By S.E. Slack

With the real estate market as slow as it is in Aurora, some home sellers are discovering they can’t afford to pay a traditional real estate agent to list their home, provide associated marketing and handle other services. Out of sheer need to cut out as many costs as possible, they are selling homes on their own. The one item that a homeowner shouldn’t scrimp on? Photography.

Flyer and online photos are often the first – and possibly only – impression buyers will have of your property, says professional photographer Aidan MacKerracher. If you have the right photos, buyers will want to show up to see more of your home. That’s the whole idea, of course, behind getting great shots.

MacKerracher says there are several key things a homeowner can do to get shots that convey the size and comfort of the home.

"Borrow a good camera if you need to," he said, "and use a tripod with it. It slows you down so that you can be more thoughtful about the images you’re composing."

Use a camera that has a wide angle lens, too, when shooting interior rooms. That helps capture more of the scene. It can also help emphasize foreground objects while still including expansive backgrounds.

"Turn on all the lights and use a flash when you’re shooting indoors," he said. "The added light will help the viewer see the details and size of the room and eliminate dark corners."

If you have a fireplace, light a fire inside it. That adds warmth to the scene, which helps buyers feel a sense of comfort and connects them to the home.

Don’t forget to remove clutter, said MacKerracher. Clutter adds distraction, whether you are indoors or out. If you’re snapping a shot of the kitchen, for example, buyers don’t want to see how many appliances can fit on your counter. They want to see a large, empty counter and imagine their own items placed upon it.

Once you have all the shots you need, have an objective friend help you sort through them to make your final selection.