A recent study at Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate found that the addition of at least one picture showcasing a residential real estate property listing on the web can drive up the closing sales price by as much as 3.9 percent.

More than 4,000 homes were included in the study, which also determined that interior images tend to be more impactful to the selling price than exterior images. It’s a relatively significant disparity, too, with interior photos notching a 3.9 percent boost, compared to 1.9 percent for exterior images.


Researcher Ken H. Johnson, an associate professor of finance at FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate, told the Wall Street Journal that a property’s final sales price can also rise exponentially with each additional photo, estimating a $150 to $200 increase per image.

“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,” said Johnson in The Wall Street Journal.

The Picture Paradox

Nothing worthwhile is ever truly free. And the potential costs are not always monetary. In the FIU study, one of the obvious costs is the time it could potentially take you to sell your home.

Although the study made no distinction between amateur and professional images, it indicated that adding pictures to your property listing may bump up the time to sell it by as much as 20.6 percent. This translates to an additional 16.5 days.

Johnson alluded to this inherent paradox, saying that while they provide potential buyers with a clear idea of what they’d be purchasing, picture prudence should be practiced. “(Potential buyers) are getting information overload,” he said. “It’s like offering kids a bunch of candy, and they can’t decide which one to take.”

The Bottom Line

All things considered, the risk-reward ratio regarding whether it’s worth the time and effort to add photos to your real estate listing definitely leans toward the reward side.

“We’re talking about a few extra weeks in marketing time to get that 3 percent to 5 percent increase on a home,” Johnson said. “That’s a good trade.”

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This is filed under Home Selling.

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