No Second Chance on That First Impression - Photos a Must on Day 1

Real Estate Agent with M Realty

If you've spent any time reading this website at all, you know what a huge advocate I am of professional photography on every listing that I have.

But there is something else that as seller, you must be aware of in a your new listing: the photos must go in the moment your new listing is online. Why?

  • Agents are constantly looking for their buyers. If two listings come up at the same time, one with photos and one without, which one do you think they are more inclined to take notice of?
  • Buyer Online Searches (this is the critical point): In the age of information, the internet dominates a large majority of buyer's home searching efforts. Many serious buyers are on a automatic delivery system for new listings. When your new listing comes to them without photos, they often ignore it. Putting in fabulous professional photography a week after it is listed is meaningless. Too many buyers have ignored it and may never return to see those wonderful photos.

There are instances where there is a sense of urgency and a need to get the property in the listing services immediately. In this case, I recommend using the agent's digital shots temporarily. I still would never recommend going without and fortunately, in this day and age, there is absolutely no need to go without photographs.

In my mind, this failure is the ultimate breech of a listing agent's duty to their client - that seller. When interviewing listing agents, ask about the process they utilize. Will they have photography professionally shot? Will they take the time to wait for those shots prior to listing? Will they use those images in all the initial launches online? Or will they list your home and add photos in a few days?

You know you have a good agent when they are willing to take the necessary time to prepare your listing professionally with the marketing that is needed. Waiting a few days and going live with really quality marketing can actually create a quicker and higher sale.

If you are in Orange County and have questions about selling your home, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you are out of the area, but are looking for an agent that is committed to quality marketing, let me know and I'll help you make the right connection if I know someone in your area.

Originally Posted on WhyDidn'tMyHome

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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Hi Linsey...I'm in your neck of the woods, so I'll watch for your well-prepared listings.

May 30, 2009 12:26 PM #1
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Hi Linsey,

I always have a photographer do the pics and virtual tour.  Don't want to take them myself and then have the seller say the house isn't selling because of the photos I took lol.

Sometimes I will send listings without photos attached yet to buyers and tell them I will forward again when the photos get loaded by the agent.  This way I get to send it again and usually by then they have already decided if they are interested or not.

And then there are the snow pictures that are still being shown and it's almost June.  Yikes.

May 30, 2009 12:42 PM #2
Janice Doty
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate~Rand Realty - Gardiner, NY

I totaly agree about photos now--not asap. Too often lack of photos make you think something is wrong with the property--is it THAT bad they don't want to put in pics? Sometimes no pic might be better than the really grainy and out of focus ones--reflects how much you think of the property!

May 30, 2009 12:42 PM #3
Dana Wilkinson
Connect Realty, The Woodlands, TX - The Woodlands, TX
Broker-Your TX agent for The Woodlands-Spring-Conr

I agree that the pictures need to be loaded as soon as the listing goes live online.  I wish there were a way in our MLS to load the pictures first, and then take it live, but there is not.  Depending on the server it can take as long as a couple of hours to get all the pics loaded....but still it is the same day.

May 30, 2009 12:47 PM #4
Linsey Ehle
M Realty - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Dana - I agree.  I've wondered why I have to hit the publish key and THEN add the photos.  It's too bad to even have that little delay.  Thankfully, once we add them here, ther are accessible in the MLS.

Jenny - the Xmas tree in June - never a good thing.  :)

Janice - I'm not sure there is a time that no pic is a good thing.  And I still am mystified that anyone has out of focus, grainy shots.  I wonder the same thing when there are no photos.

Karen - Ditto.  :)

May 30, 2009 01:02 PM #5
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Evening Linsey,  I agree that the pics should be added initially.  My solution to the photo quality was to upgrade to a Niko and a wide angle lens and special light.

May 30, 2009 01:18 PM #7
Andrew Rios
Palm Springs, CA

I have to agree Linsey that All listings should be professionally photographed. The price you pay for a photographer's time to get the best shots of the listing will only help you when marketing the property. 1st impression is everything and with great photography comes interested buyers and closed deals


May 30, 2009 02:31 PM #8
Linsey Ehle
M Realty - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Andrew - Amen!!  I've had some debate over this with agents but unless you are a Photographer in addition to a Realtor - leave the pics to the pro.

Bill - You may have this covered on your own.  You did the responsible thing if you aren't going to hire.  At a minimum - have the right equipment for the job.

Barbara - That's the part that sellers and agents have to 'get'.  You may have only one shot at the buyer's attention.  Don't blow it!  :)

May 30, 2009 03:18 PM #9
Andrew Rios
Palm Springs, CA

I now know Im not alone Linsey, Sadly though my boss is one of those agents who believe that they dont need a photographer. I have somewhat convinced him to having a photographer, He said he will have one only on listings over half a million. Thats somewhere to start and hopefully one's those are sold like hotcakes he can finally see that a professional photography makes a difference.


Bill I do have to say kudos for having the right equipment to do your own photography

May 30, 2009 04:39 PM #10
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Orange, CA

Hi Lindsey,

Great post! You bring up an excellent point about a listing without photos and not getting a second chance. did a study and found that listings with 15 photos pulled 55x as many views and inquires as listings with only 1 photo. That's a huge difference!

And I know we have some agents using our tours who will only upload the minimum number of photos required by their MLS, and then put everything else in their tour. That way the quality and size of their photos is not diminished by their MLS. It's that important to them.

May 31, 2009 02:57 AM #11
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