First there was food porn and now there is real estate porn. Who doesn't love perving on online real estate listings?
Real estate photography is the first impression a buyer has of your home. And first impressions are lasting.
Ask yourself: How many times have you crossed a property off your weekend inspection list because the photos were amateur, dark and unappealing?
So when it comes to selling, good real estate photography is the reason buyers turns up to inspections, and you need as many feet through the door to get a good sale price.
But good real estate photography is its own art form, Brad Filliponi, director of real estate photography agency, BoxBrownie, told news.com.au, and it has its own complexities you need to consider.
This is how you can get your home photo-ready and ensure your photos are not just going to get people turning up to inspections, but get them to make an offer.
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Awful photos have the potential to dissuade buyers from turning up to an inspection, but misleading photos can have a far worse effect. If a home looks completely different in its listing than it does in real life, you are going to leave a longer lasting negative impact on a buyer.
Rushing around on a Saturday and trying to get to eight inspections all scheduled for 10am is rough, but it is even worse when once of those inspections turns out to be a complete waste of time.
Yes, you want your photos to look good, but you also don't want them to look too good.
"Definitely don't remove something you really shouldn't, for example power lines," Filliponi told news.com.au. "You also shouldn't make rooms look bigger than they actually are, it is really misleading for buyers."
The line between showing your property through its best lens and being misleading can be fine, admits Filliponi, however, it should always look realistic.
"Our job is to fit the whole room in. So you want to show what is there and sometimes to do that you need to go that little bit wider ... We are employed to photograph our subject in its best possible light," he said.
"So sometimes photos can look really good ... but I try and shoot everything personally as I see it."
WHAT TO INCLUDE AND WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE
Always, always try and include a floorplan, Filliponi stressed. It makes it real.
"How many properties are most buyers looking at online or visiting, it gets quite confusing. If they see a floorplan they can visualise the layout and it will make your property stand out. A buyer can also visually place their furniture in it to see if it will fit. They can start planning," he told news.com.au.
"If you look at every premium listing out there, they do include a floor plan. Our service is getting really good coverage worldwide with floor plans and everyone is really starting to see the benefits. We want to make is standard with every listing."
Aerial shots are another unique way to make your real estate photography stand out and make your property more real to buyers.
"Aerial photos are so important. They show everything in the one angle and you can really show off hot spots in the area or the location. If your home is two blocks from the beach, you can show it in that one photo," Filliponi said.
"People are also setting up aerial photos from cities. We drop in the address of the property they are marketing and point out the local school, the CBD, etc. We can put aerial drop pins so buyers can visualise it. A picture tells a thousand words, as they say."
Sometimes depersonalising your photos is better so it can cater to more of the market.
Queensland-based real estate agent Mark McGill from Amber Werchon Property said drone technology has added thousands to his sale prices.
"The last property we did with drone photography ... sold for $35,000 above reserve after attracting 12 bidders to the auction. The location was a key selling point and it was the main image used on all of the marketing," Mr McGill said.
McGill, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, said showcasing properties from an aerial perspective in a coastal beachside location is "an absolute must".
In regards to what you should avoid when it comes to real estate photography, it probably isn't best to include lifestyle shots unless it suits the marketing of the property.
"I have shot a lot of lifestyle shots for real estate - from rural shots with people riding horses or couples in spa baths in penthouse suites. But it only works when the property is selling on lifestyle. It isn't so effective if you are just shooting an apartment, for example.
"Sometimes depersonalising your photos is better so it can cater to more of the market."
When preparing your home for your real estate photographers, live by the mantra "less is more". This not only depersonalises the home but also maximises space.
Items to get rid of in the sale process include family photos, memorabilia, books and DVDs, animal bedding and toys, floor mats, and rugs.
The same goes for outside with cars, garden hoses, rubbish bins, bicycles and washing to be removed. The real estate sign should also be taken down temporarily.
Switching all lights on and all fans off inside the house will also ensure photos are warm and clean.
"Looking good is being good and we can Photoshop photos so you look good online but nothing beats real life and getting your house prepared properly," Filliponi told news.com.au.