Where's the picture of the house?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker

The other day I was searching for houses for a client.  I pulled 15 properties off the MLS and started to go through them.  Five out of the fifteen properties had absolutely no pictures.  This isn’t a new phenomenon.  I have seen it with high and low priced properties in good and bad markets with new and old listings. It always leaves me wondering why.

I have heard agent excuses from:
- In this market everything sells anyway.
- I’m a terrible photographer.
- I don’t have a digital camera.
- I don’t know how to load pictures.

However, my clients comments when they see something with no picture is usually:
- Is the agent lazy?
- Is the house a disaster?  Certainly, if there were something good about it there would be a picture.
- Why is the agent wasting my time? I know what styles I like and I can’t tell anything here.
- Thanks for describing the house, but I’m a visual person and it’s hard for me to imagine.

I look at it as we are hired to market a property.  Part of that job is to put the house in the best light possible, to have it seen by the most people as possible and do the best job we can as possible.  We owe that to our clients!

Comments (15)

Tammy Anderson
"The Gateway Home Team" of RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL
Owens, Broker/Owner

In our board in Illinois - you only have 5 days to get at least one picture up and you start getting fined everyday.  Maybe you should bring that up to your board.  


Tammy Anderson-Owens          
"The Metro East Home Team" of
RE/MAX Preferred, Collinsville, IL



Apr 01, 2008 11:24 AM
Peter Wolf
Coldwell Banker - Valley Village, CA

Good for your board!  I haven't heard anything like that from our board.

 I look at it as separating the wheat from the chaff.  You shouldn't need to regulate someone into doing their job.  If you have to do that, maybe they should be in another field.

Apr 01, 2008 11:32 AM
Sharona Hannuka
Du Rite Realty, Co. - Whitestone, NY

Dear Peter,

  to me the agent is lazy, yes your client is right. unfortunately, in any business these two words *perfectionism* and professionalism as lost it's meaning .If I put a listing in front of my client without a picture then it will be out of the picture or the last one to consider.

Nice post.


Apr 02, 2008 03:05 AM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties
I have seen this far too many times too.  How can someone look thier client in the eye and tell them I am marketing your home if they don't have any pictures on the MLS listing? How many sellers out there have no idea that thier agent has not included any pictures on the MLS? In my opinion its just lazy.
Apr 02, 2008 04:39 AM
Geoff Scowcroft
Coldwell Banker - Studio City, CA

I just saw a nice color flyer that an agent had printed of their million dollar home. The flyer had a picture of a hammock, one of a fence, one of a mailbox, another of a brick wall, and one of a corner of a swimming pool. Someone spent the money to print color flyers and they didn't include any pictures of the house itself (ok, maybe the brick wall was, but I'm not sure). The description for the house talked about gardens, I have no idea any details about the house itself. Sometimes it pays to hire a marketing person.


Apr 03, 2008 04:08 PM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty
Peter... this seems to be a issue nationwide... I think all boards show do as Tammy said... Give 5 days to put in a photo. They are not helping the seller at all as many buyers will pass it over for a home with a picture.
Apr 03, 2008 05:58 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes
Yeah- I don't "get" this either. I wonder what goes through an agents head... is it too much work? Yeesh.
Apr 07, 2008 03:37 AM
Peter Wolf
Coldwell Banker - Valley Village, CA
Someone at my board must have read this blog.  Exactly a week after I submitted this I got an email from my board announcing that listings are now required to have at least one photo within 5 days from submission of the listing.
Apr 07, 2008 11:12 AM
James Monastero
Texana Bank - Fuquay Varina, NC
The Matchmaker
How agents think a house will sell with no pictures is beyond me. I know when I see a picture of the yard- and that's IT, I think, ok that must be a dump. Take more pictures- the more the better. Inside too- even if it is messy.
Apr 09, 2008 07:47 AM
Blatt + Cutino
Coldwell Banker Realty - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*
Thanks for the post. I think I have read several similar posts but it seems that this can't be said enough. How hard is it to take some photos and inlcude them with your listing? It is the least that we as agents should do. It doesn't make sense.
Apr 09, 2008 09:40 AM
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL
Peter, I see this too and I know my buyers have told me they pass right over a listing without pictures.  It does not seem like they are helping thier sellers by not including them.
Apr 15, 2008 01:41 AM
Rick Tourgee
Robert Paul Properties, Inc. - Provincetown, MA
Provincetown and Cape Cod
With technology and digital cameras, it is very easy to take multiple good quality photos!  I take multiple photos and create a virtual tour!  I am also getting into videos as well......I just need more practice!  :)
Apr 21, 2008 04:48 PM
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS
Peter, you took up my rant of all rant's. Funny thing is--homes sell without photos. I have wondered if I over do it on photos. Maybe listing agents have a secret stash of photos. Our MLS will even take one shot for free...still we have many listings withut photos.
Apr 29, 2008 03:45 PM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate
Our brokerage requires 6 of each dwelling. Vacant lots or land are only 1. Can not wrap my mind around not having a picture especially with the "net" bringing sellers in from out of the farm area. 
Apr 30, 2008 05:14 PM
Peter Wolf
Coldwell Banker - Valley Village, CA
Hey, our MLS made it a requirement and I still pulled up a search where a few were sans picture and they were 1.5 million dollar homes.
Apr 30, 2008 05:34 PM