Raining Cats And Blogs: Top 10 Photographic Crimes Agents Commit

Top 10 Photographic Crimes Agents Commit

Top 10 Photographic Mistakes Agents Make


Since cameras have been getting better and better over the past years, why are the photos most real estate agents make not getting any better? Most agents take photos of rooms without a thought as to what it will look like in print or online. The photos in the MLS can be very poor and some agents don't even put in photos at all.. 

Below is a list of the 10 mistakes I see most often in our MLS.. 


1. Photographs that still have the date stamps on them. Not only does it look bad, but most often the date is more than a few months old!! 

2. Crooked photos of the inside or outside of the home. Most everyone has a photo editor that will automatically straighten your photo.. USE IT.

3. Blurry or out-of-focus photos. You should always take several shots of each room so that if some are blurry, you have others to use.

4. Partial room shots where just the corner of the room is shown. You should always stand in the corner of a room and get as much of the room in the shot as possible. In fact, if you can stand in another room and still get the whole room you are shooting, it is even better!

5. Photos with people or pets in the shot. Really? If you can't get a shot without pets or people ( which there is no reason why you can't) then at least photoshop them out!

6. Photos with open toilets in them. Close the lid!!!! It looks a lot better.

7. Interior photos with bad tint ( orange, yellow, or green) Again, take more than one shot per room just in case, and try photo editing software to help as well.

8. Exterior shots taken into the sun. No home can look it's best that way.. Make sure to time your photo shoot so that this doesn't happen.

9. Interior photos that are dark because there are no lights on or it is too dark outside. Most all rooms are gonna look better during daytime. 

10. Photos with mirrors or windows that show a flash of light and the agent with a camera. You can usually shoot rooms with windows or mirrors from an angle and keep this from happening.. 


Our team markets our listings mainly over the internet and to do that, we need the best photos possible. It is our belief that most buyers and sellers don't care how the agents' head shots look, but they do care how the homes look online! What good is a great website to market your listings if the photos of the listings look horrible? 



If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the  Anderson or Greenville SC real estate areas, visit our website at www.SheilaNewtonTeam.com for tons of great information.


Sheila Newton   
Sheila Newton Team 
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices -
C. Dan Joyner, Realtors
864-225-1205 (direct)
864-940-6377 (mobile)


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Great pointers on taking those pictures to show the home in the best possible way. Really . . . unless the toilet is something extraordinary, I say, please don't even have a picture of it at all if possible.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) about 5 years ago

Good reminder to make our photos look better. I agree with the interior photos that are too dark -- turn on the lights, even in the daytime, the photos will look much better.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 5 years ago

Certainly have seen every error you mention in the local MLS. I would also add using a cell phone for property photos.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 5 years ago

A wide angle camera is great for taking pictures of rooms. I agree with Bill, it seems like too many agents are taking pictures with cell phones these days.

Posted by Ron Saporito, Palm Desert, CA Real Estate & Mortgage Broker Since 2003, Call (760)574-8486. www.JustListedinPalmDesert.com (Ronald Christopher & Associates. Proudly serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Coachella, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs.) about 5 years ago

Hi Sheila, excellent photo tips. An off camera flash is a good choice to add fill lighting.

Posted by John Owen, Broker serving Durham Region, Ontario (Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 5 years ago

I love this list Sheila. All great points, but why does this still happen?  :)

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 5 years ago

The pictures agent post online is the easiest way to tell the good agents from the bad ones

Posted by Brian Clinger, Brian Clinger ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES (Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt) about 5 years ago

Yes, these are big faux pas and as you said, they are so easy to correct, even w/ a basic camera.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

GOOD MORNING SHEILA .. your title got me - I loved it.  Nice spin on the "bad photos" post!

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Sheila, you've pretty much covered all of the photo sins!  It's especially important to have equipment that gives you a wide angle, but not distorted picture of the room.  

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Great points, yes we all need to watch out for these flaws.  I agree that many of these issues can be easily fixed with photo edditing software.  

Posted by Rob Marken, 25+ years experience in Bend (Bend River Realty) about 5 years ago

Ive seen pictures of homes with beer bottles, and people sleeping on beds! Funny stuff 

Posted by Come Home ATX, Realtors (Come Home ATX) about 5 years ago

It does amaze me when I see some of the pictures that are posted.  I've actually started to save some of them as examples of what NOT to do and show potential clients what I will NEVER do to their listing.

Posted by Tg Glazer - The Right Realtor® for the Right Results!, Westfield/Cranford, NJ area (Coldwell Banker, Westfield, NJ) about 5 years ago

You must admit some of the photography displayed on the MLS is a "crime" and a "crying shame".  Ugh! Our biggest pet peeve.  Really makes you wonder...

Posted by Karen Baker, Professional Help with Rapid Responses... (Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty) about 5 years ago

Great post! How about a kitchen picture with dirty dishes in the sink? Or a bathroom photo with the toilet seat up on a filthy toilet? I have laughed out loud at some of the pics I see. thanks for the advice

Posted by Victoria Ray Henderson Marshall Henderson, Real Estate for Home Buyers with Buyer's Edge (Buyer's Edge Company Inc) about 5 years ago

This is one of my biggest pet peeves.  How about this one - sideways photo!


Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I like the up-close and personal shots of the electrical box myself.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) about 5 years ago

How bout my fave? The Realtor in the bathroom mirror shot? :)

Posted by Jill Saddler, Draper Utah Real Estate Professional - 25 years+! about 5 years ago

My pet peeve is when pasture and a barn is mentioned in the MLS comments, but no exterior photos to show us what they look like. If you have a feature that will attract attention, you better include a photo of it!

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) about 5 years ago

It's great to see you being featured, Sheila. Hope all is well. These are good, commonsense tips that everyone is capable of handling.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 5 years ago

Shelia, Great post - one of my biggest suggestions for agents when taking photos is use the same lighting for every room.  I always turn the light on in the room, no matter if it seems lit enough for not.  I want to accomplish having the same lighting every time. 

On of my pet peeves is the toilet seat and leaving the shower curtain open!

Good Luck!


Posted by Nakia Brooks, Selling GA, One yard at a time! (GaRealtyGroup | 2ShortSaleGuys) about 5 years ago

Reblogged with this caption...

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 5 years ago

Open lids are a  no no. Saw this on Cheryl's reblog.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 5 years ago

You listed the one I hate the most, open toilet! I try my best not to even get the toilet if possible.  Don't mind the shower curtain being opened if the shower is anice tiled, luxury shower but a toilet is just that, a toilet. Enjoyed your blog. Thank you.

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) about 5 years ago

So many home buyers and agents will simply pass by a listing with no photos. When I take them for my listings, I even get into the corner of a closet to capture the size of the room to the best of my ability.

Great post!

Posted by Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker, RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity. (RVA Home Team) about 5 years ago

I think most of the time the agents are just being lazy more than it being a lack of knowledge. Still, sellers should expect (and receive) more!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Great list of what not to do. I've been know to take a bad photo or two that is why I try to hire a photographer very chance I get.

Posted by Toby Barnett, Toby Barnett (KW North Sound) about 5 years ago

You think that is bad,  look at this picture a Miami Realtor put on the MLS!!!  A1783107 property address: 2514 Monroe Street, Hollywood, Fl.

Posted by Kathy Hyatt ~Plantation, Davie, Sunrise REALTOR, Broward Realtor Selling Plantation,Davie & Sunrise (The Keyes Company Realtors) about 5 years ago

I used to show prospective sellers, photos and flyers from the competition along with photos from my listings. It was not hard to stand out from the crowd when so many agents just don't seem to care.

Posted by Ann Griffin, Realtor, ABR, E-PRO, SRES in Mesa, AZ (Coldwell Banker Trails and Paths Premier Properties) about 5 years ago

You captured all my pet peeves with MLS photos!  I hope all listing agents read your post!!

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) about 5 years ago

Sarah And Lester – I agree about the toilet.. LOL.. we all know homes have them..


