Did Your Seller See Those Photos?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA

Real estate is all about online marketing. The first item in our arsenal to draw someone in is our main property photo. So why not make it a good one? Don't think for an instant someone can't tell by your MLS/Ad photos that the camera you used is stored without a bag underneath the seat of your car. The greasy fingerprint and dog hair on the lens is a dead give away..... I'm amazed at what agents post for pictures sometimes...don't their sellers see these?


Advertising is all about stimulation. Appeal to the consumers senses both visually and mentally. The consumer may be either buyer or seller. Fantastic pictures and an image provoking write up will make the phone ring. If you can't take great pictures have someone else do it or learn how.

 Now Step back and look at your listing.

  • Is it properly staged? Is the outside inviting?
  • Are your pictures appealing? Did you update them or are there still flowers showing from May when you listed. (Nothing says "I've been on the market forever" than off season photos)
  • Is the text stimulating, does it paint a picture of why one might want to live here or simply list the features and rooms......
  • Maybe the house just can't be appealing, take some neighborhood pictures of the local Park, lakes, ball fields. Give some visual reasons why this may be a good place to live.

Real Estate and online marketing is constantly evolving.  It's a good time to analyse our marketing and see what needs work. I know I am.


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Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

The way photos are taken often tries to deceive ie how close it is to its neighbor, closeness to ocean etc. It's better to be honest up front with your photos. Interior photos, in all cases, need to make the place look clean and orderly if it can't be professionally staged. Oh, ditch those fake flowers and doilies, though. Fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit does wonders.

Feb 07, 2011 12:58 PM #17
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

You are right that the photos are worth a thousand words and they can make or break a buyer's decision to see the house.  The text should reveal the lifestyle afforded by the home, no need to state the obvious!  Great pointers for marketing in the new year!

Feb 07, 2011 01:23 PM #18
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

There was a time when agents set the agenda for which properties their buyers will view.  These days, buyers generally compile the list of homes to see.  Their list is derived by how they view the properties on the internet.  If the property isn't attractive in the internet pictures, they will often scratch it off the list and it will be sent into cyberspace...never to return to that client"s radar. 

Feb 07, 2011 01:25 PM #19
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Unfortunately, some homes are just plain ugly -  One of these days I'll list a beautiful staged home.

Feb 07, 2011 02:52 PM #20
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

My sellers see all of the photos as soon as they're online. I always send links to the listing in MLS, as well as several syndicated sites. This way the seller can review photos and copy, and I can make any necessary changes to best position the home in the market.

Feb 07, 2011 03:01 PM #21
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I'm amazed at what I see on the MLS and on other media.  When I take a listing I bring my wide angle lens and and a zoom lens and I take a maybe 200 shots.  That's right 200 on an average listing.  I sift through them and edit and tweak the best of the best. I also create videos from the stills.  The process takes a long time -but is worth the effort. 

What I see on the MLS - I can only ask "what are they thinking"  I particularly like the photos of the toilet flipped on its side for an added punch. Riviting!

Feb 07, 2011 03:09 PM #22
Brandon Del Campo
Coldwell Banker - Boulder, CO

Larry-  With all of todays amazing technology, I am not sure why Realtors are not shooting video as well as pictures?  I know many do virtual tours for higher end listings, but even those just tend to be pictures.  I am starting to do my own virtual tours that not only showcase the house with video, but you will also get a good feel for the agent selling it (me).  This can be done on my iPhone and Mac and look like James Cameron showed up!  I suppose that with the amount of bad pictures that are out there, we are all in for a treat if agents start shooting video too!

Feb 07, 2011 03:10 PM #23
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc. - Kitchener, ON
Quality Home Staging

Larry - all great points! We call listing a home on MLS 'speed dating' because sellers literally have mere seconds to impress potential buyers. From staging to smart upgrades to professional pictures and then an excellent ad, there are a lot of variables which make a home attractive. As most of us are aware, MLS is a smorgasbord of listings which look horrible so that's why its so important to understand just how vital it is to make a great first impression!

