Photography can make or break a real estate listing. When selling your home, relying on snappy descriptions is good as far as it goes, but the hard truth is that text needs to be combined with killer photography to clinch a buyer’s interest. Listings posted online with professional photographs nab an average of 61 percent more views than listings that feature sub-par or no photography. That’s right: not only does your property need to have photography with its listing, it needs to have exceptional photography to grab and hold interest.  Here are reasons why hiring a professional photographer is essential to selling your property.

1. They’re excellent at what they do

Professional photographers are trained to do what they do and they do it well. They know all the ins and outs of how angles, lighting and a touch of Photoshop can transform a good-looking piece of property into a dream home. Buyers can tell the difference between pro and amateur photography. Listing photos are meant to inspire the buyer, and they have only a split second to do it. If they’re not inspired almost instantly, home-buyers will click away and you’ve likely lost them for good. The pros know how to make the most of that split second. You may have a really great camera and even be good at photography, but the ability to delegate is one of the hallmarks of success — defer to the professionals so you can focus on other demands on your time.

2. They will earn you more money

Ok, so maybe it’s the cost of hiring a professional that makes you baulk. Understandable. But when all is said and done, hiring a professional photographer can mean more money for you. The average cost for hiring a professional to photograph the interior and exterior of your home (aerial photography for farms and vacant land may run a bit higher — more on that in a moment) is $300. Professionally photographed properties can sell for up to $19,000 more than ones that aren’t. That’s a sound investment to make when selling your property.

3. They make the most of your time

If your real estate agent is at all serious about getting your home sold, they’ve bugged you up one side and down the other to de-clutter and even stage your home. If you’ve got vacant land to list, they’ve probably needled you to clear away brush and have it freshly mowed. This is what’s called maximizing curb appeal: making your property look as good as it can to any and all potential buyers. It’s hard work, meticulous, and time-consuming but it works. Why invest all that time only to snap some pictures of your immaculately staged home with an iPhone? If photos of your beautifully arranged living area or master suite are grainy or blurry, all buyers are going to see is a low-quality photo and click right along to the glossier, professional ones.

4. They take it to the next level (literally)

If you have a farm or vacant land to put on the market, then aerial photography is going to play a huge part in selling your property. They can even be of help if your home is on a particularly large acreage. Descriptions of vacant and farmland tend to be short, sweet and straightforward, but they can’t always communicate just how great a property is — professional aerial photography lets buyers see exactly what they’re getting, and helps them imagine your property’s potential. Since the FAA relaxed its restrictions on commercial drone use, many photographers and real estate agents now utilize drone technology to capture photos and video of large properties, giving your property an edge in the listings.

You know your home looks great! Make sure buyers know it too. Hire a professional photographer and you’ll see more interested buyers, more clicks on MLS, and ultimately more money! And who doesn’t like that?