Pamela – I have found that using the flash, even in the daylight when photographingthe interior, the photos look much better and are less “fuzzy”


Bill -  I agree with most cell phones, although I have a tablet that will take better photos than my camera!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Ron – most agents don’t seem to understand how important photos are for marketing!

John – Thanks – I use all kinds of editing software to make my photos better..


Tom – a lot of the agents are lazy!!   

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Brian – I agree !!


Debbie – For sure… I know a lot of agents that just don’t seem to care and are in too much of a hurry to get good photos uploaded! 



Gabrielle – thanks… I have changed it several times trying to get it right J  

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Patricia - I used to use a fish-eye lens, but those are hard to make look good..


Rob – love my apps J  



Mark  - WOW.. now that is bad 

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

TG – Great idea!! Might have to steal that one J


Frank and Karen – sure does… I wish more mls boards would start issuing fines for some of these issues! They want to fine us over other stuff that is much less important!


Victoria and Marshall – yuk! I would rather see no photo of a kitchen or bath at all if it is dirty!!



Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Margaret – LOL… omg.. can’t believe I forgot that one!! Dang.. that means there are 11


Elizabeth – HAHA… why would you photograph that?



Jill – Happens all the time.

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

     Laziness, ineptitude... there is no excuse for lousy MLS photos.  But as you have shown, many Realtors just keep on posting absolute garbage for photographs!

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Jeanne – I agree.. I am looking for more things to make photos of.. more is better when it comes to photos!! Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words in the remarks!!


Jill – Thanks – I am trying to get back to blogging daily again.. once you get out of the habit, it is hard to get back to it! Great to see you again!



Nakia – Flash helps as well.

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Cheryl – thanks

Margaret – cool.. thanks for coming over to comment!


Donna -  Thanks for taking time to comment.. appreciated 

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Sheila - Wonderfully done. This is a great and comprehensive list of common errors that we all see in the MLS.  :)

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 5 years ago

Shannon -  LOL.. I do that too.. some sellers think I’m taking photos of their closets… 


Gary – I send a link to the mls listing to my sellers and ask them to critique my remarks and photos.


Toby – I have never hired anyone, but for some homes, it could be a great idea.



Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Kathy – omg… is that the Realtor or the seller in the photo… ??


Ann – Great idea… I agree, not hard to stand out!  



Francine – Me too!!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Fred – I stay amazed!!



Jason – thanks .. appreciated!! 

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Sheila, I have found that a full set of good photos need to be taken at different times of the day, just because of the light and the way it makes the rooms look

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 5 years ago

Sheila - excellent point. My other nyet is the photo showing snow on the ground when it's summer time. Nothing says this house has been on the market too long than that!

Posted by Tessa Skeens, Staging For Denver Realtors, Builders (Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign ) about 5 years ago


I have to agree with you. Poor photo's don't show well. It doesn't take much time to do the job right. You know that saying" You only get one chance to make a first impression" Poor photo's are a direct relection of your work to come. At least to me

Have a great one and thanks


Posted by JodiAnn Garone, Bringing you Home! (Century 21 Action Plus Realty) about 5 years ago

If you're going to include clothes in the photo, please fold them!  How about putting the mop, broom and dust pan away before you snap the photo of the kitchen.  Great post!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 5 years ago

#9 may by the worst in my opinion but equal to the cheap camera just showing the corner of a bedroom inside of using a wide angle lens.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 5 years ago

This one really pushes my buttons.. I ALWAYS know the listing agent is male. LOL

Photos with open toilets in them. Close the lid!!!! It looks a lot better. 

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 5 years ago
Pets don't bother me. I find them charming if the animal is being a ham. I'm sure I've had a couple of pups help me sell a house
Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 5 years ago

Ed – I like to make different sets of photos as well… some days the homes just look better than others!


Tessa – I agree.. or the opposite even, green grass when it is middle of winter!


JodiAnn – Not to mention the first impression to the buyer who sees the photos first.. if the photos look too bad, the buyer may not call to see the home in person!


Carla – Thanks.. I agree, the home should be show ready when photographed.. after all, it is being show to everyone!!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Joe – For sure. I agree.


Joan – LOL… or at least the homeowner is..



Tammy – depends on the pet for sure, but people are off limits for me.

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

the toilet lid up drives me crazy.  eww!

Posted by Jennifer Green (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) about 5 years ago

Sheila, yes, these are simple things, more often neglected while taking the pictures! Best way is hire a professional photographer.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

Sheila you could give a seminar to 27000 here if we could get them to atten

Posted by Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man (HomeSmart) about 5 years ago
The date stamp one kills me! Life goes on I guess. Overall good detail. Love and light, Laura
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 5 years ago


I think you captured them all. It's amazing how many bad pics we see in the MLS. The open toilet will never go away, I've seen them in multimillion dollar listings


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 5 years ago

I have made all these mistakes.  I surrender and recently have hired a professional photographer!  

Posted by Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor (Carlson Properties 325-721-2429) about 5 years ago

Great tips. Thank you. 

Posted by Kaye Swain, Your Roseville Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Real Estate Roseville CA) about 5 years ago

Preach it, girl!

Posted by Kim Norton, Selling Northwest Arkansas (CREATIV Real Estate Solutions) about 5 years ago

It aggravates me when I see crappy photographs on MLS. Listing agents are doing a huge disservice to their clients. Crappy photos are a symptom of an agent's laziness.

Posted by Rosie Moore (Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City) about 5 years ago

I definitely agree with you Sheila!  It amazes me how much people don't use common sense when taking pictures!  Glad someone posted about it!

Posted by Jack O'Neal (Conway Real Estate) about 5 years ago
Sheila, you are absolutely right, and most agents cell phones are capable of taking excellent photos and even have editing software to correct items you mentioned. Why would anyone want to take a Photo of the toilet seat up, Even when I show a house I quickly put the seat down. Great pointers for those to try and build on. It really makes me wonder when an agent over and over list a half million and up Property and only presents two or three pictures, and very poorly done at that. You all might think I am crazy being a garage and car guy, take photos of the garage especially when they are large multiple car garages and shops. Most agents just list two or three car garage or parking space. I try to take multiple shots of all rooms including garage and laundry area and any other area that is an asset to the property. Good post, and great faults that should be closely paid attention too. Large expensive hire a professional.
Posted by Rod Pierson, Northern California (Results Real Estate Inc) about 5 years ago

OMG! I've been doing searches for clients on our MLS and have come across every one of these "sins" again and again! More bad photos out there than good ones and then agents and their clients wonder why their homes aren't selling. I won't even bother sending homes with really bad photos to my clients--I worry that they might think those photos stem from me! Great post.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 5 years ago

Thank you for these great tips. I use a professional photographer for my listings who also does a v-tour with weekly feedback for each. If you can't afford a professional just starting out then checkout:

Daniel Goodman's Tips and Tricks for IPhone http://www.businessinsider.com/improve-iphone-mobile-camera-pictures-2012-7?op=1

I am sure there is a link for Android based phones

Posted by Sharon Kowitz, Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling (CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC) about 5 years ago

Good Morning and this is some great advice!! Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) about 5 years ago

Good Morning and this is some great advice!! Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) about 5 years ago

Good Morning and this is some great advice!! Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) about 5 years ago

Good Morning and this is some great advice!! Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) about 5 years ago

You've come up with a good list of No-No's. I've seen most of what you listed and shake my head every time. Photos get buyers interested in a home so they have to be great.

Posted by Jill Winchel, We make it easy. You make it home. (Royal Shell Real Estate - Koffman & Associates ) about 5 years ago

Great points Sheila .


Posted by Barbara "Barb" Bodnar, Licensed Associate RE Broker, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 5 years ago

Sheila, there is a big difference between taking a photograph and a snapshot. Most pictures agents take of homes are snapshots.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 5 years ago

Sheila, I think I've seen everyone of those this week. I was stunned yesterday when I opened a listing in a high-end neighborhood with zero pictures. It didn't even have a front picture. Oy!

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 5 years ago

Brought back memories...On the dates? It was easier to go along than to figure out how to turn the date button off years ago

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 5 years ago

And photos that really show nothing at all such as a vacant room with no decor, architectural detail, etc. - just a box with carpet on the floor.

