Frequently Asked Questions

I have found Deena to be very thorough in taking all of her photos. She had to have the light just right and never accepted any picture unless it was perfect. I am very impressed by her professional manner - she knows photography and staging!
Doug Harris
Sather Real Estate Pro Brokers Ltd.
Real Estate Photography

If you have a decent digital camera, can't you just take your own photos?
Try it!

For anyone who has ever taken a picture of a room facing the windows, you will know firsthand the unpredictable results you can get. Often the windows will be too bright and the room too dark and shadowy.

The problem is that the brightness coming through the window can be 100-1000 times the brightness of the interior of the room. While our eyes have the ability to adjust across this huge "dynamic range", a camera does not. It either exposes for the windows, or it exposes for the room. Either way, detail is lost in the shadows or in the "blown" areas of brightness.

To overcome this problem, you will often see pictures taken with the blinds closed. But what if the view or landscaping outside is a selling feature ... and justifies a higher price tag? Oops!

With the importance of quality photographs in selling real estate, leaving exposure to chance is unacceptable. If a potential buyer cannot adequately see the space (in the 2 inch image), they will be less likely to view the property. (See next FAQ)

With GreenApple, you can rest assured that we know how to visually tell your property's story from start to finish. We control the light—not the other way around—artfully displaying all of your property's features.

There are many good point-and-shoot cameras available for a couple hundred bucks, but the difference between these and professional grade equipment is still vast in terms of sensor quality, optics and price.

We have made the investment. And it shows.

Visit our Portfolio of great images to see for yourself.


Why does this matter for real estate?
Buyers have access to thousands of properties in their market area, 24/7, on the web. Over 80% of home buyers start their search on the internet and state that photos are the single most useful tool (Study done by the National Association of Realtors, 2006).

In another survey, respondents viewing homes for sale perceived that those with professional real estate photography were worth 12.9%more than similar homes without. They also felt that they personally would be 7 times more likely to view a property in person that had professional photography. (Study done by Visual Marketing Services, VHT, Aug 2008).

Clearly, professional photography is an essential part of every home marketing plan.

GreenApple's bright, fresh & crisp images capture the attention you need to get the showings you desire.

When you are selling real estate, you are marketing a product...And when you consider that it is also your single largest asset, doesn't it make sense to market it with professional photographs?

View our Portfolio, or get a Quote for a great photo package.


What is "Professional" Photography?
Just because you pay for it, doesn't make it "professional". At GreenApple, we take pride in offering photography services to our clientele. We go well beyond being paid "camera operators" by delivering outstanding images.

Photographing interiors is tricky. Using your camera in "Auto" mode is just not good enough. Skilled photography is as much about what you don't see, as what you do.

Not only are our images bright, crisp and evenly lit, they are expertly crafted. Here is what you won't see in a GreenApple image...

Telltale signs of unskilled or "Fast Track" Photography

Blown Windows (Total white-out, no detail)
Do you think a buyer would be interested in the mountain view just outside that window?

Blown Window

Shadowy Interiors
The shower below is a great selling feature—if you can find it.

Shadowy Interior

Skewed Vertical Perspective
The house is straight in real life...right? We know it probably is, but why leave your buyer imagining an unsettling scene from Titanic?

Skewed Vertical Perspective

Distracting flash reflections and hot spots
Overly bright spots are visually harder to look at and take the buyer out of the moment when viewing the space.

Distracting Flash

Curving verticals (Barrel distortion)
Usually a lens quality issue, evident when walls are at the sides of an image.

Curving Verticals

Color Casts
Do you really want your taupe paint looking peach?

Colour Casts

Strong Shadows, Harsh Flash
The quick and dirty approach to lighting a space...

Strong Shadows, Harsh Flash

At GreenApple, we promise that our photos of your property will always showcase it in the best light. See the difference we can make!
*All photos above are property of GreenApple Staging & Images, and used with permission of the original photographer. We respect copyright.


What makes GreenApple different?
There is fast food, and there is gourmet cooking. Both may use similar ingredients, but technique and nuance make all the difference in the world!

GreenApple’s technique incorporates principles of studio photography. We use multiple off-camera flashes and manually control the entire scene to ensure that the camera isn’t “fooled” by differing levels of brightness.

We also make use of state-of-the-art digital techniques, blending various exposures to get the evenness of lighting required to create accurate images for discerning buyers.

Either way, your photos will be outstanding.

Our images include post-processing and our 5-star Customer Service. We work hard to make you and your properties look great!

