In the Alaska Statewide Multiple Listing Service (MLS) there is a link I check every day. The link is called the "Hot Sheet", or all real estate activity done by real estate licensee's such as New Listings, Contingent offers, Pending Sales, changes made to the listing, Expired and Canceled listings and my favorite, "Sold" properties. Also, when I am doing my opinion of value on a subject property, I look at the photo's of the comparable active homes, pendings and sold to compare my property to it.
It never ceases to amaze me how many agents enter new listings and don't put photo's online right away. There are always real estate agents who are watching for property to come on the market so they can show their buyers. When a new listing comes on the market, agents want to study it online and email the new listing to their potentially interested customers. Don't you think this would be a good time to have photo's online?
The other "cardinal sin" comes from agents who take a shortcut and take photo's with a cheap camera or even their cell phones. It's amazing how often I'll either see no photo at all, or only marginally better, crummy photo's.
Recently, there was an article in Realtor Magazine which suggested listing agents should invest in better quality digital SLR camera for their listing photos. The article went so far as to mention a study from Boston and New York that claimed professional photographs sold anywhere between $934 to $100,000 more than homes with no photo's or with poor photo's.
Personally, I doubt the story, but it's an interesting article. I do believe that homes with high quality photo's do create great interest and result in more showings for the property. My office has recieved offers at least two twice from people who hadn't yet been in the home. The offers were "subject to" viewing the property within a short period of time, of course. If I had either crummy photo's, or no photo's, I doubt we'd have seen those offers, at least as quickly as we did.