One of the major internet property portals reckons that just three seconds is all the time your home has to make an impression on potential buyers.

So in less time than it has taken to read this far, your property may already have been passed over by house hunters browsing the internet.

Don’t believe those who tell you selling houses is easy. It needs a professional approach and that’s what you pay for if you choose the right estate agent.

There’s an old saying that a picture tells a thousand words but it really only has to say three where properties are concerned: ‘Look at me!’

To make sure that’s the message it conveys, you have to get the right picture to do the shouting on behalf of your home. It’s only the picture that makes the browser stop in their tracks as they have already narrowed their search through specifying location, house type, and price.

As far as I can see, the best way to get that picture is to elevate your photographer’s skills to another level. That can be a quite literal interpretation of what’s needed. At my agency I use two professional photographers to ensure my properties are showing their best sides and if that means getting a different perspective on them that’s what we do.

For instance, we have a great property for sale in Southsea. But it’s surrounded by a high wall so you neither see it to best effect from the road or inside the wall.

Short of going across the road to ask neighbours if you can stand in their bedroom window to take the shot you want you have to find another solution. For us, that’s to send the camera up on a pole. Digital cameras can be linked to a laptop and you can see what the camera sees before you press the shutter. Nothing is left to chance.

Some agents may manipulate shots digitally on their computers but that’s not good practice. Deceiving people about the property only works until you get them there – when they arrive they are then disappointed and trust nothing else you tell them.

The good thing for you is that a proper estate agent won’t ask for money upfront unless there is an exceptional marketing exercise to undertake. The agent carries the risk so has to work hard to get the money back through selling the house to earn a fee.

It means elevating the service to another level is of mutual benefit. While you’ve been reading this snapshot of how to make pictures work, potential buyers may have whizzed through more than 100 properties on a web portal and not found anything. If you had the right picture telling your story, they might be on the phone to make a viewing right now!