing location during the photoshoot

  • Professional photos that can be easily downloaded for immediate use


In the real estate market, most prospective home buyers start their search online. Research shows that it is vital for buyers to like the first photo they see of a property listing because you only have 20 seconds to capture their attention. This means the quality of your listing photos is vital. Attractive professional images receive more clicks, help grab the attention of the most qualified buyers, and compel them to schedule a showing. You can make the most of that opportunity by investing in high-quality real estate photography and sell faster than with amateur images.

Do not miss out on fast 24-hour photo turn around and invest in Creative Endeavors' Real Estate Photography. We offer easy online booking!


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