Posted by Graig Griffin, SIOR, Commercial Real Estate - Utah and Nevada (Utah Advisors | Windermere Commercial) about 5 years ago

#10 drives me crazy Sheila! I think it's because it reminds me of the social media "selfie". Agents should know better!

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 5 years ago

This is a pet peeve of mine. I see far too many bad photos in the MLS. As far as I'm concerned it's an offense that should require immediate dismissal.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Great post! Good photos are imperative since most homebuyers start their searches online. Most buyers don't want to take the time to look at a house in person if the photos are horrible.

Posted by Laura Foreman, Copywriter, Buffini & Company (Referral Maker Real Estate CRM) about 5 years ago

We recently saw a couple of homes primary MLS photo showing garbage cans in the front of the house.  Another had garbage bags on the front porch, with trash spilling out.  Literally a trashy picture.

Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Great tips Sheila. I agree with you that having a date stamps on your photos does look bad. It’s kind of irritating for me.

Posted by Eric Galuppo (Real Estate Rev - More Leads Means More Revenue) about 5 years ago

Sheila:  Excellent list.  When I did appraising, I had much the same reaction as you did to some of the pics I'd see from other appraisers.  If it doesn't look good in your viewfinder, it isn't going to look good as a photo either.  Take the time .. make the effort ... then crop, fix, and photoshop if needed!


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 5 years ago

Photography, video, blog writing, efficient and creative use of time, running a business, getting along with people... all just part of the skill set. I see lots of great photographers out there and that's how they survive. Do a better job. 10 to 20% of the marketers always do. Be that little red hen.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

The open toilet seat lid drives me crazy!  Even more so when the seat is up too!

Posted by Julie Brown, Broker-Associate, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (Steffes Group, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Personally, I love the "real estate selfies" where the agent is able to capture themselves in the bathroom mirror.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 5 years ago
Great info for this newbie. Thanks so much.
Posted by Phyllis Owens, Phyllis Owens, RE Services & Consulting about 5 years ago

Great article!  I think my biggest listing pics pet peeves are an open toilet seat lid and reflections of flash or the photographer in mirrors/windows.

Happy selling, fellow REALTORS!

Posted by Sandra Cannon, Tech Savvy, Paperless REALTOR, ABR & CRS (Urban Provision, REALTORS®) about 5 years ago

You forgot one - pictures that show more of the furniture or the items on a counter than the home itself.  We aren't selling a bed or toaster!

Posted by Shelley Rowton, ABR, RSPS - (512) 507-5779 MoveToRealty of Austin (Move To Realty) about 5 years ago

Sheila -- BAD photos are a BIG pet peeve with me. I just got off the MLS and I saw ONE listing that had most of these 'crimes'.  With over 90% of buyers searching online, great pics are of the utmost importance. We just can't say this enough.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) about 5 years ago

As a professional real estate photographer and owner of www.MediamaxPhotography.com, Colorado's www.Obeo.com distributor, I'll sum up my response to this post with one statement . . . Please hire a professional to take all of your listing photography!!

With the average cost as low as $100 to hire a professional photographer I am absolutely astonished that any real estate professional in any size market around the country would even consider taking their own pictures!

Take a moment to estimate how many hours you might spend taking your own pictures (the investment you make into a reasonably good DSLR camera, the round trip travel to the home, the time to take the pictures, the time to process those images on your PC, the time spent uploading those images to various websites) and I'm guessing you'll find it's actually LESS EXPENSIVE to hire a professional photographer than it is to take the pictures yourself.  Not to mention, you will leave a MUCH BETTER PROFESSIONAL IMPRESSION WITH YOUR SELLERS because they think you've spent alot more than what hiring a professional actually costs.


The topic of listing photography has been getting alot of attention for several years and I honestly can't believe I continue to read articles providing "How To Take Good Pictures" guidelines encouraging agents to take their own pictures.  Taking good real estate photography is NOT about the equipment, it's about hiring an experienced individual who has spent countless hours perfecting their craft and camera settings to deliver a well composed, well lighted image!

I'm astonished that home sellers even allow an agent to take their own pictures knowing how important great photography is in today's real estate market!

My crew of Colorado photographers had photographed over 80,000 listings here in Colorado over the past twelve years and you can tell I'm pretty passionate about this topic.

Posted by Mark Schow (Mediamax, Inc.) about 5 years ago

I couldn't agree more; some of the pictures are just horrid and definitely don't show the home in the best way.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 5 years ago

Excellent list. Always love the selfie shots agents take in the bathroom mirror. I always take at least one picture from each corner of a room so we have lots of great pictures to choose from.

Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) about 5 years ago


There is no doubt, great photos make all the difference in the world.

Now, here is what I don't understand...what is the seller thinking when they look at the listing of their home and see those photos?

Posted by Bob Pisa, Broker Associate, Commitment, Service, Satisfaction... (Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL) about 5 years ago

Yep. Every single one of these is on my list as well. I just don't understand it, but that's okay, because when a lazy agent doesn't sell the property, it will make it that much easier for me to sell it when the listing expires. 

Posted by Rebecca Riopelle, Broker Associate & REALTOR® (BLINK Realty Group) about 5 years ago

I would wonder what the sellers think of these masterpieces.   There are so many agents who can't be bothered to even take photos - that these are better than nothing.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 5 years ago

For the biggest photographic crime in real estate is the iPhone. Sorry, yes it had a great camera. For facebook oe nstagram. That it'll do some sort of panoramic doesn't matter, it's distorted by the time I'm looking at it in the mls. Then the fisheye- really? Tou can't tell anything with a fisheye. 

Posted by Jim Beitz (Keller Williams Success Realty) about 5 years ago

I took two photography classes in college, so I know how to shoot photos like a pro.  Agents can go to their local community college and take a photography class for $300 or less.

Kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplaces sell VACANT houses.  Purge the urge to photograph a vacant bedroom.  Focus on the kitchen, baths, any room with a fireplace and exterior shots.

Erick Blackwelder
Washington DC suburbs
Equal Housing Opportunity

Posted by Erick Blackwelder, Text or call Erick now at 703-677-1120. (Cell: 703-677-1120) about 5 years ago

While I have a professional photographer take my photos, I'm often there beforehand, taking photos for "coming soon" type marketing. Your list makes complete sense.

Have you ever seen a photo with the ocean that is so crooked you immediately think: TIDAL WAVE!!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 5 years ago

I have always wondered why sellers don't insist that these works of art be removed. Pictures are worth a thousand words and these pictures are certainly not talking the language of sales.

Posted by Bernadette A. James, Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty SW (Serving Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond and Pearland) about 5 years ago

I love the list! I have even used the framing option in my photo editor to get rid of the yard that isn't quite green yet.

Posted by Anna Hatridge, Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty (Goodson Realty) about 5 years ago

Hi Sheila.  Good list.    Photos are more important than ever, now that buyers are shopping online.  I am appalled at the terrible MLS photos I see -- sometimes for very expensive homes!

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) about 5 years ago

I so agree Shelia!  Even the basic novice can go into Microsoft Photo Editor and at least make the photo lighter so it can be seen better on the internet and property print out sheets.  I've never understood the agent who will take 12 pictures and use all 12 pictures.  For me it's a minimum of at least 250 a property and then they are screened for the absolute best shots.  Photos should be give as much attention as any other part of the listing....maybe even more attention!


Posted by Pamela Crews, Real Estate Services In Pensacola Florida (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Main Street Properties) about 5 years ago

Interior photos of homes should also be honest.  Recently I had a condo listing that was under contract within three days.  There was another condo with the identical floor plan that had been professionally photographed but was languishing on the market.  My client's immediate reaction was to thank me for the "honest" photographs that I had done of his home.  They did not distort the space available.  Photos of the other condo had been taken with such a wide-angle lens and were manipulated to such an extent that the entrance foyer appeared to be as large as a gymnasium.  Other spaces were similarly misrepresented.  I do take my photos with a high-end digital SLR, using a high-powered external flash to balance the interior light with the light coming from the windows.  I often use a wide-angle lens, but I'm careful that my photos do not misrepresent the subject property.  The last thing we want to happen to our listings is to be the cause disappointment when the property is shown.  Good photos can certainly help sell a property, but they should be true representations.

