Do you post lousy photos in MLS? You may be hurting yourself even more than you hurt your trusting clients!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Realty Arts NC Broker License #235526

It is clearly our duty to properly market property.  Photo quality and selection are part of it.

I cringe everytime I see obvious cell phone photos, with just a few crooked smeary foggy images from smeary, foggy cell phone lenses.  Somehow the agent is able to fool the seller into thinking the home is being professionally marketed.  For 400 days.  I don't get it, but it seems to work for some people.

I sold a listing recently, one that was fun to photo and to do the Real Estate Show.  At one of the Open Houses, a couple came through.  After touring, they asked a couple of questions.  Then they told me they had little interest in the home, and were more interested in interviewing me, among a few other agents, to be their Buyer's Agent.  They were touring a few Cary Open Houses to meet the agents.

Their selection method?

They went on line and selected listings they thought were well-photographed, and generally well-presented to the market.  "If you care that much for your Seller, we assume you will care to do a good job for your Buyers."

We closed on their new home on Thursday.  They were right.  I care about my Buyers, just like I do my Sellers, and we had a pretty good transaction.  Great property, somewhat unique, yet affordable for Cary.  A place where they think they will be comfortable for many years. And frankly, about 1/3 more value than the listing where we met.

Makes me want to upgrade my camera!

A few gratuitous, unrelated photos:

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Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to Email MeQR CodeMike Jaquish, REALTOR®


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Independent Broker/Owner, Realty Arts

130 Towerview Court,

Cary, NC


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 04/20/2010 12:39 AM
  2. Mary Kay Hopkins 04/20/2010 02:53 AM
  3. Joseph J. Chang 04/20/2010 03:42 PM
  4. Don Spera 06/01/2010 11:02 AM
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Dawn Isenhower
Sibcy Cline Realtors - Milford, OH

I have been told that my photos are so good on a few of my listings, that people are disappointed when they see the house. I use a Canon point-and-shoot, but I take way more photos than necessary to get that perfect angle or shot. I think that great photos are important. They mean the difference between showings and no showings for many listings.

Apr 20, 2010 01:36 PM #92
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Poor photos make a huge difference in the number of showings on a listing. 

Apr 20, 2010 01:39 PM #93
Judy Colburn
ProStaged Homes - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Glendora, San Dimas Covina, Home Staging

Mike, you are SO RIGHT! Buyers are searching properties online even before they choose a realtor. Listing photos need to be enticing enough to grab the potential buyer's attention. 

A couple of other suggestions - don't post photos with pets in them - you may pushing away anyone that has allergies or "other" issues with pets. Always put the toilet seat down and make sure the house has been made neat and clean before taking photos. Best and safest strategy - hire a professional stager.

I've actually seen listings that look like this...

Before     Before kitchen

Apr 20, 2010 01:51 PM #94
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

If the photos are poor and hurried and not done well , then one can only imagine how other things are done-- or not.

Apr 20, 2010 01:54 PM #95
1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

I fail to understand why anyone in their right mind would not want to present their client's property with it's "best foot forward" especially since "first impressions matter the most"...!!!

Apr 20, 2010 02:11 PM #96
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Cameras used for real estate purposes are a legitimate business expense. I use a Canon DSLR with a wide angle 11-22 lens. Pictures draw buyers in. Our MLS allows us to place 30 pictures in a listing.


Apr 20, 2010 02:25 PM #97
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

A picture is worth a thousand words. I want my 1000 words to be well written. 

Apr 20, 2010 02:45 PM #98
Saralou Durham
RE/MAX Preferred Group - Cincinnati Real Estate Team - Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Perspective Hyde Park,Anderson,Mt. Adam
These are great pictures...seems like I can see every leaf. What kind of camera do you use? Do you Photoshop everything. Give us some hints to improve what we are easy as possible, please.
Apr 20, 2010 02:57 PM #99
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


Thanks for the compliment.

Most of those photos are taken with a Kodak P880, an outdated 8MP camera that I use on autofocus.  It is the one I use for my real estate photos, as the lens has a little wide angle, at 24mm.  And it is a pretty good lens, too.

Many are taken with a Kodak CX7530, just a 5 year old point and shoot pocket camera.

Kodak is known for bright colors in their images.  I need that.

I do very little editing.  Mostly cropping and rotating to level the shots when necessary.  I can't do much with color, as I am somewhat color blind, and tend to mess up more than I fix.  I give all credit to the Clear Carolina Blue Skies and lovely scenery we enjoy here.

Apr 20, 2010 03:08 PM #100
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Mike -- If this post isn't a wake-up call, I'm not sure what is.  I see million dollar listings (huge in our market) where the room is almost dark because of taking the photo at the window -- beyond Photography 101.  Never ceases to amaze me, and the lack of seller oversight is also mind boggling.

Apr 20, 2010 03:30 PM #101
Jeani Codrey
The Learning Jeani - New Braunfels, TX
If you're not learning, you're not living!

UUUGH!!!  Don't get me started on lazy agents who cannot even take the time to get decent photos of their listings...yet another example of "yeah, I am just collecting a check for doing virtually nothing!"  This is one of my biggest real estate pet peeves!!!

Apr 20, 2010 03:35 PM #102
Lydia Puller, Realtor
Vanguard Properties - San Francisco, CA
Homes for Sale in San Francisco, Marin & East Bay

I agree completely. Pictures speak a thousand words. It's mind boggling to me when agents don't take the maximum photos allowed, some don't take any! 

Apr 20, 2010 04:03 PM #103
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

The extra photos may be gratuitous perhaps, but they are absolutely gorgeous.


It is important to have good pictures of the listings.  This is what buyers are looking at when they are deciding which homes to see.

Apr 20, 2010 04:40 PM #104
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

Bad or one ugly photo of the front is one of my pet peeves.  When you buy a car they give a gorgeous booklet with lots of photos and details.  Many agents spend $.05 on mls sheets instead of creating decent flyers.  Marketing is our job, and if we can't do one aspect of it, we should hire it out. 

Apr 20, 2010 05:00 PM #105
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Hi Mike, you are so right.  I had a client call me yesterday about a home he saw listed on MLS, and he had some questions about it.  I looked it up, and there were absolutely no photos, this was a $600K priced home.  I just couldn't believe it!

Apr 20, 2010 05:27 PM #106
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Open Houses are great ways to get new Clients, but so many Realtors don't realize that for some reason. Of course, NAR says that only 1% of buyers find their homes via the Open House route.

Apr 21, 2010 04:43 AM #107
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I see pour pictures everyday. I even see some blackberry pictures. I really can't understand any seller allowing such pour pictures on MLS.

Apr 21, 2010 10:18 AM #108
Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video
StoneHome Photo & Video - Toronto, ON

You only get a few seconds to make that impression...and photos are your first point of contact. Do a good job there and see your ROI increase. Oh, disclaimer, I shoot awesome MLS photos (and other) in Toronto and area. :) 

Apr 22, 2010 09:36 AM #109
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

Great photos in the slide show Mike. I had a lot of formal photography training so I'm acutely aware of bad mls photos.

May 05, 2010 01:42 AM #110
Hal Goodtree
Goodtree & Co., Inc. - Cary, NC
Web 2.0 for Business

Right you are Mike.

Dang, you're popular.

May 17, 2010 04:09 AM #111
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Mike Jaquish

919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
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