Best Editing Software for Real Estate Photography in 2023

If you want to improve the quality of your real estate photography, you'll need the right photo editing software. Here's a guide to the best options.

If you want to improve the quality of your real estate photography, you’ll need the right photo editing software for the job. 

The best software for real estate photographers should include:

  • HDR photo merging to produce an image of a house or interior with a balanced (and extended) dynamic range.
  • Panorama photo stitching to create images that include the entire property. (360 degree stitching isn’t required since the best 360 cameras include apps for this.)
  • Sky replacement to add realistic skies above buildings and through windows when actual conditions weren’t ideal.
  • Scene relighting to quickly create more favourable lighting away from the midday sun.
  • Sharpening tools to produce photos with the utmost detail.
  • Enlarging tools to increase photo resolution (useful for large prints on real estate welcome boards or ads etc.)
  • Batch editing to speed up your time to edit multiple photos taken in similar conditions.
  • Cataloguing to organise all your work (ideally, support for keywords and tags too.)

All software should also include standard photo editing features such as straightening, exposure adjustment, cropping, etc.

Luminar Neo screenshot
Luminar Neo

Powerful editing software that's easy for beginners with enough advanced tools for professional real estate photographers to speed up their workflow.

Use code shotkit10neo to save $10


While there are several apps and tools for editing real estate photography, we’ve included only those that we consider the absolute best.

Now let’s dive into the recommendations.

What is the Best Software for Real Estate Photography in 2023?

1. Luminar Neo

building and pool luminar

  • Powerful AI and standard editing tools
  • Best-in-class sky replacement
  • Easy to use
  • Useful ‘For this photo’ automatic AI edits
  • Expandable functionality via extensions
  • Available for one-time payment or subscription
  • Extensive camera and lens support
  • Simple image referencing from hard drive
  • Regular updates
  • No full-screen editing
  • Lacks keywording/tagging
Save $10 with promotional code shotkit10neo

Luminar Neo is an AI-powered non-destructive photo editing software by Skylum for Mac and Windows.

It’s one of the easiest editors to use, making it perfect for beginners – the AI analyses each image and provides suggested edits in the form of a ‘For this photo’ preset that adapts to each image.

It also includes plenty of advanced editing tools to keep professional photographers happy.

You can also purchase ‘extensions’ to expand Luminar’s capabilities, making it ideal fo real estate photographers.

Luminar Neo is available as a one-time purchase or a subscription, meaning you can start using it, whatever your budget.

The only downside is the lack of keywording and tagging, but you can still catalogue your shots with albums, folders and favourites.

Why is Luminar the best software for editing real estate photography?

Luminar Neo’s headline ‘sky replacement’ feature is an absolute godsend for real estate photographers.

We all know that getting a good-looking sky, be it blue with clouds or purple at sunset, is the complete luck of the draw when photographing houses.

With one click in Neo, you can add a realistic sky, with the AI relighting the scene to suit the new lighting conditions.

The AI also helps to relight the scene in one click and even auto crops or straightens your images. 

The best bit is that you can ‘copy’ the edits and ‘paste’ them across multiple images to batch edit them ‘intelligently’, with the AI adjusting on a per photo basis! This saves a ton of time.,

If you’re serious about editing real estate photography, you can use Luminar’s Extensions to do things like sharpening, enlarging and HDR merging with impressive results.

Extensions are available to purchase separately or included in the subscription.

2. Adobe Lightroom

house being edited in Lightroom

  • Powerful editing tools, including AI masking
  • Excellent image management & cataloguing
  • Efficient cross-device image sharing/editing
  • Essential cloud backups for peace of mind
  • Smart Previews save space and increase speed
  • Fast and easy online gallery creation
  • Excellent mobile app for phones and tablets
  • Camera and lens profiles regularly updated
  • Subscription doesn’t suit everyone
  • Can run slow on older computers
  • File management can be confusing for beginners

Adobe Lightroom is the industry-leading photo editing and management software for Mac and Windows users. 

It includes an offline app named Lightroom Classic and a web-based app simply named Lightroom.

There’s also a free mobile app which allows you to edit and manage your images on a phone or tablet.

All your photos, edits, keywords and other metadata are synced across all your devices and backed up in the Cloud.

Lightroom is available as a subscription-only, which may deter some real estate photographers, but the cost is worth it for all the useful features and upgrades.

If you choose the Photography Plan (recommended), you’ll also gain access to Adobe Photoshop. 

Lightroom offers all the editing features you’d expect from the most popular photo editor, plus some powerful AI features that help speed up your workflow.

The popular course Real Estate Photographer Pro outlines in details how to use both these Adobe apps to edit your photos.

Why is Lightroom great for editing real estate photography?

Aside from all of Lightroom’s powerful editing tools, of particular note to real estate photographers is the Photo Merge function for creating powerful HDR images.

Using Auto Align and Auto Tone, the software automatically fixes your HDR and standard panoramas and panoramas. (See our guide on how to create a panoramic image.)

Lightroom also has much better image cataloguing features than Luminar and its competitors, with multiple keyword, color coding, starring and tagging option to keep your photos organised.

If you need to create a quick online album or slideshow for your clients, it’s just a couple of clicks away, thanks to the Lightroom Slideshow and Web modules.

Lightroom also functions as a hub to access other apps, such as Luminar and Photoshop, via free plugins, meaning you can take advantage of the best of all worlds.

