Are you looking into the most common and basic techniques on how to edit real estate photos?

Post-processing for real estate photography is an essential step in creating amazing images that will help your clients sell their listings fast and for top dollar. 

There are different techniques that real estate photographers can use in order to retouch and make property images look stunning. 

In this post, we’ll share our top 11 techniques on how to edit real estate photos and make your images look amazing. But first, let’s take a look at why photo editing is crucial in real estate.

Why Is Photo Editing Crucial in Real Estate?

In the real estate industry, high-quality images that appeal to potential buyers are an absolute must. 

Especially in today’s digital era, where 97% of people use the internet to search for a home, according to recent studies. 

As mentioned earlier, your photography is what is going to help your agent and Realtor clients to get homebuyers through the door and hopefully sell the property. 

So, it’s your job to provide them with beautiful photos of homes, yards, offices, and interior spaces that will captivate the viewers, which requires good post-processing.

With that being said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details next!

How to Edit Real Estate Photos (Top 11 Techniques)

Here are our top 11 techniques on how to edit real estate photos in Lightroom and Photoshop.

1. Brightness and Color Correction

how to edit real estate photo: brightness and color correction
Brightness & Color Correction Editing by PhotoUp

To get started, brightness and color correction are the backbone of all image enhancement. Color correction can be done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Making adjustments to color, contrast, tone, and sharpness may seem obvious and simple. But with a few clicks of a mouse, these simple edits can transform an image from looking bland and boring into a bright and appealing image. 

Altogether, these basic retouching techniques can turn a mediocre photo into a captivating one that will capture buyers’ attention and help your clients sell their listings. 

2. Perspective and Horizon Correction

When shooting real estate, you need to be extra careful with your lines. You need to make sure that the horizontal lines and perspectives are aligned. 

Straight vertical and horizontal lines that don’t converge are a known issue in real estate photography. Factors such as the curvature of the lens, the shape of the room and its items, and even the positioning of the camera can make these lines come out distorted.

Fortunately, you can fix this issue in post-processing with a simple retouch called perspective correction.

This editing technique corrects the distortion and misalignment between the horizontal lines and perspective. That is to say, it aligns the lines with the image’s frame to make the photo more natural. 

You can align the lines in Photoshop using the Free Transform Tool. Make sure that you select the entire image and drag the corner of the image opposite to where the lines are leaning towards.

To see how to align verticals using an alternative method, you can check out our video tutorial on how to straighten verticals in Photoshop:

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3. Remove Unwanted Objects

how to edit real estate photo: object removal
Object Removal Editing by PhotoUp

More often than not, real estate photography includes unwanted objects that you need to remove to clean up the image. 

For example, some common situations where you may want to remove an object are:

  • There’s a car in the driveway, blocking the wonderful view of the garden 
  • The TV cords show and make the image appear cluttered
  • The granite counter would have been perfect if not for that old frying pan that was overlooked during the shoot
  • There’s an ugly crack in the bathtub, or the wallpaper is coming off in the kitchen
  • You failed to notice that someone passed by the property while making the shot 

But don’t worry because these can be edited in Photoshop by using the Clone Stamp Tool. Simply, choose the Clone Stamp Tool and pick the source area by pressing the Alt key. Then, you can start cloning over the object that you wish to remove.

For more details and expert tips, check out this video tutorial on how to remove a car from a driveway in Photoshop:

Or, you can watch how to remove cords and wires from your real estate photos:

4. Remove Color Cast

color cast correction editing by PhotoUp
Color Cast Correction Editing by PhotoUp

Color cast in a photo can be considered an eyesore, especially in the real estate photography industry, where images need to look extra captivating. 

To put it another way, color cast is a tint of a specific color in a photograph that is often unwanted and distracting.

For instance, certain lighting can cause film and digital cameras to render a certain color cast. 

Here are some situations where color cast can appear:

  • Fluorescent bulbs can produce a bluish tinge 
  • Dark window tint films can alter the color of a beige-colored wall 
  • Gray skies outside may dull the otherwise bright wall inside
  • Even the color settings of the camera can affect the natural colors of the home

Fortunately, through editing, you can restore the original color of the areas with color cast using 2 simple techniques. These techniques neutralize and remove the unwanted tint that masks the actual colors.

To learn more, check out our video tutorial on how to easily remove color cast from real estate images in Photoshop:

5. Enhance the Photo With a Sky Replacement

sky replacement by PhotoUp
Sky Replacement Editing by PhotoUp

Undeniably, colors come alive on bright, sunny days. On the other hand, gloomy and overcast skies can make your real estate photography look dull.

Luckily, you can replace the sky with a few not too difficult editing tricks and make your dull sky look picture perfect.

All in all, a sky replacement in real estate photographs can:

  • Make the property look more appealing
  • Offer a mood booster
  • Provide real estate photographers more freedom when not having to worry about the weather or the time of day to do the photoshoot 

So with a few tricks, you can replace gray, cloudy, or overcast skies with summery, sunny ones in Photoshop. 

