Real Estate Photo Editing Pricing: In-house Cost vs. Overseas Outsourcing Cost

In real estate business, one of the costs to market is producing enticing pictures of real estate properties. These photos play a huge part in visually communicating the property portfolio to the increasing online footprint of buyers. This means that more and more people are taking their viewing over the internet through social media or through real estate websites.

Posting a photo of the property is not as simple for the realtor as it seems. The photo needs to be top-notch in quality since it is the first point of contact for potential buyers. Since photography is not the core competency of real estate companies, they look to photographers to capture the image and pay them to make the pictures perfect. This brings me to the point of responsibility of editing of the photographer which they can choose to do themselves or outsource. Many real estate photo editing services have become so prevalent that they accept orders from anyone to enhance the photos. However, there is an argument to consider on profitability. As a photographer, the choice of doing it in-house can reduce cost while maintaining real estate photo editing pricing to maximize the profit earned. If on the other hand, the choice is to outsource it to a reputable real estate photo editing company, then there will be implications unique to this business model.

How Much Does Photo Editing Cost?


Editing it yourself will definitely require more hard work. Real estate photo editing service will entail learning the software, its basics, and the techniques which all need investment in time. This means that you might realize your return on investment a little later than you would want to because it takes time to achieve the quality of editing you want. On the flip side, once you have mastered the art of editing and have met your client’s standards consistently, then you are now able to maximize the earning. Here are some business models and real estate photo editing pricing you may consider when you have achieved this level. Take note that this also applies for the outsourcing of editing, as other photographers in the industry will also have the same ranges in mind.

  • Hourly rate – Depending on your real estate photo editing service agreements with the realtors or from photographer to the real estate photo editing company, hourly rates can range from $40 to $120. Of course, several factors dictate the amount of hourly rate your getting and these include the impact of your pictures on their sales and the level of your relationship with the company.
  • Per Photo – Charging per photo can be tricker and more complex as it takes into account charging for every want or need by the client. The considerations for real estate photo editing pricing are based on degree of difficulty. The basic retouching may include simple changes such as illumination, color contrasting, and removing imperfections on the photo. The complexity spectrum moves up a notch as finer details are edited such as objects removal, background changes, and finer color corrections. On the extreme end of the complexity scale includes all the items in the previous levels plus staging furniture or generally making things appear in the photo which were not there during the photo shoot. This makes it difficult due to the fact that the picture must come out as realistic. The pricing per photo for basic retouching costs around $3-$10 per piece, $11-$20 for the intermediate difficulty, and $25-$35 for the most complex ones.

How Much are these Photos Sold to Realtors?

Remember that the process of editing is value adding work and increases the perception of value to your customers whether the customer is the realtor or you (receiving the photos from an outsourced real estate photo editing company). Real estate photo editing service can add values from $100 to $200 dollars to the photo after enhancements. Therefore, selling prices to consider the cost of work and skill are $150 to $250 per photo.

Benefits of Having Editing Skills

Outsourcing to a real estate photo editing company can cost an arm and a leg. This is because real estate photo editing services will have their own cost of editing, and a margin to sell it to the photographer. From the photographer to the realtor, another profit margin will be needed to earn making the price higher for the realtor. Now this may sound like a faster way to get things done since there are more people paid to do more photos simultaneously since they are outsourced. However, the drawback is that real estate companies might start looking for photographers with more affordable rates. After all this is a business and everyone thrives on profit.

The benefit of running your own real estate photo editing service is that you are not dependent on the price of an outsourced real estate photo editing company. By eliminating the need to outsource, the profits you receive are solely yours and no portion has to be allotted to paying someone else. The realtor can enjoy a lower price since your costs are low and this could lead to better relationships in the long term.

Our Recommendation

While there is no absolute right or wrong, the primary go-to option must be an in-house real estate photo editing service. This immediately brings in more benefits that disadvantages. Real Estate photo editing pricing immediately drops to the liking of your customer. For cases where the work gets overwhelming and orders seem to flow in, do not fret. This means that your reputation as a photographer and realty editor is good and is getting traction. This is when we recommend getting a mix of in-house editing and outsourcing to meet all deadlines without compromising quality. At the end of the day, we do want to keep the customers happy, don’t we?


Real estate photo editing pricing is not all that difficult. It is a matter of determining whether you want to do it on your own have it outsourced but keep in mind what your goals are as well. If you want to make a good reputation and good profit out of it, then perhaps learning to do it in-house may be of advantage to you. Once you have grown your client base and need more capacity, considering outsourcing for some projects while doing in-house may get the job done on time to keep your clients satisfied.


Relevant Quick Links: