Deceit or Just Good Marketing?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty


5001 Haney Circle, McKinney, TexasKnowing well in advance that I would obtain a listing in January, I went out in September and took a nice lush green photo of the property.  I felt it would bring nice attention to the gorgeous yard and landscaping.  I also felt that it would make it "Pop or Standout" among the other listings with brown yards, bare trees.

Two questions arose with my MLS photograph .. did it make the listing appear that it had been on the market for a long time (out of season photo)?  Was it deceitful to use this photograph with green grass in this season?  I answered to both ..

  • No, on the impression of a lengthy listing as the days on market were readily available on MLS for the agents to view.  Also homeowners often have great pictures of their homes that are taken at a more seasonal flattering time and are often used by agents.
  • It is only deceitful if I was trying to cover up something like photo-shopping out a huge water tower behind the home or unsightly power lines or transformer in the distance.  This was a photograph that was not enhanced.

As listing agents we are called upon to be creative in our marketing and responsible for presenting the home in its most enticing manner.  Simple thoughtful use of proper photography to present a home is not only good marketing but a responsibility of a listing agent.  This includes thoughtful pictures on the interior that have good lighting, staged pictures (clean off the refrigerator magnets & counters, etc.).  If a simple task as good pictures gives the viewer that wonderful first impression, why not take advantage of every opportunity to sale the home?

Was it deceitful ... no it was just good marketing!

Comments (17)

John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Connie,  I actually think this is the opposite of deceitful...I've seen some other agents dislike this idea, however I'm on your side!

A prospective buyer is obviously going to see the home during it's winter state, but posting a picture from a different season can help them when thinking of what the home might look like when things are green!

I suppose it could backfire if they see the picture and the home doesn't look as warm and inviting when they visit, but I think it's a helpful tactic and certainly not deceitful!

Feb 04, 2011 04:37 AM
Sharon Lord
Maracay Homes - Peoria, AZ
New Home Advisor

Connie - I say "Smart Marketing" - way to make your listing stand out!  It looks so much more cheerful and less depressing when everything is green!

Sharon Lord
Argent Decor
AZ Vacation Home Furnishing Service

Feb 04, 2011 04:38 AM
Art Hademan
Century 21 Real Estate Center - Mount Vernon, WA


Good marketing if you included the current seasonal photo as well, but misleading otherwise.

One man's opinion!


We have a Realty up here in Washington that bends the rules all the time. Our MLS requires the main picture of a property (if it's a house) to be the picture of the actual home. This company though always posts a picture of the view from the property and never a picture of the outside of the home itself. Misleading or good marketing?

You tell me. It breaks the rules but sells houses. Kind of makes you wonder why we have rules in the first place!!!

Feb 04, 2011 04:41 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Connie.  Great job of thinking ahead and using a great pic to promote a very nice listing.  All you are doing is allowing a potential buyer to visualize how it will look after closing.  Well done !

Feb 04, 2011 04:42 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

John - glad you agree, I did include the backyard photos that were of this season .. has a pool, huge yard, etc. but wanted an attention getter for the primary photo in MLS.  I also go back and take pictures of listings as things begin to green up to "freshen them".

Sharon - I always try to think of an edge on my listings .. price right but first impression is very important, glad you agreed.

Art - always two sides to a discussion and I truly respect your input.  We do not have such restrictive rules in MLS and maybe it is time for a re-evaluation of your MLS policies.  We allow photos of the pool, view, etc. whatever the agent wishes to tag as their primary photograph so long as it is the property and an accurate reflection.

Appreciate you all stopping by to visit my post and taking time on the great comments!

Feb 04, 2011 04:47 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Bill, thanks for the pat on the back.  I try to be prepared.  Only a limited amount of months in our area where the grass is brown and with this challenging weather, green sure looks great now.  Thanks for your comments and visit!

Feb 04, 2011 04:49 AM
Mykael Marinelli
American Caribbean / Christie's International Real Estate - Key Largo, FL
The Florida Keys Real Estate Conchquistador

Connie, smart marketing all the way.  It is our duty to present our properties in the best possible light, to entice potential buyers and agents to respond.

Good Luck

Feb 04, 2011 04:51 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Mykael - (love the spelling of your name by the way) - appreciate your comments and love the agreement on my decision.  I do feel that it is critical we try our best to give our listings that edge.

Feb 04, 2011 04:53 AM
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Connie, I think it is smart marketing, however, I too think a current photo as well would show the complete picture.  Should a home be on the market for a while, I take current photos to update the listing.  It gives a fresh view of the property.  Good post, thank you.

Feb 04, 2011 05:02 AM
Laura Sargent
Carolina One Real Estate - Mount Pleasant, SC

Our job is to do our best for our clients with their best.  When we lived in MN and went to Open Houses in the winter, you'd often find photo displays showing the yard at the different seasons.  I always thought is was fantastic to show what you were buying.  

Feb 04, 2011 05:07 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Mary - like you I keep my listing photos updated, I want them to look current in the season as well.  This home I would also have had pictures with snow when I first listed, we have been unusually hit this year which is rare for us.

Laura- I love to display photos of the spring time on my listings as well .. shows the gardens at their best.  You are absolutely right .. our job is to the very best for our clients.

Thanks for your time to comment .. appreciate the input and visit to my post!

Feb 04, 2011 05:12 AM
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

I think it's great marketing and showing how diligent you were from the beginning...Some people don't even post pics (annoying) Not to mention, don't Buyers want or wonder what properties look like in the Summer or Spring? They can see what it looks like now (obviously) and now this is what it looks like when it's sunny... Great job ;)

Feb 04, 2011 09:58 AM
Kim Dean - McKinney, TX
Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner

Connie - very smart! It's always distrubing when I pull up a listing and the photos have a Christmas tree in the living room when it's June, or snow on the ground and it's clearly summer. But in your case the DOM will prove it's smart marketing. And, because we're in Texas, 80% of the time it's green grass anyway. The snow in the pics are the rare exception, not the rule.

Feb 04, 2011 02:01 PM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Excellent planning on your part, Connie. You're showing a true representation of the home at its best, which is exactly what any seller needs from their agent.

Feb 04, 2011 02:06 PM
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Connie:

I agree, it's just good work on being an excellent listing agent.

BTW, hope you had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend!!!

Feb 04, 2011 02:33 PM
'The Diamond Group' 'A Cut Above The Rest'
The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams - Lubbock, TX
Lubbock Texas Real Estate

Connie, I think we owe it to our sellers to present their homes in the best light possible and you have done a good job!

Feb 04, 2011 03:20 PM
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Hi Connie, I agree with you...this is definitely thinking ahead and providing smart as well as great marketing to your sellers.  They are lucky to have you!  By the way...when was your birthday?  Happy belated birthday!

Feb 05, 2011 02:38 AM