real estate forms, purchase contracts and detailed home selling tips for selling by owner

Home selling tips...

Everything to sell your own house: fsbo selling tips, real estate forms & contracts, plus detailed instructions.
fsbo tips for selling your own home plus real estate purchase contracts and legal forms.    
Great, well lit Picture   Same room: taken with flash bulb & no additional lighting
Corners of room & edges of picture are clear   flash bulb fails to light up corners and edges
You don't need to be a professional photographer!

Digital Cameras make it easy to take great home pictures; ...with two simple rules:

  • Do NOT rely on flashbulbs. Flash bulbs are designed to light up a few people at the center of a room, they never provide enough light to reveal room details. Arrange a few lamps with 100 watt bulbs behind you and aimed at the room. Make sure the key parts of the room are brightly lit before taking the picture with the flashbulb as additional lighting.
  • NEVER use your camera's "high resolution" setting; these are for printing on photographic paper. Use the "Email" setting if your camera has one, otherwise use the lowest resolution setting (the setting that allows the most number of pictures).

The picture below is of the same room as the pictures above, taken from the same camera position but at high camera resolution. Displayed at ordinary screen resolution the picture is too big to fit on the screen. All we see is the upper left corner of what we see in the above pictures.
Details of the door and light switch are much clearer than in pictures at top but this is NOT a pictures to help sell a home.
Photo Tour Web Page Requirements:

  • Pictures may be no wider than 375 pixels* or higher than 281 pixels (about 3 inches wide by 2.5 inches high).
  • Individual pictures can be no bigger than 55.0 KB (55,000 characters) of information.

These are arbitrary limits set by our system to make sure your pictures fit properly and can be viewed quickly.


Tools for changing picture size:

  • Audrie's re_size.html is our page that lets you set the height or width of a picture currently on your computer, review the results and download the re-sized picture back to your computer (for subsequent upload to your photo tour). (Caution: set EITHER height or width. Setting both at once will distort your picture)
  • is a free website where anyone can change the size of their pictures. Use their 360 x 480 resize choice, click "okay" then use their "crop" tool to bring the height below 281. You can also select their "on your own" option and specify a width of 375 pixels. (Caution: set EITHER height or width. Setting both at once might distort your picture)
  • A Friend: Canvas your friends and co-workers and you're sure to find a computer savvy friend willing to help. If not, try the copying staff at Kinkos or Office Depot.
  • Copy Centers: Most Kinkos, Staples, and Office Depot copy centers will scan and resize your photographs to a floppy disk or thumb drive for about $12.00.

Most scanners and digital cameras come with software to help the user change image sizes with a minimum of distortion.
  Photographs must be converted to .JPG or .jpg format, but this is the easy part. Almost all digital cameras will load pictures to your computer in .jpg format; and all popular scanners will load your pictures in .jpg format.
Interior photographs

Room Selection: Most homes have only a few photogenic rooms so invest time in getting the best possible pictures of your most attractive rooms. Don't waste time on photographs of small bedrooms unless they have something special to attract buyers. Two pictures that grab buyer attention are more effective than ten pictures that induce yawns.

Lighting: Flash attachments almost never light up the corners of a room, so before you snap your picture ..turn on all the lights! If possible use an extension cord and set up a 100 watt bulb behind you. If you can get floor lamps from other rooms, set them up behind you.

Perspective: To get the professional, "House & Garden" effect consider taking room pictures while standing on a chair, table or ladder.

People who love cameras are flattered when asked for help so canvas your family, friends and co-workers for a camera-savy person and ask them to help you get great pictures of your home.

Exterior photographs

Lighting: Ordinary flash attachments don't provide enough light for the outside of a house. Wait for a sunny day and snap the picture with the sun behind you. If in Alaska during the winter, or someplace else with long periods of dark days, invest in 3 or 4 big bulbs and 50-foot extension cords. Four 150 watt bulbs properly placed should provide enough light for a good picture.

Scanners and Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras: Make sure the resolution is set at the lowest setting (this is the setting that allows the greatest number of pictures). Most computer monitors display images at under 96 pixels per inch so high resolution pictures are a waste of time on the web. High resolution also produces huge images that take forever to upload. Our web site will not accept pictures bigger than 55,000 characters (55KB).

If all else fails:    
Send us your pictures attached to an email (if the pictures are large send several emails with no more than two pictures attached to each) to with "Photo Tour Pictures" in the subject line and we will try to re-size them and load them to your photo tour.
* Pixel
Short for Picture Element, a pixel is a single point in a computer image. Computer monitors display pictures by dividing the display screen into thousands of pixels, arranged in rows and columns. The pixels are so close together that they appear connected.

Copyright January 2012 by Corporation
Stone Mountain, Georgia
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