Is it worth paying for professional property photos?

Whether you’re selling a house, commercial premises or looking to rent out a holiday home. Most would agree that first impressions are important. And with online searches being the dominant way to look for properties, that first impression of your listing could also be the last one.

How you present your property will have a huge effect on click throughs to view more details and as a results in person viewings, demand and offers. The property search starts with your images, and it’s often what buyers go back to after viewing multiple properties. But does that mean you should hire a professional property photographer and shouldn’t take the photos yourself?

*Featured image by Clive Sherlock.

The multiplied effect of having great photos of your property

Interior photography by Marcin Chojnacki.

Let’s imagine a scenario where two estate agents are competing to sell your home. Both advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla and both have similarly driven sales teams.

  • Agent A is using photos taken by one of the agents. They have a decent camera and have photographed properties before. The photos look fine but they don’t stand out.
  • Agent B invested in a professional property photographer and as a result they market your home with a much better set of photos. Their images show a well lit home that is bright and airy, the rooms look spacious and tidy and the good features of your home come across.

Let’s assume there are 100 relevant buyers in the local market (there might be 1000s of buyers but only 100 have the budget and are looking for your type of home).

Agent’s A’s listing gets a 10% click-through-rate* to view more details and out of the 10 online viewers 3 get in touch to view in person.

* Click-through-rate, or CTR, is the percentage of web visitors of click on your listing to view more details. A high CTR means more interest.

Agent B’s listing gets a 25% click-through-rate and of those online viewers, 9 get in touch to book an in-person viewing of your home.

Agent A arranges viewings with 3 potential buyers who visit your property with mild interest.

Agent B has packed a full day of viewings and your property gets multiple offers with buyers competing with each other. The buyers feel a sense of pressure and urgency and as a result they raise their offers to stay competitive and get the deal.

Agent’s A’s buyers finish a day of viewings. Back at their home, they compare your property with other homes that they’ve seen and go back to the photos to remind themselves of each property.  Viewing the images, they struggle to feel excited. Other properties look better in the photos and that doesn’t play in your favour. They know it’s a decent home but their gut just isn’t into it.

Of course, this is a hypothetical situation and I might have exaggerated a little. I wanted to illustrate how having good image assets has a multiplying effect when marketing a property. Having a small advantage in this single element can have a knock on effect during the whole process.

What is the standard of property photos in your area? Who are you competing with?

Interior Photographer Bromley Kent
The kitchen of my dreams, photographed by Ricardo of Real Estate Photography London.

In some countries, it’s common to sell or rent properties using unprofessionally shot photos. Sellers in these countries will DYI photography using their mobile phones or a camera. It’s common practice where they live and they compete against other sellers with similar photos. The playing field is level and they don’t suffer from this.

In the UK the majority of property listings will feature a high level of photography. Interiors and exteriors look much better for it. More importantly, buyers expect this standard of photography. They want to see wide angle photos showcasing the different rooms and exteriors. Bright spaces, tidy rooms and appealing homes that nudge them to take action.

They compare your property against others and their only tool to evaluate the winners are the photos and specifications. While the specifications need to match their requirements, the photos have an emotional impact that is hard to measure. A property listing with unappealing photos will be at a disadvantage. A property with great photos will stand out.

Return on investment from good property photos

Interior Photographer Isleworth Middlesex
Photo by Onur @ Imagications Photography.

The average price of a house in the UK in 2024 is £282,000 (source: Gov UK). In London the average house currently costs £682,989 (source:

Having a great set of property photos will result in increased demand and can easily sway the final selling price by a few thousand pounds. A faster sale can also have other positive implications on you getting your next property. It’s fair to say that every effort you put into making your property look good in real life and in photos will pay for itself multiple times over.

Personal story: How we got a great deal on our home because it had poor photography

In 2016 we were looking to move to a bigger space and all the properties we saw seemed overpriced and underwhelming. I think we were searching for several months without finding any good candidates.

I was really delighted to find a house that we both really liked. It needed some work and was way below market value. Other houses in the same street were priced £100,000 over this one, despite having the exact same build. The selling agent was a small, single branch company and used unprofessional photos. They didn’t look bad but they didn’t look great either. We saw the potential and were lucky to not have any competing offers. We managed to negotiate the price down further and the seller, who was looking for a quick sale, took our offer. We love our home and have lived there since. I believe we can thank the seller’s initial saving on photography. I made a rule to always sell with good photos and try to buy with bad photos, cause these properties will have less competition and will be better value.

Conclusion: Is professional property photography worth the investment?

Marcin is a property photographer based in Kent.
Photo by Marcin Chojnacki.

If you can afford to make the initial investment and showcase your photos in the best way possible, you are likely to see increased returns for either selling, renting or booking it out through AirBnB and other  platforms. A good initial presentation can result in increased asking prices and higher demand. With high value of property in the UK, a little improvement can result in big returns.