A Seller’s Guide to the Psychology of Listing Photos


|10 min read

It is often said that first impressions are everything. This is especially true when selling your home. In order to make a great first impression, your home must be well-maintained, clean, and properly staged. In addition to these things, your listing photos and videos must be top-notch.

Bad listing photos not only make a bad first impression, they can also end up costing you money and keep your home from selling in a timely manner. This fact is underpinned by numerous studies that track the ocular movement of buyers viewing homes online. In these studies, it was found that people tend to spend the majority of their time looking at photos and videos as opposed to reading the text in a listing.

This means that if your listing photos and videos are bad, potential buyers are likely to move on to another home without even reading about all of the great features of your home.

To avoid this, it is important to take the time to learn how to take good listing photos and videos. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about taking great listing photos and videos that will help your home sell quickly.

Understanding Buyer Behavior

While you may be tempted to just walk around your home snapping images with your phone, it is important to understand the psychology of buyers in order to take truly great listing photos and videos.

Gaze Direction

It is a well-known fact that people are visual creatures. We are wired to process images much faster than we can process words. In addition, research has shown that people tend to remember things that they have seen much better than things that they have only read about.

One hypothesis that supports this phenomenon is known as Just and Carpenter’s “eye-mind” hypothesis. This hypothesis posits that the direction of our gaze is directly linked to what we are thinking about. In other words, if we are looking at something, it is likely that we are also thinking about it.

This theory has been supported by numerous studies that track the ocular movement of people viewing images. These studies have found that people tend to spend the majority of their time looking at images that are most relevant to them.

So, what does this mean for you?

It means that if you want people to remember your listing photos and videos, you need to make sure that they are interesting and engaging. dull or uninteresting photos will likely be quickly forgotten.

Having a professional photographer take your listing photos is a great way to ensure that they are interesting and engaging. Professional photographers know how to use light and composition to create images that are visually appealing and easy to remember.

In addition, you should also consider using video to showcase your home. A recent study found that people are much more likely to remember a video than they are to remember a still image.

The study found that people who watched a video were able to recall an average of 76% of the information presented in the video. In contrast, people who only saw still images only recalled an average of 10% of the information presented.

This difference is likely due to the fact that videos are more engaging than images and are thus more likely to hold our attention.

The Power of Emotion

In addition to being visual creatures, we are also emotional creatures. We make most of our decisions based on emotion rather than logic.

This fact is supported by research that shows that the part of our brain that is responsible for processing emotions (the limbic system) is much larger than the part of our brain that is responsible for processing logic (the prefrontal cortex).

What this means is that if you want people to remember your listing photos and videos, you need to touch on their emotions.

There are a few different ways that you can do this. One way is to use images and videos that evoke positive emotions such as happiness, love, or excitement. These types of images and videos will be more likely to stay imprinted in people’s minds.

Another way to touch on people’s emotions is to use images and videos that tell a story. Stories are emotionally engaging and thus more likely to be remembered.

For example, you could tell the story of a family who fell in love with your home at first sight and decided to buy it on the spot. This type of story would be much more memorable than a list of your home’s features.


People are also very good at spotting patterns. This means that when potential buyers are looking at your listing photos, they will be looking for certain things. Our eyes naturally follow a Z-pattern when looking at an image.

If you want potential buyers to remember your listing, it is important to arrange your photos in a way that follows this natural pattern.

They will also be looking for images that show the layout of your home and its rooms. They will also be looking for images that highlight any special features or selling points that your home has.

To take advantage of this phenomenon, arrange images in a way that emulates a natural walk-through of the home. This type of arrangement will be much easier for people to remember than a random arrangement of photos.

For example, the first image would be the front of the home, followed by an image of the porch and entryway, followed by an image of the living room, and so on.

High-Contrast Images

People are also more likely to remember images that have high levels of contrast. Contrast is the difference between the lightest and darkest parts of an image.

High-contrast images are more visually stimulating and thus more likely to grab our attention and be remembered. For example, some of the most breathtaking photos of homes you have seen show bright green lawns against a deep blue sky.

Tips for Crafting Memorable Listing Images

If you are unable to have a professional photographer take and edit your listing photos, there are still a few things that you can do to make sure that your images are memorable.

Here are a few tips:

  • Use natural light – Natural light is more flattering and creates a more inviting atmosphere than artificial light. If possible, take your photos during the day and position your furniture near the windows.
  • Turn on all interior & exterior lights – While you want to avoid using harsh artificial light, every light in the house should be turned on for your photo shoot. This will make your home look bright, airy, and inviting.
  • Long exposure – Long exposure photos tend to be more visually interesting and thus more memorable. If you are using a DSLR camera, try using a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of clouds or water.
  • Minimalism – Minimalist images are often more aesthetically pleasing and easier to remember. When taking photos of your home, try to declutter each room as much as possible. This will help create a clean and inviting atmosphere that potential buyers will remember.
  • Use interesting angles – Instead of taking straight-on photos of your rooms, try using interesting angles. This will make your images more visually interesting and thus more likely to be remembered.
  • Use props – Props can help to tell a story or highlight a selling point. For example, you could use a vase of flowers to add a pop of color to an otherwise bland room. Just make sure that your props are not too distracting.
  • Edit your photos – A good photo editor can work wonders. If you are not happy with the way that your photos look, consider hiring a professional editor to help you achieve the perfect listing image. There are many sites where you can hire a freelancer to touch the images up.

Tying It All Together

Believe it or not, there is a lot of psychology at play when it comes to listing photos. By understanding what makes an image memorable, you can ensure that your listing stands out from the crowd.

As a home seller, you’ve got enough to worry about and don’t need the added burden of trying to dive deep into a potential homebuyer’s psyche. That’s where a professional real estate agent comes in. They have experience with buyers and how their minds work.

If you’re looking to list your home soon, the first step is finding a reputable and experienced real estate agent in your area. The pros at FastExpert can help. We’ll match you with the perfect agent for your needs, absolutely free.

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