Posted by Lewis A. Edge Jr. (Richard A. Weidel Corporation) about 5 years ago

Great post. Speaking from an APPRAISER's point of view I continually stress the importance of GOOD photos inside and out. We RELY heavily on those photos for interior upgrades, condition, amenities, etc. in addition to your Comments in FMLS/MLS on all upgrades and renovations, etc. So Please take good shots or get a pro to do them!

Also if you have a Lake  or Golf Course property, PLEASE take good shots of the views, etc. Appraisers cannot always see behind the front of the homes to appreciate the views from the rear. We can pull aerials, but YOUR Realtor photos standing off the rear of the home deck or patio toward the Lake or Golf Course is imperative. If you cannot see the Lake or Course from the Rear of the home. WALK back there and take good photos including any boat docks involved. 

Remember not only do good photos sell homes, good photos can make the difference in APPRAISED Value when we look at the Comps! 


Thank you!




Posted by Mary Thompson, Lake Lanier Appraiser in North Georgia (Lanier Appraisal Service) about 5 years ago

Spot on!  My top of the list pet peeves have to be the toilet lid and seeing the agent in a mirror! Really people?  I shoot many homes for fellow agents simply because I love doing it.  I take the extra time to scan the room first before shooting.  I shoo away dogs, remove extra toilet paper on the tank lid and remove dirty dish towels. It really does make a huge difference.  

Posted by LeAnn Sink - Realtor Knoxville, TN, #ThinkSink when you need an agent. (United Real Estate Solutions) about 5 years ago

I love your list.  It never ceases to amaze me how agents show their homes.  And as you said if they even bother with pictures other then the front of the house.

Posted by Edie Czerniak, My Only Purpose is to Deliver Successful Results (NextHome Advisors) about 5 years ago

Great post, we can always use reminders about taking pictures and staging!

Posted by Collette Sarmento, 781*258*9718--Your Agent For Life (Cameron Real Estate Group) about 5 years ago

Or save yourself the time and trouble and hire a pro!


Posted by Katherine Gooding, Google Trusted Independent Photographer, Get your business on the map! (Soundview360.com & Katherine Gooding Photography) about 5 years ago
This is a great topic and one agents really need to take note. I cringe at some of the photos I see and wonder what the seller thinks. All of your comments are pinpointed to the errors agents make. I always use a professional photographer unless it's a lease or maybe a fixer. My rule is that photos are so important and the major part of what we do to market the home that the photos must be professional and highlight everything the home has to offer including views and neighborhood. Congrats on the featured post.
Posted by Teri Pacitto, Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty (Compass) about 5 years ago

Another article in this topic:



Posted by Tre Pryor, Realtor, e-PRO - Louisville (REMAX Champions) about 5 years ago

This is a real problem in our industry...we're supposed to be the marketing experts and we're posting terrible photos. Just last night I was looking for a place in a different town for myself (as a buyer) and I was disgusted with 90 percent of the photos. For example, why list a beach front property and never show the views of the ocean? I don't care what the toilet looks like...what's the view from the living room?!

Posted by Sheila Cox, Katy & Sugar Land Real Estate Agent (www.KatyHomesForSaleTX.com) about 5 years ago

For those of us selling homes in the South... don't take a photo with SNOW in the picture!  Also, winter photos in the summer are a bad idea.  Change out your photos as the seasons change.

Too much "touch-up" is another major problem.  Lot's of agents in our area are using professional photographers who are snazzing up the photos... making the spaces look way better than they really are.  Then when the buyers come in, they are disappointed.  Also, I think it's a bit dishonest.  The photos really should be "real".  Staging is great, but "doctoring" the photos should be a no-no.

Posted by Susan Krancer, Your Williamsburg Golf Connect (Liz Moore & Associates) about 5 years ago
You crack me up. I showed a property where every photo had a cat in it. Got there and the cat followed us everywhere. Just like the photos. Great post!
Posted by Dana Hollish Hill, Lead Associate Broker (Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties) about 5 years ago
What is the name of the program or website used to merge photos to create virtual tours, I thought of trying to do this for my business. I plan to learn how to use google Picasso to upload photos to my website. I enjoyed reading the comments in this post as well.
Posted by Dan Hendrick, San Antonio Texas Area Painting Contractor (Hendrick Painting) about 5 years ago

Professional-quality photos are essential, and they need to be organized so that viewers can imagine themselves walking through the home. Our MLS allows short captions under each photo to point out features and add to the story.


Posted by Ila Josephs, Ila Josephs, Real Estate Broker (Tarbell, Realtors) about 5 years ago

Great post Sheila!  This is good list of things agents do wrong with their photography.  Another reason to use a professional REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHER!  The cost of good real estate photography is quite reasonable today and can (and should) pay for itself.  The comment about the professional? photography proves that you should review the work before hiring.  If the photos were as described, then a true professional did NOT take them.  Hiring a local "photographer" is not the same as hiring a true real estate photographer.  There is a huge difference in photographing homes vs people!  

Anyways, it is a great post, and I hope everyone who reads it will consider hiring a professional real estate photographer for their next listing.  


Posted by Harold Satterfield, Professional Real Estate Photography (Panoramas in Paradise) about 5 years ago

Dan Hendrick: I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Adobe Premier Elements 11 (came as a package). I also use Circlepix.com,which takes the photos posted to the MLS to create a virtual tour. You can add captions and additional photos, rearrange them if necessary, and post on YouTube.

Posted by Ila Josephs, Ila Josephs, Real Estate Broker (Tarbell, Realtors) about 5 years ago

Lots of tools out there. I invested in a DLSR camera with a wide angle lens. I sell mostly condos, and it can be a real challenge to get photos. I just upgraded to the new iPhone5s (and the 6 comes out later this year!) and have added numerous apps to the phone that help me do videos on the stop, better pictures and all. 

Hard to keep up with all this stuff...but we must. 

I still wonder if Seller's ever go search their own listing and SEE what the consumer really sees? I'd think they fire their agent in a second based on descriptions (or lackthereof) lack of complete info on the listing...and yes...those lovely photos of your messy closet.

Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale (MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) about 5 years ago

Great post - it's music to my ears. I've seen nearly all of the various scenarios mentioned - I also "love" (tongue in cheek, of course!) the front view pics taken while the agent is still sitting in the car, and the lower corner contains the car mirror. Huh????

Posted by Edith Schreiber, Dallas Area Real Estate (Luxury Homes, Move Up Buyers, 1st Time Homebuyers, New Construction) about 5 years ago

Oh I agree, representation can be so much better with the right care taken. It's so much easier now that it used to be, why not use it? Great Post!

Posted by Ellen Dittman, #1 Stop for NE FLA-JAX/OP 904.535.1199 (TEXT OK) r (Watson Realty Corp.) about 5 years ago
Great post One problem we have in our area is agents copy PVA pic with DATE PVA stamped right on for example just last week one pic had JOYCE PARKER PVA 2009 OMG REALLY !!! SORRY That just infuriates me, to Lazy to take your own pic or have someone do it for you !! Have a great Real Estate Day Barbara
Posted by Barbara Flannery, "Homes for Everyone In London Kentucky" (USA Realty,Inc.) about 5 years ago

I agree that bad photos are the worst.  I'd love to hear any recommendations for making an empty room look interesting though.  Empty bedrooms are the worst, especially if they are small so there really isn't room to get a decent photo.  Then you add in the homes that you can't see because they are so surrounded by trees, that adds another challenge.  I do strive to get the best photos possible but there are times when that just isn't possible. 

Posted by Sandra Paulow, REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR (Aspen Properties, Inc. ) about 5 years ago

I see these every day on many listings. I do wonder how some  homes ever sell. Creative and open minded buyers I guess?? 

