Real estate is one such industry that works on one single motto, “Seeing is believing!”. This is all the more true given the post-pandemic situation, when most of the property listings are done online. Realtors need to impress interested property buyers to close deals.

In such cases, photo editing has become the best bet for any real estate broker or dealer to enhance their listings online. One can imagine how fast properties can sell if the images are visually engaging, and therefore, photo editors are experimenting with various real estate photo editing techniques.

If you are curious enough to know how editing photos complements photo shoots and makes property advertisements appear stunning to buyers, keep reading this post until the end.

We shall walk you through the best tips for editing interior real estate photos, exterior editing tips, and the excellent benefits professionally edited photos have for real estate owners.

How to edit photos for real estate?

To start your real estate photo editing process, first select the proper software according to your needs and apply the relevant photo editing techniques to enhance your property images.

Best-proven 14 real estate photo editing techniques that make the images stand out

  1. Basic color correction

    Although color correction might appear fairly simple, this is one of the essential techniques to enhance property photos. A correct saturation, tint, color tone, and hue balance can make even a simple photo look remarkable.

    Photographs of rooms, back and front yards, patios, office spaces, and other interior-exterior areas can be given the correct color retouch to make them instantly stunning and visually appealing to prospects.

    Editing exterior real estate photos also includes color corrections in case the sunlight on the grass falls at a crooked angle, giving the green grass a purple-ish tinge.

  2. Strategic cropping

    Cropping is quite a common option for any shutterbug who frequently uploads photos to social media channels. However, this technique is also immensely potent for the real estate sector. With the right kind of cropping, many composition errors can be corrected, aspect ratios can be altered, and key features can be given more emphasis.

    Cropping also helps in pruning out any unnecessary components in the image, making it ideal to be uploaded across multiple channels and sites. The only thumb rule is not to overcrop an image that makes it look too pretentious or misleading.

  3. Balancing out the light

    For any real estate photo, the right kind of lighting is a critical imperative. Too bright or dim light levels, or incorrect lighting angles, can inadvertently create uneven lighting detrimental to the photo’s appeal.

    To solve this, the light balancing technique can be leveraged, which helps adjust the whites and blacks, harsh highlights, dark spots, or hot spots.

    Professional photo editing companies have skilled retouchers who utilize Lightroom or Photoshop to rectify overexposed or underexposed images.

  4. Eliminate color cast

    Despite sounding familiar with color correction (discussed above), color cast is a different yet vital aspect of photography.

    Simply put, a “color cast” is a subtle tint of color that appears on a picture, distracting the onlookers. Often due to camera settings issues, wrong exposure, fluorescent light sources, dark backgrounds, or any other factors, this undesired flaw occurs.

    Removing the color cast is the best technique to combat this. With high-end image editing tools, the editor can restore the original color of the pictured item by neutralizing the unwanted tint that overlays the actual colors.

  5. Digital removal of unwanted objects

    Whether real estate photographers want it or not, unwanted objects can appear within the frame. Despite all kinds of measures and an eye for detail, this can happen and is quite common in real estate photography.

    Some of the common situations are a wallpaper coming off a wall, old cutlery set on the kitchen tabletop, a hideous crack appearing on the garden fountain, a sudden tree branch appearing in the frame blocking the wonderful balcony view, or maybe a sneaky neighbor peeping while the photo is being snapped, and so on. Probably the other use case is if the house still has inhabitants there.

    However, fret not! Professional editors can solve this issue with just a few mouse clicks. The clone stamp tool in Adobe Photoshop suite is ideal tool for removing these unwanted visual components, painting over objects, and tidying up the photo! It doesn’t even appear to be edited whatsoever.

  6. Edit the exposure to a perfect level

    As we all know, exposure is an integral aspect for any image to look perfect, as the human eye always picks the one that is brightly lit over a dim one. So, getting the exposure level to equilibrium is a useful technique for any real estate image editing professional.

    However, the greatest trick here is to strike a perfect balance between brightness, contrast, and shadows all the while enhancing exposure. Only then will the image naturally accentuate all the key details of the property, inspiring the buyers.

  7. Perform HDR blending

    HDR, aka High Dynamic Range, is one of the most popular new-age photo editing trends amongst photo editing specialists, especially the ones who deal in real estate. HDR fusion enhances the richness of color and adds life to a property image.

    The trick in this technique is to balance the highlights and shadows by blending multiple shots of the same image with a different focus. This technique helps in creating a robust dynamic luminance range. i.e., the intensity of the light coming from the source. The batch of multiple photos is merged during the post-processing stage.

  8. Reduce visual “Noise”

    Visual noise are the millions of tiny gray dots that appear on a photo, decreasing its clarity. Here, “noise” is a symbolic term that implies an obstacle to the clear view of the image. Visual noise often diminishes the appeal of an otherwise beautiful image, making it appear blurry and grainy.

    Noise can happen for multiple reasons, including a faulty sensor, an issue with exposure time, low lighting, and pixel density, etc. Therefore, reducing this noise is a handy technique for realty image editors to fix this issue.

    Leveraging various editing tools, they can tone it down, making the image clearer, more vibrant, and more appealing.

