What's Wrong with This Picture? NEW SERIES!!

Home Stager with Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY

Run-down abandoned pink building with big questionmark on it

If 'a picture is worth a thousand words'...a good listing photo is worth ten-trilion-zillion thousand words. Maybe more. REALLY.

Listing photos are the number one tool homeowners, buyers, and their agents have. They work silently, and for free, 24/7....but whether they are working for you, or against you is totally up to you.

Welcome to my new interactive series where actual listing photos gone bad are shared, then pointed on the path to redemption. Some points will be obvious, others not so much; some rationale may even seem downright petty. But the point of each will be there is something that is not serving the best interests of the property, the seller, or the agent.

Diologue is encouraged! The idea being that for the moment, we can each 'see' a room for the first time; by constructively sharing reactions, thoughts and questions, each of us learns. What bothers you, and why? And what would you like to see differently?

This Westchester County Home Stager will weigh in shortly after, with the introduction of the next photo. And last, just to keep it a nice, and positive experience, anyone who can claim a photo as their own will receive a free interactive consult, value up to $180.00.

Last week during a workshop at the Mamaroneck Public Libray, I ran this photo in my presentation and asked 'What's Wrong with This Picture?'. Nearly the entire room was engaged...see, much easier to see/say what you don't like in someone elses' space! I was surprised by the speed of their responses, and also the range of what they came up with.

So what do you think-what's wrong with this picture?

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Our spaces affect us profoundly...and so many other parts in our life fall into place when our spaces and possessions serve us in the best way they can. But getting there is much more than a pursuit of pleasing aesthetics.


Decorating and Staging are different, but much of the skill sets overlap, and each creates unique solutions that considers the needs, goals, resources, expectations, hopes and dreams of each client.

Bettering Westchester, Putnam and lower Fairfield counties since 1981, The Refreshed Home works collaboratively, and brings a thoughtful approach to the creative process. Proud to make a difference, as well as make a living. Offering specialty services such as remote and buyer consults, listing photo/video styling, guided and accompanied shopping, and accessory rental. We get in, get out, and you get on with your life.  Talk to me TODAY about how we can better your space!




Marie Graham ASP, IAHSP, IDS Your Stager With A Mission!

QUESTIONS? Don't hesitate!! 914.607.2895 

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Garry Edwards
Exit Realty Lucky Associates - Newark, NJ
GRI, CDPE, e-Pro

Of course the picture is out of focus. Also the picture is out of proportion, it seems to be mostly about the bed. The window shade are all at different heights and the ceiling fan is half in-half out of the picture. Also I don't know if the crucifix on the wall is a big selling point. Now let me take time to really look at it (simile).

Jul 17, 2012 12:52 PM #8
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Laura-all I can say is STAY TUNED!!

Garry-so how do you really feel?

Jul 17, 2012 12:58 PM #9
Mike Warren
Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO

Oh Marie, It's too blurry. It is not appealing to the eyes. And I agree with Debbie's observations.

Jul 17, 2012 01:03 PM #10
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Will come back again to see your answer, Marie. Consensus is - it is blurry, and yes, there are some specifics that expert stager can point out, I am not so good at it....lol.

For me, if it is a Master Bedroom, I'd not like to have window(s) next to the bed.

Purple carpet? One cannot question someone's choice of color as a 'wrong' thing.

I don't like something scribbled on the right bottom corner of the picture. Some footprints or watermarks, perhaps. Why?

Will wait to see your answer.


Jul 17, 2012 01:09 PM #11
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Marie - Fun series!  For me, it doesn't feel like a Master Bedroom retreat, but more like an austere room in a nunnery!  Where is the sumptuous bedding and cushions?  Where is the "get away from it all" feeling?  Oh, and I really hate ceiling fans, but maybe that's just me...

Jul 17, 2012 01:14 PM #12
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Thanks for visiting Mike. Isn't it crazy?

Praeful-bottom right are MLS watermarks...

Jul 17, 2012 01:24 PM #13
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

hi Marie -- I like this exercise!

1.  Blurry photo -- improperly resized

2.  Religious icon on wall should be removed

3.  White bedding looks bad against white walls -- need color for interest and appeal

4.  The photo quality is so poor that it's difficult to "see" the other errors.  However it looks like the picture on the wall might be a personal one

5.  Bed looks like a hospital bed!

6.  Art above the bed is improper scale (it should be approx 2/3 the width of the headboard)

7. Ceiling fan is outdated

8. Bedside table lamps should be turned "on" for photos

9. Window coverings should be "open" for photos

Please, on your next one is this series, let us see a photo that's not so fuzzy :-)

Jul 17, 2012 04:13 PM #15
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Yowza, much easier question to answer would be "what's right with this picture?"  Answer:  Nothing!

Jul 17, 2012 07:37 PM #16
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Maureen, that is awesome!  I confess the photo was too blurry for me to make out those details.

Jul 17, 2012 10:05 PM #17
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Great way to get the blog comments flowing in this series Marie!

Jul 17, 2012 11:29 PM #18
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Very cool, thanks everyone for contributing! There weren't any 'wrong'  answers, would only add two thoughts: 

Staging is like RE, super-duper hyper local. RE: religious articles...different things fly in different parts of my market. I don't automatically dismiss them, but anything predominant or distracting is addressed.

Other think is that ultimately, all of these are subjective comments...which is exactly what I asked for. But the goal is to be helpful, so am taking it a step further so the 'wrongs' of this picture translate into a less personal, more dollars and cents answer.

Will post a new photo shortly with summary of this one too.

Jul 18, 2012 02:53 AM #19
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource
Marie, actually I like that top photo as art, not so much as a listing photo. Now the bottom photo... I've seen way too many like that...what are the realtors thinking.
Jul 19, 2012 01:26 PM #20
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

NICK!  Actually top is art photo! Judi Bennett had suggested Flicka (free photos) site last year and it is the best!  Bottom photo-yeah, we know the rest of THAT story...

Jul 19, 2012 01:36 PM #21
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Aren't you having fun?  There's been a recent spate of blurry photos on our local MLS - too many phone cameras in use!  Shame on the listing agent!

At least the bed is made (I think), and there's no cat or dog lying on it (I think).  LOL

Jul 19, 2012 10:18 PM #22
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

I agree with all the comments. It was truely hard to look at.

Jul 20, 2012 05:51 AM #23
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

JULIA!  Well, it's kinda-sorta fun. Just trying to start dialogue about not just whats good/bad, but why, and what's at stake. If it can be objectively explained and understood, maybe more people will get their panties unknotted. (And yes, I did just say that!)

Linda-everytime I come back for comments, I can feel my pupils constrict...thank you for stopping by, please stay tuned.

Jul 20, 2012 09:58 AM #24
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

The photo looks like it's a room in a nursing home.  This is something I'd see when I go visit Grandma.

Jul 27, 2012 02:11 PM #25
Bud & Beth McKinney
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

Maureen pretty much pointed out everything for me. Obviously, it's blurry. There is no pop to the room, it's all bland and white. The uneven shades give it an almost lazy and unkempt appeal to me. If you are attempting to attract all potential customers, yes, remove the religious icon. Yeesh.

Jul 27, 2012 11:33 PM #26
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Carla, Bud and Beth-yes, no reason at all for someone to want to pony up almost $800K for this house, right?

Jul 27, 2012 11:47 PM #27
Jake Bodnar
Arizona Housing Experts - Phoenix, AZ

"This is how your bedroom will appear to you after a night of heavy drinking."

Jul 31, 2012 01:40 AM #28
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Marie Graham

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