In real estate photography there's one shot that is as important as all the others put together. The primary exterior shot. Most MLS's (but not all) require this first shot in the listing photos to be an exterior shot. It's the shot has the potential to grab the buyers attention and motivates them to look at the home in more detail.
To understand why this shot is so important, think about how real estate web sites are designed. They always feature one photo larger than all the others with a bunch of thumbnails for the rest of the photos. As buyers search through large numbers of properties in their location and price range of interest the search process becomes a visual contest to see which primary image is attention grabbing enough to get the buyer to look at more listing details. In this contest you have a split second to grab attention. It can be a fantastic property but if the front shot doesn't grab the buyers interest they are not going to look farther. They will scroll or click to the next property. All real estate photographers should spend time searching through real estate sites to see how this works and feels.
The two photos to the right are of the same home. The lower one is the front and the upper one is the back view high on a hill behind the home. It took me a while walking around the home to discover the rear view. In this case, the shot of the back makes the best money shot! As it turned out on this listing it was in fact this rear view shot that motivated the buyers to physically come look at the home. I know because was able to talk to the buyers at length during the home inspection about the how they found this property. They first saw it on a regional website where it was large with a bunch of thumbnails below it - they were actually had a printed copy of the webpage with them.
There are a number of things to do when working to create a strong primary exterior shot:
Then there are some homes that are simply "butt-ugly" from every angle and there is nothing you can do to help them. They are harder to sell. The is an old listing agent saying, "if you can't see it, you can't sell it". It has a lot of true!