  9. Sky Replacement

    Property images look better amidst a bright, sunny sky backdrop, almost as if coming to life. Such images not only showcase the aesthetics of the plot but also inspire prospective homeowners.

    However, not every day is a bright day. At the same time, postponing a pre-scheduled photo shoot is also unreasonable. The result- gloomy, overcast skies and equally gray and dull property images. Fortunately, sky replacement is a technique that can combat these kinds of inadvertent issues.

    With a few clicks in any top photo editing software, such as Photoshop or Lightroom, editors can retouch and replace the cloudy sky with a sunnier and brighter sky backdrop.

  10. Adjust Shadows

    Unwanted, weird-angled shadows are the biggest enemies of any real estate broker. Although shadows are required to give depth and dimension to furniture and rooms, they can still spoil a good photo for the viewers. Shadows from behind a couch, a cupboard, or a wardrobe look unprofessional to the onlooker’s eye.

    Luckily, editing professionals can fix this issue with the shadow adjustment technique, eliminating any improper shadow piercing from a corner.

    With Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other image editing tool, adjust the whites, blacks, and highlights to fix the shadow glitch.

  11. Lens correction

    Lens distortion is another major issue that can break the overall appeal of any image. The lens correction technique is instrumental in preventing any kind of lens-related issues in most photos taken with DSLRs.

    Such as darkened corners, curved lines that should otherwise be straight, color specks near the frame edge, internal lens factors like dust, moisture, and so on.

    Albeit these are petty flaws, they can make an image look unprofessional; this is all the more applicable to the real estate industry. Therefore, depending on the photo’s subject, lens correction techniques must be performed to make the image look flawless as if taken with an ideal lens.

  12. Lawn replacement

    What is a real estate property without a lush green front yard or a verdant lawn, speaking of the upkeep of the property and inspiring the prospects? However, not every time lawns appear to be picture-perfect; they are either withered, muddy, gray, or spoiled with overgrowths and climbers.

    Such unkempt lawns need a slight digital makeover since none can manually change the look of a lawn overnight. Therefore, digital help is required. With the lawn replacement technique, professional photo editors effortlessly transform a dead lawn into a vibrant lawn with patches of green grass, ideal for your kids to play on, and organize garden parties or barbecues.

    There are several high-end software that can help beautify the landscape of an otherwise unappealing lawn or garden. What’s more interesting is that the final image doesn’t even look edited or unreal when done by professionals!

  13. Mirror reflection removal

    This technique is utilized to remove any kind of interference in the photo, such as an unwanted human figure or object that hampers the beauty and appeal of the photo. Also, it is used to eliminate any camera flash reflections on the mirror.

    Usually, this happens in the real estate photos covering restrooms and bathrooms, where mirrors are the familiar elements. By chance, in some images, the camera reflections are reflected on the mirrors, which makes the photo look unprofessional.

    Professional photo editing and retouching agencies can effortlessly remove these reflections and other interference, making the images look more realistic and natural.

  14. Pool enhancement

    Who doesn’t love a property with a clean, blue swimming pool to enjoy with the family? If the property you are showing to your potential buyers, ensure it looks 100% clean and devoid of any unwanted elements, such as pool cleaners, nets, dried and rotten leaves from nearby trees, etc.

    However, if the camera captures these elements, fret not. With Photoshop’s amazing tools, a photo editing specialist can declutter the pool and give it a shiny, clean, bluish tint in just a few mouse clicks.

    This image retouching and enhancement technique significantly helps sellers attract property buyers, especially those with kids.

Why does the real estate market need photo editing and post-processing?

Advertising for the real estate sector is altogether a different ballgame than other sectors.

It is not just about selling the property to the target audience or making them aware of the property; it’s also about showcasing the key highlights of the plot, emphasizing the great features and amenities, and above all, showing them their “dream home” or “dream office”.

That said, it is about the beautiful property presentation to inspire them and let them imagine themselves within that. Therefore, a certain extent of property photo editing is definitely required for all realtors because not all good things are captured by cameras!

For that, there are professional software, as well as extremely talented photo editors available, who can help realtors sell their properties for hefty dollars.

To sum up!

It goes without saying that real estate advertisements heavily depend on high-quality, picturesque photographs that vividly display the UVPs of the plot. However, even professional photoshoots often fail to deliver the much-required quality and charisma owing to several factors.

In such cases, real estate photo editing software can help customize and beautify the images, making them photographic masterpieces.

So if you are a realtor looking for ways to augment your property listing images or are a budding photo editor striving to close more real estate image retouching projects, this guide is for you. Explore Photoshop and other editing software, and you will be amazed at how much you can digitally enhance a picture.

Alternatively, you may think of outsourcing real estate photography editing and reach out to sound professionals with years of experience and in-depth expertise in real estate photo editing services.

Christa Elrod linkedinDribbbleBehance

Christa Elrod serves as a senior graphic designer at ProGlobalBusinessSolutions. She is a creative designer with robust skills in typography, UI/UX designs, printing designs, video post-production, and 3D designs. Possessing years of experience across diverse industries, Christa loves to educate fellow designers with her experience and domain knowledge.