When selling a house, having attractive photos and videos of all the property’s distinctive features is vital for raising the interest of potential buyers. The more staged and well-lit the house shows in your pictures, the better chances you have of getting calls from people with a genuine interest in buying your home. 

Video from the air helps sell houses.

But for attention-grabbing material, it is hard to beat a drone’s aerial takes of your home and its immediate surroundings. Viewers will get a privileged view of your house and understand its size and how it relates to the street and neighboring properties. Even you might be surprised by what you see!

But before you get all excited and order drone videos of the home you want to sell, take a minute to think about the practical and legal implications of drone photography. 

Not all airspace is the same.

In California, authorities classify drones as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Drones have military, commercial and recreational uses. Prices for basic models have dropped over the last few years. Lower prices have triggered an explosion in all kinds of users. There are almost 200,000 registered drone pilots in the USA today.

Even for recreational use, the law makes registering a drone mandatory. With that registration, drones can only fly in Class G airspace, up to 400 feet above the ground. Commercial individuals or organizations must follow the FAA’s Part 107 small UAS rule to soar above that range or use the heavier kinds of drones. 

Your shoot must happen between sunrise and sunset.

This document indicates that drones must only operate from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Your Real Estate photography professional must know the local times for these and plan around them to get the most dramatic images of your home. 

Consider specific area limitations.

Before you book aerial photography and video package with a professional, do some research about your county, city, or community’s restrictions about the commercial use of drones. Some of these local ordinances are specific to certain areas or neighborhoods to apply to your project. Unfortunately, the photographer you chose might not be aware of them. 

Respect other people’s privacy.

If your local regulations require that you give prior notice about the aerial photo shoot, always do so. And remember that drones are used to invade celebrities’ and ordinary people’s privacy. Assume that your neighbors will be very sensitive to the sight of a drone in their environment. Discuss ways to diminish the risk of an adverse reaction with your professional photographer. 


We highly recommend investing in aerial photography and video to sell your house. Few other materials will get potential buyers excited and willing to consider your property. But make sure that you employ a fully registered professional, licensed, and aware of State and local regulations.