Get a Quote today.


What is post-processing?
In the days of film, a photographer’s results were as much dependent on what was done in the dark room as what he or she did with the camera. How various chemicals were applied to the film changed the “interpretation” of what was captured on it.

The same principles apply in our digital age. Post-processing is not “doctoring” photos to unethically add or delete from the true scene. It is simply the process of interpreting the data that the camera has already captured using the eye of the artist to choose various parameters of light and color. We have a signature style at GreenApple which we apply to every image we deliver.

Why is it important?
As digital information is passed from source to source and changed in resolution, images can lose important information causing them to look dull, fuzzy and less appealing. We try to account for these changes ahead of time by optimizing our images for web and print.

On a typical photo shoot, we can spend as much time in post as we do on location. It is just part of our 5-Star Service and Quality Guarantee.


Isn’t this just for luxury homes?
Are we being too predictable if we say, Uh, no.

Do you want your home to get lots of showings and good offers? We thought so!

There is often much more competition in lower price brackets, making great photography an even smarter investment.

Homes that are presented with professional photography are perceived to be worth 12.9% more money (Study done by Visual Marketing Services, VHT, Aug 2008). On a $350,000 home, that’s over $45,000! While you may not be able to ask $395,000, having buyers perceive your property to be worth more will generate more showings with a greater sense of good value. This means your home will have better offers sooner!

Together with our Staging Services, your property will live up to buyers’ expectations. Quality photos of quality spaces is the best way to get top dollar for your home.

We think standing out and getting better traffic at any price point is a good thing!

Give us a Call today.


As a Realtor, why would I risk more marketing dollars? What if the listing expires?
Boy, do we understand the cost of providing a high quality service.

It’s not cheap...it takes more time...and it does feel risky. Especially when your competition doesn’t provide all that you do.

We’re not looking to decrease your bottom line—it’s actually our goal to add to it. We love real estate and passionately believe that this brave new world demands brave new marketing.

By offering your listing clients a better—more professional—marketing plan with GreenApple, you gain a leg up on the competition. You will attract more qualified sellers and earn their trust. Your listings have a better chance of selling (not expiring), which in turn makes you a more desirable Realtor.

Imagine if you had one more listing sell per year...the revenue on that listing will more than pay for all of your photography and consultations for that entire year.

Be on the leading edge of the irreversible direction that real estate marketing is already going. Contact us today.


Home Staging

Why would I spend money on a house I’m selling?
Good question!

Buyers have changed—the increasing popularity of home and garden television programs along with the decreasing amount of time and patience that people have, mean buyers are acutely aware of current design trends—and want it all now.

People in every range of affordability desire a home that they can be proud of, and will pay extra for homes that are up-to-date and move-in ready (63% of buyers will pay more for move-in ready homes Royal LePage House Staging Poll 2005-2006; Staged homes sell in an average of 35 days, while non-staged homes take 135 days in today’s tough market Barb Schwarz, “Creator” of Home Staging, stagedhomes.com).

Staging your home is like merchandising any product...and how you sell it is not the same way you live in it.

We all personalize our homes, but when it comes time to sell, buyers feel uncomfortable when it is obvious they are in someone else’s private space.

Staging is about neutralizing the home to create broad appeal and suggesting a potential lifestyle. It’s taking the “you” out of your home and starting the process of moving out.

Contact us for a home staging consultation to find out how to present your home for today’s buyers.


Don’t most people re-paint and decorate when they move in? Why do it twice?
Yes, most people do want to personalize their homes. But most people also can’t imagine how it would look with their stuff in it, when it still shouts you.

Buyers want to feel that they could live in the home without feeling rushed to make those changes. The more urgent re-decorating seems to a buyer, the more money they subtract from the purchase price of the home. Not to mention the premium they add to that discount for the “hassle factor”.

Some buyers won’t even entertain the idea of purchasing a home that they perceive needs too much work.

Getting your home ready to sell is a big job...but for those who are willing to put in the effort, they will be rewarded.

Let us help shoulder some of that burden! Get a Quote for staging today.


The price reflects the condition of the property already. Why go to the extra effort of preparing it for sale?
Why? Because it means more money in your pocket.

The purchase of a home is as much an emotional decision as it is a financial decision. Perceived value becomes the true value to a buyer.

The cost of painting and making a few repairs may only add up to $10,000...but to a buyer comparing your home to one that is move-in ready, yours will feel like a whole lot more work. Buyers often overestimate the cost of those changes because they certainly don’t want to come up short.

