Not every house needs the same photo editing; Some need more than others. This property was pretty extreme in editing terms, but ultimately, when you actually want to sell a home, you need to go the extra mile.
This was after a few hours of photo retouching:
Here we had a ton of wires to remove, and correct the perspective too. This is the before shot:
And after photo retouching:
Here, I had a shoot on a cold windy day with terrible looking skies. This is the before shot:
And after. Aside from some basic edits like brightness and contrast because I only photograph in RAW mode, I had to replace the sky, remove the sales sign outside and a few other things that did not belong in the photo.
The point of retouching is not to alter the space and make it unrecognizable as most who use HDR processing manage to do; The point is to represent the space as it looks in person. In the case of the skies, here in Florida a blue sky is only a day or two away, so changing the skies should not be perceived as some editing offense. However, we don't always have the option of choosing our photoshoots at the most appropriate times of day because we depend on Real Estate Agents and Homeowners and their availability. So, when that happens we rely on software to help us represent the space in an attractive way, or as intended by the designer. After all, no one wants to have their home sit on the market for months on end. Photo editing and retouching are the other 50% of our jobs as professional photographers. These are just a few examples of what our jobs look like after we leave your photoshoot. Not two photoshoots are the same, and no two homes are the same, so photo editing and retouching should be expected for every property out there, and should never come as some surprise.
This property didn't require a lot of editing, but the paint was going to be addressed before the sale but not before the photoshoot was scheduled, so it had to be addressed in editing:
After, with the paint color fixed, cropped and sharpened. RAW images need sharpening in 100% of all cases.
I hope this helps better understand our jobs, and pricing structures. If your cost for photography seems too low, that's most likely because no professional photo editing will be applied. There are a lot of companies out there who only offer batch HDR processing, which is not professional photo editing. There is no color control applied to portray the actual colors in the home, and no retouching is offered either. So, things like "for sale" signs, or other distracting elements will not be removed. There is always an extra cost to remove those with these companies, so please do your due diligence and ask before agreeing to purchase a package that looks too good to be true. Legitimate professional real estate photographers always include retouching in their fees. My personal concern as a professional real estate photographer and also former home seller and buyer, is that the home isn't sitting on the market too long. Most people shop online these days, so the way you present your property will decide how long it will sit on the market.