More is more, at least when it comes to photography for a real estate listing.
Auburn University’s Justin Benefield was part of a research group that delved into “The Relationship between Property Price, Time-on-Market, and Photo Depictions in a Multiple Listing Service” back in 2011. Since then, the topic of real estate-related media has only grown hotter; Dr. Benefield’s research was recently cited by Sanette Tanaka in the January 10, 2013 Wall Street Journal article, “What a Picture’s Worth”.
Benefield’s research group concluded that more photography increased the sale price on a home, but the added sensory information also extended the time on market. Benefield’s co-author, Professor Ken H. Johnson of Florida International University explains, as excerpted from the WSJ:
“If I was selling, I would put every picture I could on the listing, at a ratio of four to five interior vs. one exterior,” says Prof. Johnson. “We’re talking about a few extra weeks in marketing time to get that 3% to 5% increase on a home. That’s a good trade.”
Roughly 85% of the 4,077 houses studied by Prof. Johnson and co-authors Christopher Cain and Justin Benefield included a photo. Interior pictures were more effective than exterior shots, adding a 3.9% price bump vs. 1.9%. Although adding just one photo can result in these gains, Prof. Johnson estimates that each additional photo adds about $150 to $200 to the final sale price.
But be prepared to wait for the payoff: Adding a photo increases the time to sell by 20.6%, meaning the house will stay on the market for an additional 16.5 days, on average…”