Finally, Lightroom offers lens correction tools for all modern camera lenses, meaning you can quickly fix the distortion from wide-angle lenses.

3. Adobe Photoshop


  • Powerful editing features, including AI
  • Useful and realistic sky replacement
  • Efficient layer-based editing workflow
  • Blending modes second to none
  • Can be accessed as a plugin via Lightroom
  • Comes with Lightroom as part of package
  • Ability to perform virtually any image edit
  • Subscription only
  • Complicated
  • Can’t import multiple RAW photos at once
  • No batch editing
  • No image management

Adobe Photoshop is the world’s most famous raster graphics and image editor.

Created in 1988, Photoshop has become the industry standard for digital art as a whole.

Although the user interface is complicated, once you’ve mastered the basic functionality, there’s little you can’t do to an image with Photoshop.

Using layers and smart objects, all edits to images are non-destructive, meaning you can make infinite adjustments without affecting the original image. 

PSD files can quickly increase in file size but contain all the various editing steps and image data for you to return to.

For real estate photographers, importing RAW photos to Photoshop requires Adobe Camera RAW, which is included with your Photoshop subscription.

Why is Photoshop great for editing real estate photography?

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Adobe Sensei allows you to replace entire skies with Photoshop while realistically relighting the scene.

This is invaluable for real estate photography, where we rarely have the sunset or bright blue sky we’re looking for.

Photoshop also offers powerful alignment tools for ensuring all walls are straight.

The main benefit of Photoshop over other image editing apps is the ability to use multiple layers and blending modes to ensure each portion of an image is edited in the best way possible.

4. ON1 Photo RAW


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  • Cons here
  • Cons here
Save $20 by tapping the link above (code will be automatically applied)

ON1 Photo RAW is an all-in-one photo editing tool for photographers.

It offers photo organizing, photo effects, masking tools, retouching, LUTs, HDR, layers and more.

It’s one of the most popular Lightroom alternatives but doesn’t offer a mobile app or cross-device editing like Lightroom.

ON1 offers a wide selection of good-looking presets that can be previewed and applied to any photo, but they don’t adjust based on the image (like Luminar’s do).

It excels at photo management, with powerful cataloguing and organisation features built in, including star ratings, color labels likes and keywords.

ON1 Photo RAW is available as a one-time purchase as well as a subscription.

Why is ON1 suited for editing real estate photography?

Sky Swap AI in Photo RAW makes replacing or enhancing a dull sky a piece of cake – you can select from one of over 100 skies or import your own.

Keyword AI uses semantics and metadata to suggest keywords for you automatically – this can save a ton of time organising your real estate photos.

The Super Select AI and Mask AI tools help automatically select various sections of your images, making edits much faster and easier.

Finally, all the photo management tools will make sure you’ll always be able to find the exact image you’re looking for.

5. Photomatix Pro


Photomatix Pro creates HDR images from bracketed photographs to create stunning photos of high-contrast scenes.

It’s a standalone (one-time purchase) program for Windows and Mac.

There’s also an HDR Batch Plugin that’s half the price and runs via Adobe Lightroom or Capture One.

Photomatix Pro used to be the most popular software for creating perfectly exposed real estate via HDR.

Since then, however, various other software has appeared that offer similarly excellent HDR merging capabilities, along with other image editing tools.

However, some diehard real estate photographers and HDR aficionados will still prefer Photomatix Pro since it delves much deeper into the genre.

For example, Photomatix Pro offers over HDR settings, 40 HDR presets and multiple tools specific to real estate photography. 

App to Speed Up the Culling of Real Estate Photos


One thing that none of the software in this guide offer is a way to harness AI to cull your photos quickly and effortlessly.

Fortunately, there’s a great downloadable app called AfterShoot that does just this.

All you need to do is load your RAW real estate photos into AfterShoot, choose some parameters, and then let it run.

You’ll be left with a selection of the ‘best’ photos, as chosen by artificial intelligence.

It’s a great way to remove duplicate photos, which are all too common with real estate photography.

You can manually add or remove to edit the selection or just export them all to your chosen editing software to complete the job.

(AfterShoot isn’t a photo editor – it just culls your photos. 

Alternative Software for Real Estate Photography

The list above includes the absolute best real estate photography software with special features that will considerably speed up your editing workflow.

However, if you’re happy to start with regular editing software, here are some options that could potentially be used for real estate photographers.

  • Radiant Photo – AI-powered photo editor created by photographers. Includes an impressive one-click auto-adjustment, plus granular editing features for more experienced editors (Radiant review.)
  • Topaz Photo AI – Another AI-powered editing software with sharpening, noise reduction and image enlargement tools (Topaz Photo AI review.)
  • PaintShopPro – similar to Photoshop but easier to use. Utilises AI and a customisable toolset.
  • Capture One – powerful tethered shooting and unrivalled colour management. It also includes a handy iPad app.
  • Darktable – one of the most popular free editing apps with some handy (but limited) features similar to Lightroom. (Darktable review.)

Final Words

We hope this guide to the best photo editing software for real estate photography was helpful to you.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Good luck with your shooting, and happy editing!

Luminar Neo screenshot
Luminar Neo

Powerful editing software that's easy for beginners with enough advanced tools for professional real estate photographers to speed up their workflow.

Use code shotkit10neo to save $10


References and further reading:

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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