VirtualTourCafe - Virtual Tours, e-Flyers and YouTube-Style Video: Will The REAL House Please Stand Up...

Will The REAL House Please Stand Up...

Is photo enhancement acceptable when listing a home?  Are the photos you take of your listing a true and accurate representation of the house?  Is it okay to use real estate photo enhancement services, or even virtual staging (we will leave that for another day)?

So let's take a look at what is or is not real...

I have heard the argument that if you were on a dating site that you would not want to see a picture that misrepresents the persons looks, age, etc., so much that when you meet in person, you look around wondering where the person from the ad is hiding...  Were they not able to make it and sent you instead?  I'm sorry, who are you?

But what about the person who puts on a little makeup, some mascara, maybe even a litte hair color for the guys and spandex... for either one!  Is that misleading or just presenting yourself in the best light? Even male sports figures are using mascara and blush.  Is that misrepresenting?

I think the same can be found in real estate photo enhancement.  There are those people and services that put a little makeup on, and then there are those that just misrepresent the home in a way that causes buyers to go running for the nearest exit, and possibly another agent!

Okay, so speaking of photos.  After photographing over 1000 homes myself, writing two best-selling books about photography on Amazon and running a national company with professional photographers as well as do-it-yourself clients who take their own pictures, I have learned a lot about real estate photography and how cameras work.  You could take five people with five different cameras on five different days and end up with dozens of variations of pictures.  Some would be lighter, some darker, some yellow, some showing a red couch and some showing the same couch or wall as brown.  The camera and lens see things in different ways, and when you throw in lighting, well all bets are off.  No two pictures are going to look the same.

So which picture truly represents the actual colors and lighting of the house?  Let's take a look at a photo taken by an agent.  We will call this the 'Before' picture...

Before Photo

Now let's take a look at the same picture 'After' photo enhancement:
After Photo Enhancement


Which photo do you think shows the true color and lighting of the home?  Are we misrepresenting the house or simply 'fixing' the photo to show the REAL home in the best light?

And how about the time you are rushing to get the house listed but you have a cloudy day?  Is it misrepresenting the house to show it in a better light, on a sunny day with a nice blue sky and to bring out the color and lighting of house?

Cloudy Day Photo


And here is how we think the house would look if we had time to photograph on a nicer day:

Sunny Day Photo Enhanced


So I ask... will the REAL house please stand up?  Which photos do you think best represent the house and the seller without misleading?

Want to know more about photo enhancement services that are "REAL" and not misleading?  You can learn more at RealEZPhotoFix

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your comments.


Comment balloon 6 commentsTim Denbo • September 26 2017 09:26PM


Good article!  I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of professional photos.  When it comes to Albuquerque Real Estate, we always educate our clients on the need for professional, high qulaity phots.  It can certainly affect not only DOM, but also can ultimately determine whether or not a person's home sells.  

Posted by Brian Ferns, Albuquerque real estate specialist (Adobe Del Sol Property Solutions, LLC and REAL Broker, LLC) almost 2 years ago

Thank you for your comments Brian!  Yes, I agree and see the same.  We want to be able to offer professional photography where appropriate and also help those that take their own photos look more professional by fixing or correcting their pictures so they look more professional with proper lighting, straightening, white-balance, etc.  This is why we are launching our new RealEZPhotoFix services.  Thanks again and make it a great week!

Posted by Tim Denbo, Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe (VirtualTourCafe, LLC) almost 2 years ago

Some mild brightening and tweeking of a photo is not bad as long as it doesn't falsify the true ness of the real picture.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 2 years ago

Thank you for your comment William.  Yes, I agree.  The same is true with HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.  It can be used to completely distort an image to look "surreal" or it can be used to enhance a photo to look the best possible within a realistic range.  We do the same with our enhancements and since we work closely with the MLS's and Associations, we never remove power lines, power poles, cover cracks in walls, or anything else that would be misleading or have a material affect on the house.  Thanks again and make it a great week!

Posted by Tim Denbo, Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe (VirtualTourCafe, LLC) almost 2 years ago

My Son is a Real Estate Photographer , Tim - he showed me some some photographs of a beige carpet where he removed lots of stains from the carpet.  He didn't want to do it, because it really misrepresented the home, but the owner was a Real Estate Broker, and required him to do it.  I can just imagine how upset folks were when they visited the home.

Posted by Raymond Denton, Shady Canyon Specialist (Homesmart / Evergreen Realty) almost 2 years ago

Yes, I agree Raymond!  We don't do carpet cleaning... :)

Thank you for your comments!  Make it a great week!

Posted by Tim Denbo, Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe (VirtualTourCafe, LLC) almost 2 years ago

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