For more details, check out our video tutorial on how to do a sky replacement in Photoshop:

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6. Photo Manipulation

Undoubtedly, nothing is more welcoming and inviting than a full, green lawn outside of a home.

But sometimes, you need to take photos in the wrong season when the lawn has dead spots. Or when there hasn’t been a lot of rain and the grass is brown.

While that’s unfortunate, the good news is that you can use Lightroom and Photoshop to adjust the color of your lawn to enhance the landscaping of your photo.

To learn how to create a green beautiful lawn, check out our video tutorial on how to make grass green in Photoshop:

In addition, other things you can do to manipulate and enhance your photos are:

  • Adding an inviting fire to the fireplace
  • A pool and patio area outside of the property
  • Fresh modern furniture on the balcony
  • And whatever you can think of to enhance and bring value to your photos 

Properly edited photo effectively shows the property in its full glory and beauty, convincing the viewer that the property he is looking at is an ideal investment.

All things considered, these more advanced editing techniques can all quickly be done by PhotoUp’s professional real estate photo editors

7. Reduce Noise

Noise reduction by PhotoUp
Noise Reduction Editing by PhotoUp

Noise or grain appears as millions of hazy dots and decreases the image’s clarity and quality. Seeing that, makes otherwise beautiful photos look grainy and unappealing.

For example, noise can be a result of either low light settings, errors in pixel density, exposure time, or even sensor size. 

However, it is rather easy to fix!

In Photoshop you can just click on the Filter menu, and choose Noise > Reduce Noise.

Additionally, PhotoUp’s professional photo editors can tone down noise through a variety of editing techniques. And as a result, your photo will become clearer, richer, and more attractive.

8. HDR Editing

When to use hdr in photography?
HDR Photo Editing by PhotoUp

High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) is a technique that many real estate photographers use to create a greater dynamic range of luminosity. 

This technique is used to blend multiple images, taken at different exposures, and later combine them in post-processing to create one perfectly blended image.

To create HDR images, you should shoot your subject in at least three bracketed images using different exposures. Then, all you have to do is merge the photos into one to show its highlights and shadows.

For more details, see our video tutorial on how to edit HDR photos in Lightroom:

9. Remove Ghosting

Light flares and ghosting in real estate photography are fairly common phenomena. Ghosting can happen when shooting bracketed images for HDR photography.

For example, trees blowing in the wind move from one exposure to the next across multiple images, causing the final blended image to show the tree branches or leaves with a blurred or “ghosting” effect.

While it can enhance the mood of a photo, in real estate marketing, ghosting comes across as a bit manipulative and cheesy. The reason for this is that it takes away the professional look of a picture.

Thankfully, it’s easy to remove ghosting using Photoshop if you know your way around the software. Have a look at our video tutorial for more details:

10. Adjust Shadows 

Flash shadows from the fan in the ceiling

When shooting real estate interiors and exteriors, you may encounter problems with the shadows and uneven lighting. 

While shadows can add contrast and dimension to an image, they can also be distracting and make your real estate photography look less professional.

To combat this, you can use Lightroom to adjust shadows, highlight, whites, and blacks. Simply, drag the Shadows Bar to the right in order to open up the shadows a little bit. 

For more tips and tricks, you can check out our short video tutorial on how to remove flash shadows in Photoshop:

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11. Keep Your Images Realistic

The final but most important tip for editing your real estate photos is to keep them natural-looking. 

Don’t go overboard and resist making them look overly saturated and cartoonish. To make your photos appear realistic, you need to ensure a more natural look that’s still appealing. 

The goal of real estate photography is to help agents and Realtors to sell a listing. And for that, you need to provide them with captivating, natural-looking real estate photos.

Final Thoughts

To recap, these are some of the more basic real estate photo editing techniques that will help take your image enhancements a long way.

But if this seems too much for you to learn, and you want to spend your time out on the field taking amazing property photos instead, you can always outsource your photo editing.

PhotoUp has a team of highly talented real estate photo editors who are ready and eagerly waiting to enhance your photos. 

Better yet, you’ll also get access to our user-friendly photo management system, so you can upload and receive photos, and send instructions and feedback. As well as track and manage team members and clients, store final images, and more!

Have a look at the real estate photo editing uploader video tutorial to see how easy it is to get started:

As simple as that!

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So, what are you waiting for? Get started with PhotoUp today!

We hope this post helped you learn how to edit real estate photos using our top 11 techniques.

If you found this post useful, you may also want to check out the following resources:

Stina Pettersson

Professional Blogger

Stina is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and professional blogger who's passionate about real estate photo editing, being outdoors with her pup, and sweaty gym sessions. She loves the written word and has been writing for publications like Forbes and Thrive Global. Originally from Sweden, she's called South Florida her home since 2013.

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