Choosing a Hero Shot for a Fixer-Upper Listing


In the realm of real estate, an image carries a value far beyond a mere thousand words—it can translate into thousands of dollars. This is particularly true when it comes to fixer-upper properties. If you’re trying to sell a home that needs some tender loving care, you need a hero shot that captures its potential and inspires buyers to see beyond its current condition. In this article, we’ll explore the art of choosing the perfect hero shot for a fixer-upper listing.

Understanding Fixer-Upper Properties

Before we delve into the specifics of hero shots, let’s begin by understanding what fixer-upper properties are and why they require special attention in the world of real estate.

What Is a Fixer-Upper Property?

A fixer-upper property is a house or apartment that is in need of significant renovation or repair. These properties often come at a lower price point than their move-in-ready counterparts, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

The Challenges and Opportunities

Fixer-uppers present unique challenges and opportunities for both buyers and sellers:


  1. Affordability: Fixer-uppers are more budget-friendly.
  2. Customization: Buyers can tailor the property to their preferences.
  3. Investment: With the right renovations, fixer-uppers can yield a substantial return on investment.


  1. Cost: Renovations can be expensive and time-consuming.
  2. Uncertainty: Buyers may be wary of potential hidden issues.
  3. Perception: These properties are often seen as less desirable due to their current condition.

Given these challenges and opportunities, it’s crucial to present fixer-upper properties in the best possible light, starting with the hero shot.

The Role of a Hero Shot

What Is a Hero Shot?

In real estate, a hero shot is the primary photo or image used to showcase a property. It’s the image that captures a potential buyer’s attention and draws them into the listing.

Why Is the Hero Shot Important for Fixer-Uppers?

For fixer-upper listings, the hero shot is especially vital because it has the power to:

  1. Transform Perception: A well-chosen hero shot can make a property look more appealing than it may appear in person.
  2. Generate Interest: It entices potential buyers to click on the listing and learn more.
  3. Highlight Potential: By showcasing a property’s potential, it encourages buyers to imagine the possibilities.
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In essence, the hero shot can make or break the first impression a fixer-upper property makes on potential buyers.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Hero Shot

Now that we’ve established the importance of a hero shot for fixer-upper listings, let’s explore some tips on how to select the perfect one.

 1. Lighting and Time of Day

Lighting plays an essential role in the field of real estate photography. Natural light, in particular, can make a property appear more inviting. Consider the following:

  • Golden Hours: Shoot during the “golden hours” of sunrise or sunset when the light is soft and warm.
  • Avoid Harsh Midday Sun: Direct overhead sunlight can create harsh shadows and overexposed areas.
  • Interior Lighting: Ensure that interior spaces are well-lit to showcase their potential.

 2. Angle and Perspective

The angle from which you capture the property can significantly impact its perceived value. Try out various angles to discover the most flattering perspective:

  • Wide-Angle Shots: These can make rooms appear more spacious.
  • Low-Angle Shots: They can add drama and depth to the image.
  • Straight-On Shots: Sometimes, a straightforward approach works best to showcase the property’s symmetry.

 3. Staging and Decluttering

Before taking the hero shot, make sure the property is in its best possible state:

  • Staging: Consider staging the property with furniture and decor to help buyers visualize its potential.
  • Declutter: Remove any unnecessary items that can make the space appear crowded or messy.

 4. Highlighting Unique Features

Every fixer-upper has unique selling points. Make sure your hero shot highlights these:

  • Architectural Details: Showcase any unique architectural features.
  • Views: If the property has a stunning view, capture it in the shot.
  • Outdoor Spaces: Highlight gardens, patios, or balconies if they are assets.

The Role of Professional Editing

In many cases, achieving the perfect hero shot for a fixer-upper listing may require professional photography and editing services. Companies like PixelShouters specialize in real estate photo editing and can enhance your images to make them truly stand out.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

While it’s essential to know what makes a hero shot effective, it’s equally important to avoid common mistakes that can undermine your efforts:

 1. Misleading Editing

Avoid excessive editing that makes the property appear significantly different from reality. Buyers should not feel deceived when they visit the property.

 2. Poor Image Quality

Blurry or low-resolution images can deter potential buyers. Invest in high-quality photography or editing services to ensure crisp, clear images.

 3. Neglecting Exterior Shots

While the hero shot often focuses on the interior, don’t forget to include exterior shots that showcase the property’s curb appeal.

 4. Overly Personal Decor

If staging the property, keep the decor neutral and inviting. Avoid overly personal or controversial items that may turn off potential buyers.

 5. Lack of Consistency

Ensure that the hero shot aligns with the overall style and quality of the other images in the listing gallery for a cohesive presentation.

Preparing the Property for the Hero Shot

Before the hero shot can be taken, proper preparation is essential. Here’s a checklist to follow:

 1. Clean and Declutter

  • Thoroughly clean the property, including windows and floors.
  • Clear away personal belongings and eliminate clutter to establish a clean and inviting environment.

 2. Basic Repairs

  • Attend to minor repairs, including fixing leaky faucets and addressing chipped paint.
  • Ensure all light bulbs are working for well-lit spaces.

 3. Staging

  • Think about utilizing professional staging to highlight the property’s inherent potential.
  • Use tasteful furniture and decor that appeals to a broad audience.

 4. Curb Appeal

  • Enhance the property’s curb appeal with landscaping and exterior cleaning.
  • Ensure that the property’s exterior is in excellent shape.
Exterior Photo Enhancement

Beyond the Hero Shot

While the hero shot is undoubtedly crucial, it’s important to remember that it’s just one piece of the puzzle. A successful listing should include a gallery of images that provide a comprehensive view of the property.

 Interior Spaces

Include a variety of interior shots that highlight different rooms and features. Show potential buyers the flow of the space and how rooms connect.

 Exterior Shots

Capture the exterior of the property from various angles, showcasing its size and architectural details.


Include images of the neighborhood, nearby amenities, and attractions. Buyers are not just investing in a property; they are investing in a lifestyle.

Virtual Tours

Consider offering virtual tours or 360-degree images to give buyers a more immersive experience.

Fixer-Upper Listing: Final Thought

Choosing a hero shot for a fixer-upper listing is a nuanced art that combines photography, staging, and an understanding of the property’s potential. By following the tips outlined in this article and avoiding common mistakes, you can create a hero shot that transforms the perception of your fixer-upper property and attracts eager buyers.

Remember, the hero shot is just the beginning. A comprehensive listing with high-quality images and accurate representation will ultimately lead to successful sales and satisfied buyers. And if you find yourself in need of expert real estate photo editing services, consider partnering with professionals like PixelShouters to enhance your property images and make your listings truly shine.

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