Feb 07, 2011 03:35 PM #24
Jim Mushinsky
Centsable Inspection - Framingham, MA

Hi Larry.  Great topic and information.

I want to share a comment from a client after a home inspetion that included many photos.  The client compared photographs of the same rooms from the seller and from the inspector.  Their comment was it was hard to believe it was the same room. 

Camera quality and condition in addition to the photo angle, lighting, time of day, etc sure make a big difference in the photo.


Feb 07, 2011 03:36 PM #25
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Thanks for the reminders on photography. I still sometimes notice something out of place once I get the photo on my computer. It takes practice and experience.


Feb 07, 2011 03:57 PM #26
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

I'm beginning to wonder whether sellers even do an internet search for their property listings.  Well actually I'm not just beginning to wonder, but since you brought it up........

Feb 07, 2011 09:55 PM #27
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


You're right about both photos and text being so important to potential buyers online!  This week I booked an appointment at 1 that stated "lockbox will be on by May 2."  Of what year?!  Did tip off that agent when I called to schedule...

Feb 07, 2011 11:16 PM #28
Larry Costa
Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA - Carver, MA
Realtor, MA Real Estate

Tara: It's really not that hard to take better pictures. Some agents really don't care...

Patricia: Thank-you, glad you enjoyed!

Gary: I couldn't agree more.

Debra: Good advice thanks!

Karen: I swear most must not see them..

Don: It's been done on Facebook already

Jen: maybe the MLS sshould have a "report and agent feature" for bad photos, <grin>

Pamela: you said it!

Hella: absolutely, but i can understand an agent needing to get them through the door, sometimes. I have a listing like that now, inside awesome, outside does not photograph well.

Karen: yes! So many agents state the obvious.

Feb 08, 2011 05:02 AM #29
Larry Costa
Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA - Carver, MA
Realtor, MA Real Estate

Howard and Susan: so true, the Internet has rewritten the way we do business.

Margaret: I'm sure you will!

John: Good practice, all agents should do this

Ruthmarie: That's a lot of pictures! On the video there is a company...ElectroTours that will do this for you for $35, and post on YouTube!

Brandon: That's awesome, I did my first video for the Kodak-AR Challenge. Still learning, practice makes perfect. Best to stay ahead of the curve.

Heather: Nice blog! Wish every seller would do this.

Jim: This can both ways. I've seen a home photographed Too Well by a pro and buyers were disappointed when they got there.......

Gretchen: practice makes perfect!

Charita: I'm beginning to think they don't...this run rampant in our industry.

Irene: very important!

Feb 08, 2011 05:32 AM #30
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead

I know I'm not alone in this, but I'm amazed on a daily basis at the "professional photos" that other agents use to makret their listings. IMO, if there's one place that an agent should never skimp, it's in the expense of great photography for their listings.

Feb 25, 2011 09:07 AM #31
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

That first glimpse or look is always going to happen...Knowing this, best foot forward is a must...

Jun 19, 2014 11:28 PM #32
Riya Sharma

Thanks for the reminders on photography. I still sometimes notice something out of place once I get the photo on my computer

Jun 19, 2014 11:32 PM #33
Laura Kelley
Keller Williams Realty- Carmel Valley/Del Mar - San Diego, CA
Your Home, Your Lifestyle, Your Real Estate Goals

Photography is important!! Let me repeat that Important!!


Great Blog!

Make it a great day,


Laura Kelley

Jun 20, 2014 09:21 AM #34
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Photos are so very important Larry, an agent should make every effort to show the property in its best form.

Jun 20, 2014 04:41 PM #36
Larry Costa
Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA - Carver, MA
Realtor, MA Real Estate

Ryan, I totally agree!

Richie, It's nearly all internet now, which means visual.

Riya, worthe the extra time to get it right.

Laura, you said it!

Tom, so true, yet as we know, most agents don't get it.

Jun 23, 2014 12:11 AM #37
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Realtor, MA Real Estate
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