Why Some Realtors Post Horrible Pictures On The MLS...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

Why are there so many terrible pictures on the MLS? It's not just the local MLS, it's every syndicated website on the Internet, including Realtor dot com, Zillow and every other site that pulls listings from your local MLS. 

Here are some of my beliefs:

1. The agent listing the property is doing so at a drastic reduction in typical commission (or is working for free) and simply does not care about the outcome of the sale. (See most builder photo's).

2. The listing agent is working a short-sale, foreclosure or other type of distressed sale and..... refer to number 1.

3. The listed property is a lease ..... refer to number 1. 

4. The agent listing the property has a multitude of reasons to "not care." One example could be that he or she is working on behalf of a friend or family member (see number one) and that family member has no access to the internet so there is zero accountability.


A person considering hiring a listing agent should take the time to review current listings by the person they are about to hire. It doesn't take a seasoned Realtor to take pride in what they do. Real estate agents don't require special training or ridiculously high end equipment to make your property shine on the mls. It's not hard to take a good quality photo and it's even easier to learn how to adjust the hue & contrast.


Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)





The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 04/08/2015 08:00 PM
  2. John DL Arendsen 04/08/2015 05:03 AM
  3. Jenna Dixon 04/08/2015 10:13 PM
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Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

On MLS or in the syndicated sites, they only way they get there is due to the pictures the agent posts in the first place. I'm amazed that clients never look at what their agent puts out there. You would think they would pull it up them self or ask for a link. I'm pretty sure most would cry fowl

Apr 10, 2015 04:27 AM #95
Margaret Kapranos
Century 21 Real Estate Alliance - San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Bay Area REALTOR. 415-608-5070

Can you spell "LAZY"?  Yup, there's no excuse other than stupidty.

Apr 10, 2015 05:27 AM #96
Lindsay Reagan, Realtor
Bowen Realty - Wellington, FL

With the bulk of buyers researching online prior to viewing I feel that you are doing your sellers a real injustice NOT to take many quality photos and include all of these in the MLS as well as all online advertising.  There are many lazy agents out there that give the rest of us a bad name.  I have seen many sideways photos, a SINGLE fuzzy photo  or photos taken with dirty dishes / grimy pots and pans in the sink and on counters.  First impressions are lasting impressions!

Apr 10, 2015 11:51 PM #97
Trish Van Housen
Virtual Studio 13 - Apache Junction, AZ

I worked for 15 years as a real estate photographer.  From listening to feedback from my clients, I guarantee that better photos will sell listings not only faster, but often for more money.  I just joined ActiveRain and am considering dedicating my blog to tips on taking better photos.

Apr 11, 2015 06:30 AM #98
Jennifer Shenbaum
Jennifer Buys Houses - Redondo Beach, CA

It's true.  We always hire a professional photographer, one who specializes in listing photos, so the price is reasonable.  I like to think I am a good photographer, but I won't let my ego get in the way of first impressions.

Apr 12, 2015 01:54 AM #99
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

It amazes me to see pictures of bathrooms with toilet seats up, the toilet paper is hanging off the roll and the personal hygeine products are all over the place!

I also saw a photo of a laundry room that was in total disarray and it showed that the back door glass had a very large crack in it.  

I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND why these photos are on the world wide web!

Apr 13, 2015 12:08 AM #100
Richard Woodward NMLS#217454
Service First Mortgage, NMLS #166487 - Dallas, TX
Service Beyond Expectations! Your Texas Lender

My big pet peeve is the open toilet seat. I mean come on, no one wants to look at that.

Apr 13, 2015 01:01 AM #101
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

To a degree I can understand hasty photos of a short sale in bad condition. What blows my mind is why an agent would take horrible photos of a 900,000 home and think they did their job.

Apr 13, 2015 01:40 AM #102
Holly Biltz
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Saint Cloud, FL
I sell the dream of Home Ownership!

This is a major pet peeve of mine to look through listings and see only a few pictures or dark blurry pictures such a dis-service to the owner.

Apr 13, 2015 01:58 AM #103
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

If you are going to list a property  , you need to have decent pictures.  How can you expect to attract the attention of a buyer with terrible pictures.  The  buyer will just past your listing by.