Let’s face it—no one wants to clean up someone else’s mess. Leaving one will cost you.

A second reason to do your own “homework” is that most people tend to purchase a home at the maximum of their affordability. While they could afford the payments on a house worth 10 or $20,000 more, they often don’t have the cash to make those changes once they take possession.

Buyers will reward you for going the extra mile! Call us for a cost-effective consultation.


Isn’t a vacant property good, then, since it is a clean slate?
That might seem like sound reasoning, but there are several reasons why leaving a property vacant will work against you as a seller.

Empty rooms have no scale
Will a king-sized bed fit? Can we seat 10-12 people in the dining room for holiday dinners? When there are no furnishings in the space, it is harder to judge whether it is relatively large or small.

Other flaws in the property will stand out
With nothing else to look at but the walls and floors, buyers will notice every little imperfection.

Room function may not be obvious
Sometimes the floor plan of a home does not automatically suggest the possible use of the rooms. What might be a great den, may seem like a useless little room. Worse yet, buyers may leave feeling like there wasn’t even a dining room, for example, because they didn’t “see” one.

You lose the “lifestyle” factor
Again, it’s the emotional sell. For the same reason beer commercials show happy, attractive people having fun, you want to show your buyers that by buying this house, they will have a better family life, be better organized, and might even enjoy more romance. Yes, we really are that susceptible to the power of good merchandising!

At GreenApple we can help you get the most out of your property’s potential, occupied or vacant. Get a free Quotation today.


We’ve sold homes before and never staged them—isn’t this just a trend?
Our world has changed. As long as television and the internet are around raising our visual expectations, so will product merchandising. Selling a home is simply an extension of that.

General affluence has also increased, again raising our expectations. Starter homes are bigger than ever before and contain many items and finishes once considered a luxury.

Getting top dollar for your home means living up to these expectations.

Not sure where to start? We know how! Call us for a consultation or free quotation today.


The market is hot and my house will probably sell anyway—why stage it?
A hot market is always a good thing for a seller...and it gives you the opportunity to make it a great thing!

In a hot market, homes that are perceived to be highly desirable often get multiple offers, even within just a few days. The more your home appeals to a wider target, the more likely you are to sell for over your asking price!

It’s age-old principles of economics—nothing like a little competition and fear of scarcity to drive up the market value of your home!

We can help you zero in on the things that will make the biggest difference. Give us a call.


People aren’t buying my furniture or my stuff—won’t they just see past it?
No.

Just as the wrong paint color can make a space feel small and dark—or the right one feel bright, modern and spacious—so does all your “stuff”.

Too much clutter makes it seem like you don’t have enough storage. Overly dated furnishings also make the home feel dated. Unusual personal collections (or taste in artwork) at best distract the buyer; or at worst, offend.

On the flipside, rooms with the right amount of furniture (often just a little less than most people would live with) make rooms seem larger and more functional. A few updated accessories and light fixtures make the whole home feel more updated. General, but positive, lifestyle suggestions invite the buyer to imagine how their own personal style would fit...

You don’t want your home to be remembered for the “stuffed owl” in the foyer, with the eyes that seemed to follow the buyer everywhere!

At GreenApple, we’re not here to make you feel bad about your personal taste. But we can let you know when it will work against you. Our friendly and positive approach will put you at ease and give you the information you need to maximize your profit with minimal time on market. Give us a call and see.


As a Realtor I tell my listing clients what to do before their house goes on the market. Why pay for a Staging Consultation?
Two reasons—trust and expertise.

When you’ve worked hard to get a listing, it can be difficult and awkward to tell your new client the truth about some of their very personal choices. The last thing you want to do is to inadvertently offend them and send them running to your competition!

By securing the listing with the value-added service of offering a Staging Consultation, you become the hero. You are giving your client a greater marketing advantage compared to your competition, without having to say anything that could be perceived as negative. You can rave about the great view—we’ll take care of “Aunt Bea’s self-portrait”.

Secondly, identifying problems...and solving them...are two different things.

We can all figure out that a bright pink dining room isn’t going to sell. But painting it “taupe” isn’t specific enough when there are at least 100 different shades! Choose the wrong undertone with the carpet (should it be more yellow...or gray?) and the room still won’t feel right.

You’ve got the contacts and the negotiation skills...we’ve got the staging and property presentation skills. Together we make a great marketing team! Contact us to find out more.


More Questions? Contact us and ask away!