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) about 5 years ago

I have to agree that I think it's getting worse instead of better. Just looked at a 1M home on the MLS yesterday & all 5 (over 5,000 sq ft) photos were horrible. You would think someone would look at them & complain?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 5 years ago

Ah, yes, the photo issues.  A fabulous list of the no-nos. 

Which is worse, the poorly thought out shots or the missing shots?  I know agents and buyers that will not bother with a listing if there are no interior shots or if there is only one shot of the exterior.  Is it through agent laziness or owner insecurity issues?  If the listing looks promising I will preview so I can discuss the pros and cons with my buyer clients.

I do question the listings of expensive homes where there is only one exterior shot.  Yes, I know some sellers may be concerned about public information regarding their possessions, but that can be handled in other ways, like keeping the seller's name or address or both private, maybe even requesting buyer information prior to showings.  If there is an exceptional home, buyers want to see the layout and features before wasting their time, too.

My very favorite pet peeves are:

1.  People either squarely in the shot, off to the side, or reflected in the mirrors.  Cropping is a great tool but it is also up to the agent to ask folks to please stand out of the shot.  It is a borderline fair housing issue to show people.

2.  Shots of sloppy rooms - agents can tactfully mention there are a few little things they themselves could do to neaten and stage quickly to maximize the potential and show the room/house to its best advantage.  If our requests to neaten up before the photo shoot have fallen on deaf ears, shouldn't we take some initiative?  After all, it is our listing and the commission going in our pocket could be higher and faster - yes?  And, please, don't take pictures with your (the agent's) stuff laying across chairs or propped on counters!  Move it before you snap that shutter!

3.  Close up shots of furniture or pets.  Are they part of the sale?  Why post a picture of an antique dresser if it is clearly not part of the sale?  And I'm talking about a shot of just that dresser, not the dresser in the room.  Likewise the oh-so-cute pose of the dog or cat - why is that included in the listing?  Do we need to see the dog laying down with crossed paws posing for the camera or the cat peeking out from under the bed covers?  OK, we love our pets, me included - but if this is a gratuitous shot for the owner and not highlighting a special feature of the home with the animal present, then maybe a print as a private gift is more appropriate and friendly.

4.  I agree - fisheye shots don't do any listing justice.  In the same class as those fisheyes are the montages; with the ability to post up to 30+ shots of a property, why is it still necessary to include a photo montage?

On the other hand, if the interior is a hot mess and the owners are not willing or able to do any work to clean and fix it - or to hire people to do those things for them - then the outside shots for me suffice with a comment that owners are in the process of packing, interior shots are to follow.  I am being hired to market the property, not act as a maid or handyman if you are still living there or if you choose to walk away from your investment. 

Posted by Yvonne Wilder (Halter Associates Realty) about 5 years ago

Great list and I see you included a bathroom photo. Bathrooms are always difficult as they are small and hard to get a shot without being in the mirror. One of my  big complaints is that the toliet lids is up on many of the MLS photos as I think it looks so much better down.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) about 5 years ago

When I see open Cabinet door It screams - "the place is cold"...people open doors to let heat in to the pipes...and people that lower their heat that much also put off fixing stuff...run away.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 5 years ago

As Realtors, we see all of the issues you identified.  I think some forget that it is our job to show the property in its best light.  This is a wonderful post!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 5 years ago

I agree also. My pet peeve: photos that are date stamped!

Posted by Milton Duerod (MOTION REALTY) about 5 years ago

Photos sell homes!  There is nothing more important.  Potential buyers are busy and may not read the narrative description, but they will flip through photos of a home and then move on if it doesn't interest them.  Every real estate agent should take photography lessons and invest in a decent wide-angle lens camera.  They should also hire a professional photographer for their high end listings.  We have wonderful resources on AR to learn about photography through groups like Advanced Photography.


Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) about 5 years ago
Wholeheartedly agree! We always use professional photographers - even if its a 100k condo. (Good) Photos sell a home!
Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) about 5 years ago

Sheila - It is absolutely amazing to me that there are STILL lousy photos posted all throughout the MLS! (at least our MLS anyway). Think about it; the cameras on the latest smart phones are BETTER than the older digital cameras we all paid many hundreds of dollars for a few short years ago, yet the photo quality of many postings has not improved.  We spend the money on professional photography for all of our listings regardless of listing price.  Since most folks initiate their real estate search on the internet, shouldn't your listing have it's best visual foot forward from the get go?  That all said, many of these listings with the poor photos do seem to sell also.  Amazing!

Posted by Greg Mona, Real Estate in the 21st Century! (Faira Homes Corp) about 5 years ago

Boy, do we see photos as described in the post. With digital photography there is no reason to take many photos, from different angles, etc., and post the good ones to MLS. Another pet peeve, at least of mine, is that while an agent can post up to 50 photos in our MLS, they only post 4 or 5. Huh? It's free, folks.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) about 5 years ago

As a Certified Photographic Consultant and having spent 30+ years in the photo industry, I applaud that you have addressed this subject. I would like to add a couple of photo pointers as well.  First and most important, PUT THE CELL PHONE CAMERA BACK IN YOUR POCKET. I realize that the capabilities of these have increased ten fold, but the optics are still highly inferior. Next purchase the camera with the widest angle lens you can find.  If you have a camera that you can change lenses on you want something in the 10 to 12mm range. Regarding composition,don't be afraid to kneel down and shoot up or to stand on a ladder or box and shoot down. Get away from the straight ahead shots.  When taking multiple pictures in a room, shoot from different angles to show different aspects of the room. Close ups are great to highlight an outstanding feature such as stonework in a fireplace. And lastly use a tripod or monopod to steady your camera.

One final thought is to take a photo class from a local vendor or community college. Happy shooting.

Posted by Bill Morrow, Bill Morrow, Associate Broker (Keller Williams of Central PA) about 5 years ago

good tips. i also like squatting down to get an angle shot that is more natural.

Posted by Jody Siano, With You Every Step (Keller Williams Princeton) about 5 years ago
All good tips, and I would add: Make sure your main photo of the home looks great. If it's raining, snowing, dark skies, etc., make sure you are back the first sunny, blue-sky day for a better photo. Pay attention to where the sun will best flatter the home and be there at that time.
Posted by Lynn Afton, REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County (Greenridge Realty Oakmont) about 5 years ago

and who would still only put one photo in MLS ? I always assume there is nothing good enough to photograph, buyers probably do too. Plus I have no sellers that would even begin to let me get away with that ! or bad photos !

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) about 5 years ago

Great list. My personal favorite is the crooked house. I understand some agents might be challenged by photo editing software, but really, straightening is THE most basic fix! I use Lightroom for my editing, but when it comes to straightening the simplest program in the world is Picasa. Works like a charm, costs nothing and is super simple to use. 

Posted by Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices (Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268) about 5 years ago

I just published a similar blog, only dealing with photos showing Christmas decorations when it's now February! I also saw a photo the other day in which the house looked like it was one dimensional. You couldn't even tell that it had a side to it. That was a good shot if you're trying to win a photo contest, but not to sell the home! And date stamps irritate me on personal pictures....let alone the ones in the MLS!

Posted by Deborah Newell (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty) about 5 years ago

Invest in hiring a professional photographer or stager who will take the photos for a nominal fee. The results will amaze you and you can scale the metrics to determine your ROI. If you're not using a professional photographer, find one in your area that specializes in real estate, examine their portfolio and if you select him, offer an exclusivity with a sliding fee scale based upon production. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 5 years ago

Great post!  I have seen everything you listed and with today's technology there is no excuses whatsoever for all the bad pictures being posted.

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) about 5 years ago

If an agent takes the time to get high resolution photos of a property before it is presented to the public, it pays off big time, especially here in the Hamptons. We have been known to have buyers make offers on a property, from the large file photographs! I don't recommend that but there are buyers right now who do not want to miss out on a great house that just came on the market and if the photos are such that they can see the details up close and clearly, both inside and out that helps them to step up quickly.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Great list, most are simply common sense in my opinion. The other thing that some agents should consider if this truely is a challenge, if hire a photographer or maybe ask another agent in the office who's listing pictures are good if they will help. 

