Picture Shopping for a New Home

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty


Photo of Front of a Listing


First Impression  

True Blue 



I was excited that a new listing had come on the market.  It was a home I had listed and sold a couple of years ago and actually had resold just months later when that buyer was quickly transferred again.  So when it came up for sale I just knew it was a match for my client who has been looking on and off for the last year for that special home. 

I quickly sent the listing information and Customer MLS information via email to my client and explained how wonderful of a home it is .. just what they have been seeking.  The response ..

We didn’t care for the photos of the home and have decided to pass on looking at it as it just does not appear to meet what we are seeking.

I hadn’t even looked at the photos as I knew the home well – great finishes, heavy doors, granite in all bathrooms, barrel ceilings in the study & sunroom, etc.  quality plus and beautiful lot.  So I pulled the home up on MLS and was just disgusted.  There were dark pictures and nonsense choice of views of rooms.  The positive features were not shown.  You are allowed up to 25 photos with description area under each if you wish in our MLS system.  There were 12 photos of poor quality with no advantage of the description to point out additional items like over $5,000 of upgraded recessed lighting package, built-ins – huge veranda (with photo), etc.  shameful!

First impressions start with the picture of the home that paints an interest and invites the viewer to want to see more.  Actually look at what you have selected as representative pictures of the home – they tell the story.  Make sure that you work around an obstacle like a tree to get a better view of the home.  If unavoidable that the home is masked by heavy trees and a clear shot is not possible then don’t make that your primary page or lead photo, be creative to pick the most inviting picture that will captivate the buyer to look at more.

When you are presenting the pictures on MLS start with the best points first then end with the weaker facets of the home.  If a view is a huge point then make it one of the first photos, don’t wait until the end.  Think of viewing photos like reading a book.  You have to capture the interest in the first few pages or the book gets closed and never revisited – it was boring!

Make sure the photographs have meaning.  You are not taking pictures of a bedroom bed, you want to show off the lighting, the windows, the interest of the room.  A wide angle lens is best to obtain the results in small room areas. 

Edit your photos.  Make sure the light balance is good, color tone is vibrant, etc.  Take photos at night for an interesting night shot of the exterior or pool area all lite up.  Stage your pictures.  Make sure that clutter is removed, the refrigerator magnets and any distracting items taken away to give a clean and well-presented photograph.

Take advantage of additional area for description and don’t put the obvious.  This is the kitchen, this is a living area.  Discuss highlights, the kitchen has expansive beautiful quality handsome 42 inch cabinets …

One of the responsibilities of a listing agent is to market the home.  Professional presentation of pictures is one of the key elements to the marketing program. 

I’d rather be accused of making a home look a lot better than it actually is by how I staged the right views & points than be the reason a buyer does not want to go look at a listing.




Comments (9)

Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Connie-what a shame that this homes wasn't showcased properly. Great tips on how to create a great photo presentation.  



Jan 11, 2012 09:59 AM
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Hi Connie, how frustrating when you know a house and that it would be a great fit for your buyers.  This listing agent is doing a dis-service to everyone.  Great post!

Jan 11, 2012 11:23 AM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Connie,

This happens all to often.  It makes you want to go tell the listing agent what a dis-service you are doing.

Jan 11, 2012 12:02 PM
Vern Eaton
Askov, MN
Realtor 651-674-7449

Many agents miss the chance to let a home shine with the right photo's and some additinoal description.

Jan 11, 2012 12:11 PM
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Connie, poorly taken photos certainly do not help a home to sell. Sad your clients decided to pass just because of the photos. First impressions are the longest lasting are they not?

Jan 12, 2012 03:34 AM
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Picture can say a lot about a home, and it can also kill the deal as you found out recently. Im surprised with some of the photos that are shared on MLS sometimes. Its like the Realtor just closed their eyes and clicked the photo..

Jan 12, 2012 09:37 AM
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Connie - you said it, SHAMEFUL!  Realtors who make a practice of this do not deserve the listings and the sellers certainly deserve more!

Jan 13, 2012 05:54 AM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I'll have to remember the phrase "nonsense choice of view." That's funny.

Jan 16, 2012 10:33 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Great post! It just continues to prove how much photos will make a difference. Unfortunetaly, we judge a book by its cover! Great pictures as a must!


Jan 17, 2012 09:23 AM

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