If a picture is worth a 1000 words, why do most agents just take 1???

Real Estate Agent with Weichert Realtors - Hibble & Associates

In this age of slide shows, virtual tours, digital this and digital that, I am confused by many Realtors out there and there picture practices. In my local MLS you can plaster a zillion pictures out there for both Realtors and potential1203 Dartmouth St Front buyers to view. But, if you look at 100 listings on the MLS, about 85 of them will have just one picture for everyone to view. For all of those agents I have one simple question......


If you are going to market a property, actually market it, don't you think showing people your product would be a good idea. I can see the front of the house by driving by. Let me see the rest of it.

Dartmouth Kitchen

 While I am on a roll, what about that guy that only takes one picture and that picture shows the mirror and window of the agents car.(I know you have all seen this picture out there somewhere and for the life of me I can not find one to post here) Not only was that agent not able to open the door of the house to get pictures, but the agent also couldn't open the car door. 

All I am saying is that if you are a Realtor, you have a camera. And, if you have a camera, take pictures. Take Lots and Lots of Pictures! 

Todd Jones - Your Scranton, Clarks Summit Realtor 


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Todd Jones - Associate Broker/Office Manager

Semian Real Estate Group

570-878-4739 - Cell

570-344-6880 Ext 237 - Office


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Chul KIM McGuire
CorpusTV.com - Corpus Christi, TX


Unfortunately or fotunately, I take about 30 to 60 for most of my listings. Way too many perhaps. But, I have to get every angle and then see which ones will work the best. I take Videos too. So, a lot of work.

That's the way I do my business.

Cheers, KIM.  N. Padre Island, TX

Nov 13, 2007 01:32 PM #1
George Koppel,
The Lowenstern Team


What really bothers me are MLS listings where there are only photos of the outside of the house - this gets you really suspicious about whats actually inside.  I come across this often on MLS listing, but also on posts on Craigs List.  It would be almost better to have no pictures at all, than just a picture of the outside, many times from so far away you really can't make out any details of the house. I think this would also turn off potential buyers.


Nov 13, 2007 01:35 PM #2
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana
Todd, what do you mean one photo.  I have seen listings with zero.
Nov 13, 2007 01:35 PM #3
Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach | REALTORĀ® 786-229-7999
SIB REALTY, Llc // WaterWayRealty.com - Sunny Isles, FL
Most likely it is laziness or lack of know-how. There are times that taking pictures is inconvenient, and the listing must get in the MLS right-away. There should be no excuses, good photos are a must.
Nov 13, 2007 01:39 PM #4
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Todd,

You're right about the number of photos. I use as many of them as I can. Normally I take multiple shots of each scene. It's such a easy thing to do.

Nov 13, 2007 02:58 PM #5
Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA
Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract) - Allentown, PA

I think Realtors should have more pictures taken of themselves.  And not use the one with the cat, or toupee crooked, or ... the one from the prom....


Nov 14, 2007 07:19 AM #6
Todd Jones
Weichert Realtors - Hibble & Associates - Clarks Summit, PA

Kim - a little more pics than I take, but I like your way of thinking

George - I agree... it does turn off potential buyers

John - Fortunately our MLS fines those with no pics.

Mott - If we think it is laziness, what do you think the sellers are thinking?!!

Lynda - I do the same. It is so easy, yet so many do not do it.

Rob -That sounds like a blog you should post!!! We wanna see the pics.


Todd Jones - Your Scranton, Clarks Summit Realtor


Nov 14, 2007 07:58 AM #7
Linda Sticklin
Home Staging & Organizing - Berwyn, PA
The other thing to consider is the actual condition of the rooms being photographed. I always find it amusing when photos are posted of kitchens with lots of clutter on the countertops, bathrooms with personal items displayed, and I could go on and on. Most buyers start their search on line. The photos need to show the house in its best possible condition. 
Nov 14, 2007 08:21 AM #8
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Great title for the post. Hope realtors woll read it.The only time I do not have interior pictures in mls is if it is rented and tenants will not allow pictures.

Nov 14, 2007 11:18 PM #9
Pam Metzker
Amerisave Mortgage Corporation - Huntingdon Valley, PA

I totally agree.  I am a big fan of realtor.com and am always looking for properties just to see what's out there.  Along that same line, I often see properties that say they are waterfront, but no pictures of the water.  I want to see what my view is from the deck, living room ,etc.... I don't have the option to drive by because they are usually in other states or too far away.  My favorite one is "no photo available".  Those dont even have a shot of getting opened!  Another thing I don't understand is on duplexes where there is no rental information listed.  If I am going to buy an investment, I want to know my chances of making money before I pick up the phone to ask about it.  I only call on the ones that have rents listed on the description of the property.  Great post!! The consumer is definitely looking online first and If I were to choose an agent to sell my house, it would be one that has multiple photographs and lots of information on the properties they list.