Posted by Jamie R. Bell, Your Central CT Realtor (Bell Realty Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NEP) about 5 years ago

Yep, I've done EVERY one of those....do I get a prize?

Learned from my mistakes, tho!

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) about 5 years ago

You forgot my favorite, the agent that takes a photo with their phone held stright up so you only get about a third of the front of the home. Looks like they remembered they needed a photo as they were leaving and took a quick shot over their shoulder on the way to the car. For crying out loud, if you must use your phone at least turn it 90 degrees to get the right aspect.

I know many agents that hire a pro and I say good for them. I enjoy photograghy as a hobby. I'll sometimes spend a whole day shooting landscapes. I like to shoot my own listing photos, but I have good equipment. I have 2 bridge cameras, a Pentax Q mirrorless and 2 DSLRs with several lenses (I know, I'm sick) and I'll gladly spend 2 or 3 hours shooting hundreds of shots to get a good 30-40.

Posted by Patrick Willard about 5 years ago

The best solution is to hire a professional photographer.  I do that for all of my listings, regardless of price range, and it always pays off.  

Posted by Maureen Harmonay, Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 5 years ago

Shhhhhh! Don't let everyone in on our photography secrets!

Posted by Keith Whited (RE/MAX Gateway) about 5 years ago

Shooting the house from an agle closest to the garege. Maket the house look small in comparison to the garage.

Posted by Larry Thompson (Sierra Pacific Mortgage) about 5 years ago

Poor photos can actually work to the advantage of a buyer and/or buyer's agent if they look a "little deeper" -- I've worked with several buyers where we were able to get a "deal" because a seller whose home wasn't getting that great of activity, was happy to see an offer (probably any offer).  They probably could have gotten more money for their home with better photos and therefore more interest and showings.

I agree -- good photos are critical.

Posted by Joyce Godwin, Realtor, CRS, RE/MAX Elite Properties (RE/MAX Elite Properties; Serving Cypress, Spring, Tomball, NW Houston) about 5 years ago

Sheila - you certainly touched a hot button!

Since these photos are meant to sell homes, I don't think it's the place for creativity - and what's wrong with "gonna?" This is a blog post, meant to be conversational - and in conversation, we say that.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 5 years ago

Good shots come from the photographer and the lens.  Laziness, lack of skills or funds on the agents part contribute to bad shots.  A little prep before the shot will work wonders and help sell the home. Trash, clutter, lighting and a narrow shot are the biggest offenders. 

Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) about 5 years ago

Great post!  I've seem a few million + listings out here with, maybe, three photos and at least one is guaranteed to be blurry.  And, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one with the open lid pet peeve.  

Posted by Noel Palmieri (Century 21 Ludecke Inc.) about 5 years ago

Agree with Mark (#92). We are professionals, "Realtors". Hire a professional "Photographer" to take the photos, so you will look "Professional"!! I'm pretty good with a camera myself, but I am not a professional and like he says, the money on equipment and time involved doesn't make "dollars sense".

Posted by Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate, Certified Residential Specialist (ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS SRES mitch@prostead.com) about 5 years ago

I think we have all done some of these at one time or another.  The mirrors can sometimes be tricky to work around.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Sheila, great post. It seems this will always happen because of camera phones being so useful?

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 5 years ago

Wow--I have seen examples of every single mistake on your top ten list! That must mean that these mistakes are much more common than they should be, and there is a lesson to be learned here by many.

Posted by Janelle Ancillotti, HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY (Seneca Home Staging) about 5 years ago

Our Team figured out a long time ago that we need to provide top notch photos in order to do the best job for our clients. I have a good camera and I have always liked to take photos. That makes me an amateur. We use a professional to take the photos of our listings and the results are much better that I could provide on my own.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) about 5 years ago

I agree with Gene, sometimes the mirrors can make a shot more interesting to take.

I like the dirty dishes and unfolded laundry, once again we do the famous work around. 

No, I do not wash the dishes and fold the laundry.

Posted by Jim Miner, Loan Modfication & Short Sale Specialist (Miner Noh & Associates) about 5 years ago
As true as it is that quality photoghaphs in MLS listings is important it is unlikely to cause it not to sell. It goes without saying that not everyone is cut out to be a photographer. That is why some listings, with respect to be value of the property require the skill of a professional photographer who specializes in real estate listings. It adds to the professionalism of the broker and quality of the marketing that clients expect.
Posted by Chad Felter, Providing service through out Hampton Roads about 5 years ago

How to take good photos should be a required class for every real estate agent.  As many bad photos as are out there in ML, that would be a class truly needed.

Posted by Rodney Mason, AL,FL,GA, SC, TN (Angel Oak Home Loans) about 5 years ago

Here we are in February and I see houses that were listed just before Christmas and have a Christmas tree in the living room still in a picture. Please update them. My clients joke about it. It also shows that the Seller's agent is not interested in selling his/her property.

Posted by Phil Riek, CIPS,ABR,GRI,TRC,SFR,SRES,AHWD,MRP,FMS (Future Home Realty) about 5 years ago

Another thing omitted from the list (not sure if anyone commented on this).... Pics that almost exclusively focus on the seller's furniture and furnishings! Unless that stuff is going with the house, try to focus on the room sizes and the attributes of the property itself. I think it is silly to take a pic of the bedroom and the only thing you see is the sellers nice bedspread. 

Posted by Mike Cummings (TCarea.com, LLC) about 5 years ago

Some agents take all their interior shots at eye level, which can be very boring.  It helps to mix things up a bit.

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) about 5 years ago

Photos tell the story. At the very least put the toilet seat down when photographing the bathroom.

Posted by Dolores "Dee" Mauriello, Realtor, Homes For Sale Wayne NJ (Keller Willaims ) about 5 years ago

Photos with the toilet seat up, drive me crazy!!! Looks sooooo tacky!!!

Posted by Karen Foster, Specializing in Residential Real Estate (Rookstool-Moden Realty) about 5 years ago

Toilet seat up; BIG NO NO; as are picures of rooms that are so dark one cannot see what the room is!  Turn the lights on; open the shades; lower the toilet seat...and if possible, try to take a picture of the house, NOT just the garage.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Rosalie Frankel (Dominion Real Estate Partners) about 5 years ago

A+ on this blog. I do not know how many times I have screamed that pictures are important. Pictures make homes desirable or can make the home to where a potential buyer decides that they do not want to see it. GET IT RIGHT people.

Posted by Richard Foster, Broker Owner, BS, ABR/M, CREN, CRS, GRI, RRG, SFR (Nevada Perfect Homes) about 5 years ago

I have been using a professional photographer and videographer for about 2 years now. It is interesting the different reaction from a seller when I say "I'm going to schedule a photo shoot" instead of " I'm going to drop by and take some photos......with my Iphone."

Posted by Chris Garrett, SFR (Century 21 United Realty) about 5 years ago

I did go out an buy a nice little Nikon with a wide angle lense - Did research on Active Rain and google to come up with the best camera.  I'm fairly artistic but  only use it on empty condo listings or use if I need just one exterior photo before the professional photo shoot.  For most every listing I hire a professional and there is just no comparison in the pictures - the Pros are so much better.  It is also about value of time,  photo shopping my own pictures can be so tedious and frustrating and...time consuming!

Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) about 5 years ago

There are a lot of great pics on the Facebook group "Really Bad MLS Photos"

a few great ones include the dogs mating in the back yard through the window and the topless agent taking a picture of a bathroom mirror.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) about 5 years ago

I'm fortunate in that my Son is a photographer, and he takes excellent photographs.

Posted by Raymond Denton, Simple Man (Academy Mortgage Corporation) about 5 years ago

I can't help but laugh at some photos out there.  The ones where they try to take a picture of a bathroom but all they get is a toilet with the lid open. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) about 5 years ago

You are so right about that. When the pictures do not do the property justice then that home is missing out on showings.


Posted by Jeannie Whitworth about 5 years ago

Take the right step and hire a pro! I use bad pictures of other agents in my presentations to make mine shine!

