INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The stunning sunsets at Lake Tahoe recently are a reminder that if you are thinking of selling your house or condo sometime in the future it's never too early to begin taking pictures of the the view, landscaping and exterior. You will want to show off your property during all of the different seasons so prospective buyers can appreciate how it looks throughout the year.
Anyone with a nice lake or mountain view will find it beneficial to shoot pictures of those gorgeous Tahoe sunsets or take photos whenever the light is particularly striking. From November to February the sun is at a much lower angle in the sky and it brings out brilliant colors at sunrise and sunset. Also, the colors in the mountains along with the rocks and boulders that make up your landscaping will appear to be more vivid during the winter months.
With the advancements in modern electronics it is relatively easy to use a good quality digital camera and take high-resolution pictures. If you or your agent are not a whiz with a camera, there are some good local photographers that can be engaged to shoot high resolution pictures of your property.
Hiring a professional photographer to shoot a virtual tour has become pretty much mandatory these days, except for those places with very with small rooms where it’s difficult to get a good perspective and camera angle. Most buyers are surfing the Internet when searching for property and a good virtual tour showcases your place far better than a series of still pictures. While a virtual tour takes longer to load on your computer than a still picture, it's definitely worth the wait and high-speed Internet connections have made this task much more palatable.
Don’t wait until you decide to list your property for sale to start taking pictures, build a portfolio in advance and you will have plenty of material to show potential buyers. Shoot pictures at different times of day keeping in mind that the times around sunrise and sunset generally offer the best landscape photography opportunities. Avoid shooting pictures of the Lake and mountain views on hazy days or when the fire department is doing prescribed burns.
Many people wait for crystal-clear skies and cloudless days to shoot pictures of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. While these might be nice for postcards, having a few clouds in the background especially if they are the dramatic lenticular or cumulonimbus varieties can add perspective and depth to your photographs.
While landscape photography gets a huge boost from the low angle of the sun during the winter months, shooting the exterior of a house or condo can be a bit tricky depending on the shadows that you get from nearby trees and other structures. There are actually some benefits to shooting exterior photos closer to midday in the spring and summer if that will help to avoid having shadows cast that reduce the quality of the exterior photograph.
I recommend that property owners pay careful attention to how the sun hits each part of their house during every month of the year and plan your photography accordingly. It's important that each still picture and every frame in the virtual tour showcase your house or condo in the best possible light. Pay attention to how the light reflects off of windows, exterior glass light fixtures, any type of copper metal trim, and other reflective surfaces as this can affect light meter readings along with picture quality. Shoot every picture several times using slightly different settings until each scene has the look you are seeking. When buyers are surfing the Internet, great pictures will catch their eye and entice them to take a closer look at your property.
— Don Kanare is a Realtor at RE/MAX Premier Properties. Read his blog and weekly stats on his website at www.InsideIncline.com.