Top 10 Photographic Crimes Agents Commit

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner 21498

Top 10 Photographic Mistakes Agents Make


Since cameras have been getting better and better over the past years, why are the photos most real estate agents make not getting any better? Most agents take photos of rooms without a thought as to what it will look like in print or online. The photos in the MLS can be very poor and some agents don't even put in photos at all.. 

Below is a list of the 10 mistakes I see most often in our MLS.. 


1. Photographs that still have the date stamps on them. Not only does it look bad, but most often the date is more than a few months old!! 

2. Crooked photos of the inside or outside of the home. Most everyone has a photo editor that will automatically straighten your photo.. USE IT.

3. Blurry or out-of-focus photos. You should always take several shots of each room so that if some are blurry, you have others to use.

4. Partial room shots where just the corner of the room is shown. You should always stand in the corner of a room and get as much of the room in the shot as possible. In fact, if you can stand in another room and still get the whole room you are shooting, it is even better!

5. Photos with people or pets in the shot. Really? If you can't get a shot without pets or people ( which there is no reason why you can't) then at least photoshop them out!

6. Photos with open toilets in them. Close the lid!!!! It looks a lot better.

7. Interior photos with bad tint ( orange, yellow, or green) Again, take more than one shot per room just in case, and try photo editing software to help as well.

8. Exterior shots taken into the sun. No home can look it's best that way.. Make sure to time your photo shoot so that this doesn't happen.

9. Interior photos that are dark because there are no lights on or it is too dark outside. Most all rooms are gonna look better during daytime. 

10. Photos with mirrors or windows that show a flash of light and the agent with a camera. You can usually shoot rooms with windows or mirrors from an angle and keep this from happening.. 


Our team markets our listings mainly over the internet and to do that, we need the best photos possible. It is our belief that most buyers and sellers don't care how the agents' head shots look, but they do care how the homes look online! What good is a great website to market your listings if the photos of the listings look horrible? 



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If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the  Anderson or Greenville SC real estate areas, visit our website at for tons of great information.


Sheila Newton   
Sheila Newton Team 
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices -
C. Dan Joyner, Realtors
864-225-1205 (direct)
864-940-6377 (mobile)    

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Re-Blogged 8 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jeanne Dufort 02/13/2014 07:11 AM
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Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Amen Shelia - I've seen all these and then some. Big yellow balls from dark lamps shades are also bad - use white shades only.

Feb 17, 2014 07:12 AM #225
Deleted Account
Fort Myers, FL

I can't agree with this post any more!  One reason is I used to do photography on the side.  I look at some photos on the MLS and can't help but laugh at them.  When I see a totally bad photo, I look to see if I know the agent, then sometimes I laugh some more, as I know them.  I would be 100% embarrassed, if I took some of the shots I have seen.

Feb 17, 2014 08:48 AM #226
Brian Christie
The Real Estate Consultants - Westchester, CA
Agents in Action! team

There's a new listing in my neighborhood and here is one of the photos posted in The MLS. Yes, that's a "Slam Man" boxing dummy in the living room and surfboards hanging on the wall in the dining area. The property is advertised as a beautiful and luxurious recently remodeled home that will surely impress you. So are you impressed? I'm not!Slam Man

Feb 18, 2014 02:24 AM #227
Connie St. James
Century 21 Foothill Realty - Auburn, CA
...serving both Nevada County & Placer County (CA)

I don't clean a house before I take pictures, but I do pick up clutter & do a little staging, take the pictures and then put everything back.  It's a job, but well worth it.  When buyers come to the house and it is cluttered, at least they know what it CAN look like when it is cleaned up.

Feb 18, 2014 04:12 AM #228
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

Some of the pictures I can not believe.  How about blurry pictures taken from a cell phon, or a night picture and you can hardly see the house, or no pictures at all.  This is a great post with basic information, many should take read and follow.

Feb 18, 2014 05:17 AM #229
Jordan Gouger
Keller Williams Realty Inc. - Austin, TX
Helping you to achieve your housing goals!

It is a sad state of the real estate industry that there are so many agents that refuse to take decent photos. I think that it ought to be required of home owners that they ask any agent interviewing for the job of selling their home if they will use professional photograhpy. The ones that say no are automatically cut. 

If you want to see some bad MLS photos, please go to

Feb 18, 2014 06:55 AM #230
Matthew Bartlett
Century 21 Masters/Lic. #01353034 - Glendora, CA

Hi Sheila. You have to laugh at the examples you have given and yet they are so true. Recently I came across a photo of a bedroom with several piles of dirty cloths and an unidentifiable object hanging in front of the window. Thou my all time favorite was a picture with the message that the house was haunted scratched into the wall. Thanks for the laugh.

Feb 18, 2014 02:05 PM #231
Douglas Perry
Palm Bay, FL
Real Estate Assistant/Internet Marketer

You can't blame the realtors entirely.  Have the homeowner clean and stage the property before pictures are taken.  If they really want the house sold it's important.  If they're too lazy, they get what they deserve.  Low effort equals low interest and few showings.

Feb 19, 2014 04:29 AM #232
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I am fortunate, my husband is a professional photographer who is on-call for me.  Last year, I took over a listing with POOR photos - on the market for a year.  All we did is take professional photos and the home was in contract in ONE WEEK!  


Feb 20, 2014 01:37 AM #233
Judy Nobles

One more...Please don't include pics of the seller's cute little children playing in the room. I can't count the number of times I've seen this. Remember where the photos will be seen and who might be looking. By posting their pics online, you have just handed pedophiles,  sexual predators and the like heir photo and the address where they can be found. There is no excuse for putting your buyer's children at risk! 

Feb 22, 2014 01:44 AM #234
Art Welch
Superstars Realty - Buckeye, AZ

Inman News picked your story up, great job.  I always take a lot of photos and find myself going back at different times to get better light.  Pool shots, Night shots with view, or accent lighting.  Photos are so important.  Thanks, now I must go through all my listings to make sure I have the best photos.

Feb 22, 2014 02:18 AM #235
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

I have violated at least 1 of these in the past. Still a work(photographer) in progress.

Feb 23, 2014 06:27 AM #236
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Great list and so true. I was at one time a serious amateur photographer. I could do it myself but I still hire a pro to take pics.

Feb 23, 2014 07:54 AM #237
Peter Ellis
Croatia Property Services - Fairmont Hot Springs, BC

The biggest problem I find is diplomatically telling vendors that they need to tidy up. A house full of everything under the sun does not look appropriate if they want to attract buyers.


Feb 26, 2014 08:21 PM #238
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

wow... still amazed at all the comments.. and it was great to see the blog on Inman news as well.. seems to be a hotbutton topic to be sure.

Feb 26, 2014 10:38 PM #239
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Good commonsensical reminders.

Mar 12, 2014 10:21 AM #240
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Sheila, I have seen all of these things in listings. Sometimes it amazes me because the listing will be for over $500k, or even $1 mil, and the photos are so bad it would be better if there were no photos.

Apr 23, 2014 10:41 AM #241
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I see everything on your list on a regular basis. Some agents just don't care about photgoraphy. Usually no bathroom photos are needed.

May 22, 2014 05:22 AM #242
Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

Thanks for this great post today.  What is it thursday already? Wow, almost the weekend and have yourself a good one!

May 22, 2014 10:25 AM #243
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Sheila, you are right - there are so very many really awful photos on the multiple listing services around the country!

Feb 25, 2016 01:43 PM #244
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