Posted by David Demangos, REALTOR (Keller Williams Realty Carmel Valley / Del Mar) about 5 years ago

I would say over 50% of the photos I see on agent sites are of an unprofessional quality.  I take probably over 100 photos of each listing hoping I can get around 10-15 really good photos to use. 

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) about 5 years ago

180 Comments?!?   You've clearly hit a pet peeve of ours!   Thanks for the post...

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) about 5 years ago

I often say to myself "if the owners happen to go on line and look at these pictures, I hope they say something to their agent."

Posted by Jon Mahan, ABR Charleston, West Virginia Real Estate (Real Estate Central) about 5 years ago

I've seen photos with a red fingernail across the top, a dog pooping on the lawn and a ladder standing right up against the center of the house.  Really?

If you don't know how to use a camera or a photo editing program, even the one that comes with smartphones these days, hire a photographer!

Posted by Alyse "Aly" Sands (Village Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

I always say "the 1st showing is online" so it is crucial to have stellar pics to generate showings!

Posted by Sean Williams, Your Louisville Realtor (AcklesWilliams of Semonin Realtors) about 5 years ago

Totally agree...I'm shocked at how poor some of the photos are

Posted by Eric Egeland, SFR, e-PRO, CDPE (RE/MAX SUBURBAN) about 5 years ago

#11...utilizing stock photos of a complex and nothig more and #12 utilizing photos as a slideshow and calling it a video

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D (TimeshareLawyers.pro) about 5 years ago
It is what used to be called "curb appeal". If the photos don't look good online, buyers will easily pass it by.
Posted by Donna Quinlan, Keller Williams Real Estate Agent Career Consultan (Keller Williams Realty) about 5 years ago

I believe one of the single most important facets of a quality listing agent is the ability to offer great photography... the initial introduction of a home to the marketplace 99.9% of the time.  How some agents get away with poor or sloppy (or no!) photography is amazing to me... don't their clients check their own listings?!  I know mine do.  My personal peave: the car mirror in the picture... typically the only picture... as the agent couldn't even get out of the car to take it.  Sad to say that I see that in our MLS weekly. 

Posted by Chris Jenkins-Sarasota Realtor, "Expect Success" (PalmerHouse Properties) about 5 years ago

So agree!  The first impression is the photo.  Tidy up the joint and shoot everything in the best light possible. Amen.


Posted by Denise Slade, Creating natural staging to wow your buyers! (Diane Design Denise Slade Interiors) about 5 years ago

Hello Sheila:

You mean that the dark, blurry, photo of the dog, in the corner of the bathroom with me in the mirror isn't going to work?? Dang-it.  I was sure that was going to be a winner;)

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) about 5 years ago

Actually, there's only one mistake agents make...trying to do it themselves when they really don't know anything about photography.

Posted by Michael Cole (CPG Tours) about 5 years ago

The toilet lid up always suprises me.  And how hard is it to straighten the towel, or remove a few of the things on the counter for a photograph.  Agents that take bad photos are doing a real disservice to their clients.

Posted by Jennifer Spanbauer Brodoway, just call jen (Lethbridge Real Estate.com) about 5 years ago

I am constantly amazed at what sellers allow their agents to do.  If the clients would insist on quality service some of those 2nd, 3rd and 4th rate agents would shape up or move on to another j-o-b!  Photos, descriptions, accuracy in representations - all are crucial to presenting a property in the best possible light!

Posted by Sara McMurray (EXIT Strategy Realty) about 5 years ago

Agent photography is one of my biggest pet peeves.  Its funny how much of what you recommended I make it a point to do!

Thanks for the post.

Posted by Dave Leiderman, ABR, SFR - Realtor - DE & MD Beaches (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 5 years ago

I love it when they can't even be bothered to rotate a picture and upload a sideways photo.  HELLO!

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 5 years ago

Photography is sooo important in selling a house!

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) about 5 years ago

We have a top agent who has been known to include pictures of dressers with the drawers open with clothes hanging out, unmade beds,  kitchens with dishes and medicine bottles etc and bathrooms with the toilet seats up all on expensive listings. I have wondered why his sellers put up with this lazy behavior. What does he say to them to justify it? Does he somehow brainwash them that it helps to sell their high end home??? All I see is lack of professionalism and am shocked he makes the big bucks?  

Posted by Debbie Krieger, A Passion for Excellence (John L. Scott Real Estate / Yakima) about 5 years ago

Buyers look at pictures first - period.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) about 5 years ago

Number 6 is the worst ever. Not only the toile seat up but also I have seen many pictures where the toilet is front and centre of the pic. Often a picture of the bathroom is important and should be included but don't focus on the toilet. 

Posted by Steven Murray, Broker, SRES® IRES SRS Toronto Real Estate Board, Your Durham Region Real Estate Broker (COLDWELL BANKER R.M.R., Brokerage) about 5 years ago

Great post... we have used a professional photographer for years...

The other for your list... photos with cars in the driveway...

Posted by Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) about 5 years ago

How about stolen photos from another listing or a previous listing with another agent?

Posted by Lorelei Bennasar, PA (Redfin) about 5 years ago

Hey,  Sheila!  I included your post in today's Last Week's Favorites.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I learned alot with your post and can see why Pat included it this week!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) about 5 years ago

Thanks everyone for  all the great comments.. there is no way I can respond to all at this point individually, so sorry.. I always try to do that… but I have read them all and appreciate everyone for stopping by to comment.


Dan – comment 116 – asked a question.. the webistes I use for virtual tours are either animoto.com   or realbird.. here is  the link  http://www.realbird.com/?refID=20103.. Both have a very small yearly fee but are great!


Bob  - comment 174 – LOL… love those pics.. thanks for the links



Patricia – comment 201 – awesome.. thanks so much. J hope the rest of your weekend is awesome as well.

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Another one to add to your list is the "For Sale" sign in the foreground of the exterior photo.  It's a distraction.  Also, before the professional photographer ever shows up, I have a stager (professional interior designer) stage the property so the house looks its best inside and out!

Posted by Meredith Held, Meredith C Held (Ebby Halliday, REALTORS) about 5 years ago

The photos that always surprise me when they show up in the MLs are the ones with clothes or toys on the floor or a kitchen counter filled with dirty dishes and clutter.  

Posted by Connie St. James, ...serving both Nevada County & Placer County (CA) (Century 21 Foothill Realty) about 5 years ago

Agreed, especially the agent taking the photo of the bathroom...with them in it and the flash, and the toilet lid up. Ugh!

However, I had our photographer take a picture with a dog in it. Turns out, the buyer's had a similar dog and loved their dog being able to run in the front yard. The fact that it had a front yard and a condo in Santa Monica is very rare. 


Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Realtors (www.LiveWorkSiliconBeach.com, Santa Monica Real Estate :) ) about 5 years ago

Okay, is it MY job to clean up the house? This is most likely what you will see when you show up so - I am accurately portraying the property and its condition.

Date stamps - those of us dealing in REO land are required to provide multiple date stamp photos to our clients. Multiply the date stamps x number of required photos x number of propeties.... Not taking extra photos so there isnt a date stamp. On my "real" listings I don't use that feature but otherwise - who really cares?

Totally agree on the toilet lid - why do you need photos of a 5x5 bathroom anyway?

Posted by Denise Tower, Your Neighborhood Realtor (Coldwell Banker Gundaker) about 5 years ago

This is a big pet peeve of mine--crappy online photos!  Don't the sellers look at their listing on line?? 

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 5 years ago

Excellent points. That toilet lid up is a big pet peeve of mine. glad you pointed that out too.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 about 5 years ago

 I am very conscious of the photos  I take and I still find an occasional one that looks bad.  I can't imagine the photos when the agent isn't paying attention at all.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) about 5 years ago


It is incredible how some agents put very little skill into taking the pics of their listings.  I work way too hard to get the listing and I don't want to lose it by not giving my best when marketing it.

Thanks for the post.


Posted by Rob Rosa, Personal Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway) about 5 years ago

Lot of great points.  How about the agent that uploads MLS photos sideways and upside down.  Crazy.  Drives me crazy.

