That House Only Had Eight Pictures, So It Must Not Be Very Good

Real Estate Agent with (512) 786-8300

Most of the blog posts I write, come from experiences with clients. After all, real estate is like any other profession, in that what we learn in the field, is much more applicable, than the information we get in a class or seminar. At Austin Real Estate Agency, we like to tell sellers, don't get taken out of the game, before it even starts. What we mean by that, is you shouldn't give buyers a reason to discount your home, before they even get a chance to see it.

Just last week, I was working with a buyer, who assumed a home wasn't very nice, because the mls listing only contained eight pictures. As real estate brokers, we can talk until we're blue in the face about the need to give consumers lots of photos, but we constantly see listings that don't show many. Often this happens in the luxury market, which is more of a head scratcher.

How Many Photos Should I Take Of My Listing?

Our mls in Austin allows for a total of twenty five pictures. Virtual tour companies and various real estate websites offer even more. In our opinion, the more photos you (or preferably a professional photographer) can take, the better. While twenty five may be a challenge for smaller properties, here are five things you can do, to attract the attention of buyers online:

* Take mulitiple photos of the same room. This works particularly well in kitchens and bathrooms. Two rooms in which buyers have a great deal of interest.

*Multiple photos of the exterior and landscaping will give the buyer the mood of a home. 

*Do you have a floor plan of the home? Buyers love floor plans and including them in your photos may help the buyer get a feel for the property.

*Display photos of the surrounding amenities. Buyers who aren't familiar with your neighborhood might not have any idea about the pool, golf course, or great elementary school.

For the record, I told my buyer that eight pictures isn't indicative of a bad home. Agents and sellers, don't always use the maximum number of pictures. But the fact is, my buyer approach isn't all too unusual. Brokers and sellers  will be wise to show as much of a property, as they can.

Posted by

Scott Hayes

Austin Real Estate Agency

Extraordinary Service, For Extraordinary People

Direct: 512-786-8300

Comments (93)

Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I'm taking over a listing tomorrow and the previous agent "only" had 17 photos uploaded. It's over 2600 sqft, all 25 photos should have easily been used by your suggestions of taking pics from different perspectives of the same room. I love doing this, especially when a floorplan isn't available.

Oct 06, 2011 07:50 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Yep, it's not that hard to do with digital cameras. I have a vacant listing, which we staged, but not every single room. Still, there are photos of those rooms, and the backyard that needs some work. The inside of the house shows great, the price is aggressive, and agents and buyers are coming out in force. I guarantee that wouldn't have happened if I'd skimped on photos.

Oct 06, 2011 08:01 AM
Jim Gilbert
Sky Realty - Austin, TX

I've seen listings with 25 photos that did not present the home well at all! I've also seen those with few photos. I am often left to wonder if the listing agent really understands that he or she may not be representing the sellers interests well.

Oct 06, 2011 09:08 AM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


We love our virtual photographers.  We always do the maximum 25 on our FMLS, but most times have more.  

Heck, we do 25 for our rentals.  I am starting to amass a very nice collection of neighborhood pictures - pools, parks, tennis courts, playgrounds. 

Great advice.




Oct 06, 2011 09:30 AM
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

Scott - even if I am selling a bare piece of land, I try to show as many photos as I can. How about photos at sunrise, some at high noon and some at sunset? Maybe the moon?

Oct 06, 2011 10:28 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I'll show as many images as I can, some resources allow 20-25, some allow up to 5, so whatever the limit, I'll max out and use a pro photographer to shoot the images.

Oct 06, 2011 10:54 AM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTORĀ®
I agree! Whenever possible, I max out photos! Lots would be the exception, and even then, I shoot several of the land and then the amenities! Always as many as possible!
Oct 06, 2011 02:25 PM
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

Generally, the property condition will determine how many pictures to take and/or post online.  Typically, I would agree that more is better, but sometimes less is best.

Oct 06, 2011 03:07 PM
Deborah Wilson
Hackenberg Realty Group - Canton, OH
Stark County OH Real Estate

At my office, the adminstrative assistants  only input 8 pictures due to time.  I go back in and add many more pictures to give a real flavor.

Oct 06, 2011 03:40 PM
Kathy Dowd
MVP Realty, 239 220 4133 - Cape Coral, FL
Consider it SOLD

I think its important to add as many pictures as your MLS allows..when its first listed it is sent to many people with that search criteria and agents look all the time for new listings. It very important to also have you Visual Tour ready as well!


Oct 06, 2011 04:02 PM
Dale Shin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Los Angeles, CA
Broker Associate

That's a great tip about mulitiple shots of the same room or the exterior, such a common sense idea, wish I'd thought of it!   

Oct 06, 2011 04:11 PM
Michael Singh,Broker
Singh Real Estate - Corral de Tierra, CA

Buyers love pictures 

Oct 06, 2011 04:58 PM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Scott,


The dumest thing I see daily is an expired listing with one photo with the Realor remarks that say "This one won't last long!" lol

Oct 06, 2011 11:16 PM
Daniel Z Stoltzfus
Lancaster, PA

The quality of the pictures is far more important than how many. I noticed an expired listing in our area that was on the market for 182 days with 20 pics. It got relisted and went under agreement in 13 days with only 17 pics. And only 2 of those were (gasp) pottie pics! The first listing had only 2 pottie pics as well! 

PS Forgot to add that it sold for the same price as the old listing!

Oct 07, 2011 03:55 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Very nice post and you make some good points.  Some times 8 photos is all you really need.  Depends on the property.

Oct 07, 2011 04:09 AM
Lisa Waller-Gage
RE/MAX Properties - Merrimack, NH

One thing is certain, that is buyers and sellers love photos.  You can't go wrong when you invest in a great camera and learn some basic photography rules.  Or you can always hire a photographer if it is not something your good at.  I love this article because it really gives us insight about what buyers want and how to optitmize our results.

Oct 07, 2011 04:19 AM
Centerville, KS

I just re-blogged a posting from another agent on photos...they are so crucial and agents/buyers make assumptions if they're aren't many good ones.

Oct 07, 2011 04:55 AM
Ric Mills
Keller Williams Southern Az - Tucson, AZ
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge

There should never less than twenty unless it is just a lot.  That is just being lazy.  I really like the ones with none or one , really makes me want to go out and see that home.NOT.....Why waste my or my clients time when it doesn't rate pictures.

Oct 07, 2011 05:50 AM
susan sherman
Columbus, OH

When I was house shopping I thought it would be great to have a floor plan to refer to.  Seems the only time they were available was for new builds.  Great post.

Oct 08, 2011 08:29 AM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Sometimes that statement is probably true.  On my nicer listings, say $200k and above, I usually hit the maximum on pictures...which I think is around 25-27.  On my piece of crap listings (some REO's and short sales), it's a struggle to just get 6-8 decent looking shots.  I definitely don't understand luxury homes not having loads of pictures, and I always try to get as many as possible, but some properties just don't have a very good story to tell.

Mar 14, 2012 02:25 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?