Couple checking properties

Can You Search for Your Dream Home Virtually?

Considering that the COVID-19 virus is still on the loose, it’s no doubt safer to conduct your home searches from your computer. You can count on a virtual real estate brokerage company for assistance, anyway. But if you’re going to assess homes based on their photos alone, will it be possible to tell if the properties are good enough?

It seems that homebuyers find real estate photos reliable, though. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers rated pictures as the most used feature when looking for homes online. Listings with bad photos or no photos at all are more likely to be overlooked.

Hence, now that you’d be one of the homebuyers who will heavily rely on photos, too, you should know what to look for in a beautiful shot. Some of them could be the signs that you’ve found your dream home or a sign that you’re about to land yourself in a disaster.

What’s a Good Real Estate Photo?

When browsing home photos, have your agent with you, because they may be connected to the agent representing your seller. Chances are the seller’s agent helped them shoot their home, and if they hired a professional photographer, your agent might also know who that is. From there, they’ll be able to tell if the property was shot well.

A photo must be taken with a decent camera because it will present the home as close to reality as possible. Indeed, you won’t be able to tell if a house looks good if its shots are pixelated or dim.

You’ll most likely see staged home photos, and that’s fine because it shows off the space at its best. Seeing clothes on the bed and food mess on the kitchen will put you off. But if the area is staged, you can imagine yourself living there, because the present owner’s belongings are out of sight.

Natural light is also crucial. It lets you see the actual colors of the space, unlike camera flashes and other artificial lights that tend to alter hues and cast shadows.

Pay attention to the angles as well. The photographer should stand on a doorway to capture an entire room. But you should also see shots from other angles as well as close-ups.

Red Flags

Luxurious home interior with large sliding doors

1. Wide-Angle Lens

Professional photographers may use a wide-angle lens to capture an entire room from a doorway. But if each photo of the home was caught in such a lens, it could be misleading. They’ll fool you about the home’s actual size.

But specific wide-angle lenses don’t fool the eye. They don’t warp the photo so that it looks unnaturally wide. Instead, it just captures the whole expanse of a space without stretching anything.

2. Amateur Photos

Sellers may skip a professional photographer if they can capture photos of their home like an expert. You can tell if the seller is an amateur if the property’s images are dim, lopsided, and the glass surfaces reflect the person taking the photo. The angles would be off, too, only showing a fraction of a space and not its entirety.

3. Heavy Editing

Sellers likely tweak their photos a bit, but if you see an obvious filter or any other apparent alteration in the picture, look for other properties. It means that the seller isn’t very honest about the look of their space.

After your virtual home tours, you still have to visit at least one property, so don’t immediately assume that the best home is the one with the best photos. Have your agent guide you, and be safe as you physically tour your top home picks.

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