If every picture tells a story, make it a Best Seller!

Home Stager with Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign

Recently I used Realtor.com for research while working on a project. I was searching all over the country in different price ranges to get a sampling of current listings.

In this market and with the challenges facing sellers today I was frankly shocked at what I found. Listing after listing had either inadequate photos to market the home or the photos did absolutely nothing to sell a potential buyer on the property.

Realtor.com allows up to 25 photos to participating agents to market homes. I found million dollar plus homes with only 4 photos. Or million dollar homes with photos clearly not taken by a professional.

Here's some examples of photos on the MLS (multiple listing service):

million dollar homes

Do any of these homes look like Million Dollar listings to you?

Cluttered homes for sale

Can you imagine a buyer getting excited about the home these photos represent?

Here are some ideas to keep in mind when listing your home for sale:

  • Hire a real estate agent who has a proven track record of marketing their listings with home staging, professional photography and social networking. If buyers can't find your home or see it's potential you've lost them.
  • Work with your real estate agent and home stager to prepare your home before photos are taken. Don't rush to list your home before it's ready. Remember. One chance to make a first impression.
  • To buyers, your home is only as appealing as your photos. It's worth spending a little extra to have professional photos taken no matter what price range you're in.
  • Once you've listed your home, do some research yourself. Check your home's listing on Realtor.com and make sure the photos are appealing, well lit, adequate to represent both exterior and interior and large enough so buyers can use the slide show feature to preview your home. Use as many photos as needed up to the maximum of 25.
  • If your home has been on the market for awhile check and make sure photos online represent your home now. A photo of a winter landscape in the summer tells buyers you've been on the market a long time. Take new photos and update your listing.

A great photo is worth it's weight in gold when selling your home. Especially at today's prices!

Posted by

Tessa Skeens

Interior Design, Real Estate Staging and Marketing Support in Greater Denver CO 

M 817-891-9563  O 720-432-2040









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  1. Barb Hutson 11/08/2011 08:11 AM
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Carla Harbert
Full Time REALTOR in Ohio - Brunswick, OH
RE/MAX Omega, Brunswick Ohio

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words - so we must be careful and professional on what is posted to attract buyers and truly represent our sellers. I am amazed at some of the photos posted on Realtor.com

Nov 07, 2011 07:24 AM #1
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

You are soo right Tessa! It still boggles my mind to see this type of photo on the MLS and the price points in which they're marketing! I had Lance Selgo come in this past weekend for the staging class at Collin College & we talked about this very thing.  Look for a Realtor who will actually market your property with professional photos and staging - it's a perfect combination and a must have for every home in every price point in this market!

Nov 07, 2011 11:03 AM #2
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Denver, CO
Staging For Denver Realtors, Builders

Hi Carla - I agree. I know this topic has been visited before but I was amazed at the lack of good photos on MLS in the higher price ranges. It's such an important part of marketing a home. Appreciate your comments!

Hi there Karen! So glad you and Lance are working together. I've been getting a lot of compliments on the photos he took for me and I'm sure it had a lot to do with the house gettng sold in under market time. Good to see you!

Nov 08, 2011 02:09 AM #3
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

OK Tessa here's my this week shock regarding a local listing.  Since it's your blog and not mine I don't feel guilty about sharing it....it appalled me.  Just plain BAD

Yes there are many things wrong in this photo but the playboy type photos...what????  Now I know why this nice home has been on the market for a LONG time and the price has been reduced repeatedly.  AND the wall color in this room is tame compared to some of the others. 

Why aren't RE agents cognizant of these types of issues? 

Great photo Tessie, hope it reaches some agents in need!!

Nov 08, 2011 03:10 AM #4
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Hi Tessa ~ photos like these will never help sell those homes!  It's a travesty to think that sellers are getting such a poor representation of their property.  I keep thinking that consumers are realizing the importance of online presentation, but obviously there is much more education needed in this area.  Stagers can help but geesh -- the listing agents need to pay attention! Don't they realize they'll earn their commission faster with good photos and a properly presented home?

Nov 08, 2011 03:49 AM #5
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Hello Tessa - these photos will definately not bring in potential buyers. I wish the sellers would understand and recognize what people are looking for.  Hire a professional home stager and they will direct you to what needs to be done..including photos.

Nov 08, 2011 09:50 AM #6
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Denver, CO
Staging For Denver Realtors, Builders

OM goodness Ginger, that one is BAD! I would feel uncomfortable even going into that room! Someone needs to have a conversation with sellers like this and if the agent doesn't want to go there, they need to suggest a home stager who will. Thanks for sharing! :)

Maureen, I think there is a real disconnect when folks turn over their home to a listing agent. I honestly wish we could get the word out about how important it is for sellers to be more pro-active about selling their homes. Which means helping the agent do their job but also holding them accountable to do it! Appreciate your thoughts.

Amen Wendy! You are 100% correct - these photos will not bring in buyers and the sellers are probably blaming the market when it's only part of the picture.

Nov 08, 2011 12:09 PM #7
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Tessa Skeens

Staging For Denver Realtors, Builders
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