Endless Summer

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Summertime is beloved for a reason. Landscapes are lush, and homes are more attractive.

Owners contemplating selling later this year, or the recognized start of the “spring” selling season – a misnomer since that’s the weekend after the Super Bowl – should capture summer’s glory with photos, say experts.

Here, some collective wisdom from agents on summer photos to liven up marketing during barren winter months.

1. Ask for professional help.

It’s not too early for serious sellers to select a good listing agent, says Maura Allard, agent with Century 21 North East, Beverly, Mass. “During the interview process, ask if [the agent] could arrange to have professional photos taken of the exterior for later in the year,” suggests Allard.

Taking shots with your smart phone “won’t be as good as using a professional camera,” adds Jackie Padilla of ERA Dawson Bradford Realtors, Bangor, Maine.

If you’re not talking to agents, try to find a camera, she suggests.

While pictures snapped with a phone likely can’t be used in a brochure, Padilla says they may work for social media postings or slide shows in the online listing.

2. Make a sincere first impression.

“The curb appeal photo is often the first [in online listings],” says Michael Seiler, a College of William & Mary professor who’s researched the influence of listings. “If they don’t like this picture, they move on in their search quickly.”

But a brand new listing needs a current photo in the first slot, maintains Linda Feinstein, RE/MAX Signature Homes, Hinsdale, Ill. Otherwise, it “could give a buyer the false impression that the house has been on the market since last summer.”

3. Give buyers the full picture.

If a deck or patio serves as another room, that could influence buyers who increasingly value outdoor living, says Padilla. And, if you have a garden, photos of where flowers are will help the new owners fill-in new plantings.

Beside online listings and brochures, placing photos near windows help buyers envision their summer view, she concludes.

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