Posted by Sharon Sanchez, Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate. (Ace Home Realty) about 5 years ago

Your first showing is online and your second is when buyers come into the house. Don't mess up the first showing by poor photographs.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 5 years ago
Sheila: and nowadays you need to put about 20 photos on there so you have lots of opportunity to put some in there showing architectural details. Bad photos is just inexcusable.
Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) about 5 years ago

(#.11) In my capacity as a retired photojournalist, I wrote a primer on this subject for my former office. Omitted from your list is an actual federal crime. Using someone else's photograph without their written permission is a violation of the federal copyright law. Agents routinely run afoul of this law when posting a listing for a condo or a property that had been recently listed prior to their involvement. It is lazy to peel off a photograph already in the MLS and it is illegal.


(#12) Posting images with the improper aspect ratio. This is a result of resizing the photo without affording proportional consideration to length and width. That house is not that wide!

Posted by Jon Adams (Liberty Bell Real Estate Agents) about 5 years ago

Thank you for this post, this is my pet pieve photos are so important to attracting buyers to see a home.  Some of the agents I've worked with do not have professional photos done and even after staging the home doesn't show as well as it could if the photos were better.  I hope this awareness brings changes that will only help everhone.

Posted by Claudia Rydel, Rydel Interiors Certified Professional Home Stager (Rydel Interiors) about 5 years ago

I agree 100% with the post and thanks for the comment regarding copyright.  As a former professional photographer, I can certainly appreciate the comments!

Posted by Mary Magee (Mary Magee Carolinas Real Estate, Inc./Home Team Pros) about 5 years ago

Don't forget photos with a bunch of clutter or junk in them. Those are my favorite! Another pet peeve are the Google Map photos agents use of a home's exterior because they're too lazy to physically go to the property to take a photo. As for omiting people and pets from photos (I agree with no pets), I thinks some photos actually look better with people in them (i.e. swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses, etc.). 

Posted by Brian Christie, Agents in Action! team (The Real Estate Consultants) about 5 years ago

Preach it sister!  I'm not professional, but I know to make sure the light is right in the room.  Unbelievable how many listings have bad or no photos!  Makes me want to call the seller and say really?  You hired this agent?

Posted by Marsha Cash (RE/MAX Advantage) about 5 years ago

#14. No pictures allowed that were taken with a cell phone. Pay no attention to the cell camera having 6, 8, 10 or whatever megapixels. Flip your phone over to look at the lens. Look below the protective glass..at the lens itself. Notice how it is slightly larger than the lead of a pencil?

#14 (b) iPad users this means you too. And don't even THINK about using the panaroma feature.

Posted by Chuck Capan, REALTOR Licensed In IL. - Moline Homes Quad Citie (REMAX River Cities) about 5 years ago


Have you been reviewing my pictures? The ones you talk about remind me of some I have taken.

Posted by Mark Artesani, Huntington & Newport Beach, Fountain Valley Homes (Keller Williams Realty) about 5 years ago

Sheila, excellent and very common list. Hopefully more agents adhere to this.

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 5 years ago

Great reminder

Posted by Stephanie Arnett, SRS, IMSD, Broker Associate, REALTOR (RE/MAX Partners~ Starkville, MS) about 5 years ago

Wow, Sheila, you received more than 223 posts on this blog post! Congratulations!

I'm going to have to take some lessons from you.

Bye for now,

Posted by Nora Sims, helping folks like you since 1978! (Northern Shadows Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Amen Shelia - I've seen all these and then some. Big yellow balls from dark lamps shades are also bad - use white shades only.

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) about 5 years ago

I can't agree with this post any more!  One reason is I used to do photography on the side.  I look at some photos on the MLS and can't help but laugh at them.  When I see a totally bad photo, I look to see if I know the agent, then sometimes I laugh some more, as I know them.  I would be 100% embarrassed, if I took some of the shots I have seen.

Posted by Deleted Account about 5 years ago

There's a new listing in my neighborhood and here is one of the photos posted in The MLS. Yes, that's a "Slam Man" boxing dummy in the living room and surfboards hanging on the wall in the dining area. The property is advertised as a beautiful and luxurious recently remodeled home that will surely impress you. So are you impressed? I'm not!Slam Man

Posted by Brian Christie, Agents in Action! team (The Real Estate Consultants) about 5 years ago

I don't clean a house before I take pictures, but I do pick up clutter & do a little staging, take the pictures and then put everything back.  It's a job, but well worth it.  When buyers come to the house and it is cluttered, at least they know what it CAN look like when it is cleaned up.

Posted by Connie St. James, ...serving both Nevada County & Placer County (CA) (Century 21 Foothill Realty) about 5 years ago

Some of the pictures I can not believe.  How about blurry pictures taken from a cell phon, or a night picture and you can hardly see the house, or no pictures at all.  This is a great post with basic information, many should take read and follow.

Posted by Susan Jackson (America's Network Realty Group, Inc) about 5 years ago

It is a sad state of the real estate industry that there are so many agents that refuse to take decent photos. I think that it ought to be required of home owners that they ask any agent interviewing for the job of selling their home if they will use professional photograhpy. The ones that say no are automatically cut. 

If you want to see some bad MLS photos, please go to http://www.paulypresley.com/category/bad-austin-mls-photos/

Posted by Jordan Gouger, Helping you to achieve your housing goals! (Keller Williams Realty Inc.) about 5 years ago

Hi Sheila. You have to laugh at the examples you have given and yet they are so true. Recently I came across a photo of a bedroom with several piles of dirty cloths and an unidentifiable object hanging in front of the window. Thou my all time favorite was a picture with the message that the house was haunted scratched into the wall. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by Matthew Bartlett (Century 21 Masters/Lic. #01353034) about 5 years ago

You can't blame the realtors entirely.  Have the homeowner clean and stage the property before pictures are taken.  If they really want the house sold it's important.  If they're too lazy, they get what they deserve.  Low effort equals low interest and few showings.

Posted by Douglas Perry, Real Estate Assistant/Internet Marketer about 5 years ago

I am fortunate, my husband is a professional photographer who is on-call for me.  Last year, I took over a listing with POOR photos - on the market for a year.  All we did is take professional photos and the home was in contract in ONE WEEK!  


Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 5 years ago

One more...Please don't include pics of the seller's cute little children playing in the room. I can't count the number of times I've seen this. Remember where the photos will be seen and who might be looking. By posting their pics online, you have just handed pedophiles,  sexual predators and the like heir photo and the address where they can be found. There is no excuse for putting your buyer's children at risk! 

Posted by Judy Nobles about 5 years ago

Inman News picked your story up, great job.  I always take a lot of photos and find myself going back at different times to get better light.  Pool shots, Night shots with view, or accent lighting.  Photos are so important.  Thanks, now I must go through all my listings to make sure I have the best photos.

Posted by Art Welch, Broker (Superstars Realty) about 5 years ago

I have violated at least 1 of these in the past. Still a work(photographer) in progress.

Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic (www.mrbrownsellsgr.com) about 5 years ago

Great list and so true. I was at one time a serious amateur photographer. I could do it myself but I still hire a pro to take pics.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) about 5 years ago

The biggest problem I find is diplomatically telling vendors that they need to tidy up. A house full of everything under the sun does not look appropriate if they want to attract buyers.


Posted by Peter Ellis (Croatia Property Services) about 5 years ago

wow... still amazed at all the comments.. and it was great to see the blog on Inman news as well.. seems to be a hotbutton topic to be sure.

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 5 years ago

Good commonsensical reminders.

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) about 5 years ago

Sheila, I have seen all of these things in listings. Sometimes it amazes me because the listing will be for over $500k, or even $1 mil, and the photos are so bad it would be better if there were no photos.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) almost 5 years ago

I see everything on your list on a regular basis. Some agents just don't care about photgoraphy. Usually no bathroom photos are needed.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) almost 5 years ago

Thanks for this great post today.  What is it thursday already? Wow, almost the weekend and have yourself a good one!

Posted by Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA, #ChandlerRealEstateAgent (Liz Harris Realty) almost 5 years ago

Sheila, you are right - there are so very many really awful photos on the multiple listing services around the country!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 3 years ago