Seasonal MLS Photographs? Yes. Holiday Décor? Not So Much.

As autumn passes through Bucks and Montgomery counties and winter arrives, Realtors and home owners need to evaluate their seasonal real estate photographs. Should you leave green, summer MLS photos posted on websites for buyers to view while trees shed their leaves or snow is falling? The answer is debatable, but there are clear benefits to updating photographs so the listing is reflective of the current season.

1. Highlight the Home, Not the Listing Age.  Home buyers and renters aren’t typically looking for real estate properties that others have overlooked or passed by; many days on the market can indicate a problem for prospects. We know in most cases, that is not true, but picky buyers may be hesitant. Updating photographs 2 or 3 times a year helps buyers focus on the home, rather than the listing age, and shows that the Realtor or owner is proactive.

2. Summer is Not the Only Flattering Season. Depending on the property, leaf-less winter trees and bushes can provide a better view of a home that is otherwise blocked by mature landscaping. Here is an example of a property that features a gorgeous tree filled lot, but the home itself is difficult to see.

Real Estate Photograph Bucks County

If this home was photographed in the winter, it would provide a better view of the structure, including the 2 car garage, and the expansive lawn layout.

3. Marketing Opportunities. If your real estate listing has been on the market through several seasons, with the same photographs, it may be a good time to test new photos. Other than the home description and price, photos are your only other option when it comes to updating the listing. Real estate images can make a big impact and don’t require a pricing compromise to get buyer attention. A seasonal update will not only make your listing current, the photos may appeal to a buyer that ignored it previously. Use seasonal changes as marketing opportunities.

Disclaimer! Seasonal photographs provide added benefits for your real estate properties but décor that is reflective of specific days should be avoided. Halloween in November or Christmas in February is not appealing. When updating photographs or shooting for the first time, be sure to remove decorations that limit the life span of the photographs. Seasonal décor is fine, but décor that is holiday oriented is problematic.

When should you plan your next seasonal shoot? Schedule photo shoots 2 times per year, spring/early summer and late fall/early winter to stay current, if you have not sold the property.  If including snow in your exterior shots makes you uneasy, you can also upload a summer photograph with a note explaining that this photograph shows how the home will look when the snow melts.

Keep in mind, no matter what time of the year, a professional real estate photographer can enhance the existing beauty of a listing and use seasonal elements to increase buyer interest.