Nov 15, 2007 12:45 AM #10
Todd Jones
Weichert Realtors - Hibble & Associates - Clarks Summit, PA

Linda - You almost found my intentional blunder...If you look at the picture I inserted of the kitchen, you will see in the window that the neighbor is doing major renovations and I included his trash in the picture. I was waiting for a comment that talked about the quality of the photographs. Great point!

Gita - Tell the tenants to say "Cheese" (ha ha)

Pam - Information is key. I also see "investment properties" with no investment info on my local MLS. Doesn't make any sense. 

Todd Jones - Your Scranton, Clarks Summit Realtor 


Nov 16, 2007 06:37 AM #11
Denise Willer
Elite Realty - Las Vegas, NV
"Where Therenulls a Willer Therenulls a Way" Las Vegas

Yet another good post - is this a rant? lol

One of my first assignments when I was just a Realtor's assistant was to take his Mavica! and take an exterior only photo - back when things sold in a day

I spent so much time positioning the composition of that first photo, I knew I had another outlet for my creativity in another aspect of this wonderful career!

I don't think you will find that any AR people are too guilty of these Realtor crimes!  We are all into details, that's why we blog, right?? :)

Here in Las Vegas it seems the REO/Bank owned homes are the ones that are most guilty of the Solo Photo No-No  - BUT I have NEVER seen a pic with the reflection of the car window in it!  Priceless! 

Nov 18, 2007 02:13 PM #12
Denise Willer
Elite Realty - Las Vegas, NV
"Where Therenulls a Willer Therenulls a Way" Las Vegas

Beautiful example of me being embarassed to show these photos as I'm sitting down in my office for a out-of-town-buyer's initial consultation.

Hey, 8 out of 10 ain't bad! lol

Enjoy the photos -makes you wonder what the seller was thinking that day?  Or if the assistant posted the photos?  I am curious...


Nov 18, 2007 04:55 PM #13
Teri Deane
RE/MAX 100 - Columbia, MD
Realtor, ABR, CRS, SFR - The Deane Team

Don't get me going on photos. . .oh, my I've seen some amazingly bad ones (shots of the bathroom where only the toilet shows and the seat is up, ewwww; of the bedroom showing only a chest of drawers; and shots where the flash reflects in a mirror or window, etc.).  Always, if there are only shots of the outside I wonder how crappy is the interior?

At least these agents are trying by using SOME photos.  Better are the ones with lots and lots of photos and panoramas.  Whenever I see a listing with just a few or no photos, I feel that the sellers are getting a raw deal from that agent. . .there's no excuse for that in this market.  And if you're not a shutter-bug, just hire a professional company to take the photos for you (I use OBEO because they get way better photos than I ever could) and the cost is not that much.

About the exterior photo showing the car mirror. . .in our area the MLS will take an exterior shot of every property that gets listed unless the agent uses their own photos.  When it gets busy and they have a lot of homes to "shoot" the MLS photographers don't bother to get out of the car. . .they just slow down and go "click."

Nov 26, 2007 01:54 PM #14
Calvin Neely
FLI Properties - Lagrange, GA
Let's get you moving!

I am constantly amazed at the poor quality and quantity of pictures that most agents post.  Many sites allow you to post 10-25 pictures, but most agents only bother with the one view of the front of the house.  Take 30 and pick out 10 good ones, without the dirty laundry on the sofa, the messy bed or the dirty dishes in the sink. 

 The web is a great marketing tool, but only if it is used properly.  Thanks for a great reminder. 

Dec 06, 2007 07:06 AM #15
Springfield, MA

I feel that the photos are the first impression to the buyers and you should PRIDE yourself on the photos you take!!!


BTW- thanks for stopping by!

Dec 18, 2007 12:30 PM #16
Angie Vandenbergh
Crye-Leike, Realtors - Memphis, TN
A Crye-Leike Blogger
Hi Todd, Yes I agree. I don't understand why agents just don't fill up the photos. There's no extra charge to put them in the mls. With idx, many (too many to list) now pull those photos from the mls. Most of our mls's restrict to 10 photos. So I would expect everyone to upload 10 photos. There are a few exceptions with land or homes where it is better not to see certain parts :) But even with land I think it is good to have some pictures. A lot of people make an exception for land and don't post pics, but I still think land should have pictures too.
Dec 19, 2007 04:20 AM #17
william Jimenez - A CRM designer, Real Estate Broker, Web Site

Howdy Todd,


The crazy thing is that some agents submit the listing into the MLS and say, "I'll go take some pictures today and load up all 20".. The problem is that once they hit submit, many of the IDX platforms will now show no picture for that property even though the upload later.

 So, I hope your blog reminds everyone to submit pictures FIRST, and then submit into the MLS. 

 Thanks for your update!

Dec 22, 2007 02:01 PM #18
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