Apr 13, 2015 02:59 AM #104
Doyle Lee Austin Davison Iv
Surf City Realty 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
28+ years serving Investors Banks Buyers-sellers

this is supposed to be one (1)  of the easiest things you can do as a Realtor and so many have a hard time with just one pic... almost as easy as spell check

Apr 13, 2015 08:02 AM #105
Steven B. Harkness
American Capital Corp - Silverdale, WA
360-981-8615-concierge service VA-FHA-USDA

You forgot several reasons that they may be using such horrid pictures. The home Seller chose to use a discount brokerage that pays signifigantly less than the standard commission thus the Realtor has no money to market the property properly. I think the public would be shocked to know what it costs to be a Realtor having to pay desk fee's. The one that got me the other day was when I was visiting one of my new Realtors. She needed to make a copy so I walked with her to the copy machine and she had to punch in her code. You see the Brokerage charged her a dime for every copy made. I about fell over in disbelief. So if your agent is using crappy pictures to show your home it is because he or she is not making enough money to afford a professional to come out and take quality shots which are essential. Something I do for my agents is use software that creates a webpage for each one of their listings. It uses the photo's and turns them into a video tour of the property. You need quality images to make this turn out correctly. In addition this software allows the Realtor to show what a room would look like if it was painted a different color. You have to go the extra step to be seen as the area expert for selling homes.

Apr 13, 2015 09:51 AM #106
Deleted Account
Fort Myers, FL

Steven B. Harkness, I understand what you are saying, but that is not an excuse for poor photos.  I know the costs are astounding, but it doesn't matter if it is a discount brokerage or not, if you are not going to take a listing, you should take good photos.  If you don't like the fees at one brokerage, you move on to the next one.  It is your fiduciary responsibility to your client to take good or at least decent photos.  If you can't, don't or won't, you shouldn't take the listing.

Apr 13, 2015 10:14 AM #107
Sandra Visser
Ridgefield, CT

As a brand new agent just starting out, I don't have a budget for professional photography.  Working on getting my first listing and have thought about the pictures.  What would I expect to pay for pictures? Which I assume is paid upfront. I am in Connecticut with average house price is around 3-350,000.  I don't think many agents in the area pay for pictures unless it is a high end listing.  Thanks!

Apr 13, 2015 11:55 AM #108
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Some folks just post bad photos period.

Apr 13, 2015 10:10 PM #109
Hank Dugie
Brockway Realty, LLC - League City, TX
Mr. League City

Sandra Visser $100-250 for professional pictures.. usually comes with a slideshow and/or video tour

Apr 14, 2015 01:57 AM #110
Steven B. Harkness
American Capital Corp - Silverdale, WA
360-981-8615-concierge service VA-FHA-USDA

William  buddy Scott, I was not making excuses for agents using poor photo's. Infact the very opposite. I was just stating facts. Something that I have discovered over the years is what used to be called the 80/20 law. Thats 80% of the business is being done by 20% of the agents. The percentages have changed due to the skill required to effectively market to the millenial generation who YOU MUST approach where they reside which is online. They are incredible tech savy and that means you need to be as well or do as some agents are doing and that is hiring a virtual assitant. I have taught agents in my area how to get top talent for extremely reasonable rates by using Philippine workers who stay up at night to be available when you need them. Most Filapino's & Filapina's are college educated. They have been trained to speak Englich since earlyest grade school so they are easy to communicate with. You can hire top talent for $20.00 a day and share the cost among several agents. They can do all the editing for you and can post them to your website. The real aggresive agents use them to rotate in the pictures and wording on Craigslist making sure not to break the rules so your posts will not be ghosted.

Apr 14, 2015 04:21 AM #111
Katie Voldeng
Synergy Realty Group - Bentonville, AR
New Construction Specialist

Pictures sell the listing. I have had two in the past week, 1 in 24 hours and the other in 3 days, mostly because of good pictures.  I can believe I got a call from an agent this past week that deals with alot of listings and she told me the only reason she hired a professional on this last listing is because it was a relo.  I told her that was a mistake.  If you want your houses to sell in a timely manner, get good pic's.

Apr 14, 2015 03:14 PM #112
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

As we all have heard before, "A picture speaks volumes".  I take lots of pictures every time I visit the property.  Things change and updating photos should be part of what a professional does for every listing.  The more I update the shorter the DOM becomes.  My own little magic wand!

Apr 27, 2015 12:15 PM #113
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I agree.

Good pictures can be expensive. If the agent works for discounted commissions, you will likely to see the best she can do. Also if the house is a fixer, or cluttered, or damaged, you might forget about good pictures as well, no stagger or good photographer can help those houses. I have a friend realtor who always list multimillion houses, the pictures are sublime, we might know why:)


Aug 29, 2015 04:36 PM #114
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Greg Nino

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