Agents-Buyers Aren’t the Only Ones Viewing Your MLS Photos

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Agents-Buyers Aren’t the Only Ones Viewing Your MLS Photos

There has been a lot of emphasis placed on your MLS photos and rightly so.  This is typically the first round of media exposure that your listing property listingswill receive. It’s where buyers go to begin their search.

However, possible buyers aren’t the only ones viewing, and judging, those photos.

Other agents, lenders, home inspectors, stagers and future clients as well will see these photos.

And as we’re all human, we may think…

Why in the world would the agent let these photos on the MLS?

Imagine all of the other thoughts that go through our heads.


Don’t get me wrong, I understand that not every listing will be a model home.

However, this is where you can set yourself apart from the other agents out there by taking the bull by the horns and making sure that your client’s property and YOUR listing are shown in the best possible light.


So even though you may not be able to convince your seller to do everything on your list, there are some things you can control…

messy closet~No MLS photo should have trash in it!  Remove the wastebaskets and trash bags.

~No commode should have the seat up!

~No beds should be unmade

~No countertops should be overrun with items

~No laundry baskets with dirty laundry should be sitting out

~No small rugs should be left on the floors eating up space


~No cable cords crawling out of walls in vacant homes.

~No photos of you in the mirror taking a photo of the room

~No photos of creative (odd) angles that will make the viewer do wild contortions to view it

~No exterior photos of garbage cans in the driveway

~No rooms so dark that the viewer keeps reaching for a virtual lightswitch to see the room.


Here’s what you can do…

~Make sure you hire or use a professional photographer.

~Make sure all of the lights are on and window coverings are open

~Give your sellers a list that they can check off before the photographer comes. You may know what needs to be done, but you can’t take it for granted that they will.


Don’t forget...we’re watching you!


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Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI

Kathy Streib Great post.  I would add just one - put the toilet seat down!  It drives me crazy when I see them up.  Also, what's with the fish lens?  It distorts the photos.

Mar 18, 2017 07:09 AM #42
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Great post!!!  I am amazed at the pics I see in our MLS and think the sellers would be furious.  I started using a professional photographer years ago and it is one of the best business decisions I ever made

Mar 18, 2017 08:15 AM #43
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Kathy Streib I often cringe when I view MLS photos. I have seen most of your "don't do" photos. One that sticks out in my memory is a bathroom photo, toilet lid up and toilet paper on the seat.

I know that appraisers will look up listings and photos of properties assigned to them. I wonder how much the bad photos affect their appraisal.

Mar 18, 2017 08:25 AM #44
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Not all agents are professional...Some are more professional than others

Mar 18, 2017 10:34 AM #45
Realty One Group Alliance - San Mateo, CA
Broker Associate & Licensed Architect

Hi! Congrats for your wonderful feature. Bookmared!

Mar 18, 2017 10:43 AM #46
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Great tips.  Also, PLEASE include shots of the house from all sides outside.  When I come across a listing with no pics of the front, I pass.  The first thing that comes to mind is they're hiding something.

Mar 18, 2017 12:43 PM #47
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Agents should remember that potential listing clients are looking at those photos - and judging whether or not that agent will represent them well.

Mar 18, 2017 01:01 PM #48
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

I so agree Kathy! I don't just give my sellers a list though, I am also there to help them check items off said list. Most recently I helped clients pack, move stuff into the garage, rearrange furniture and clean a bit, too. They needed the help. And I needed the home ready for the photographer. The result of our team effort speaks for itself. 

Professional photography is a fantastic marketing tool for current & future clients! I wouldn't put a house on the market without it. 

Mar 18, 2017 01:11 PM #49
Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker
Hello Realty Partners - Santa Fe, NM
Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Kathy Streib thank you for reminding agents that pictures are truly a thousand words. And ones made without thinking  and the benefit of a professional often create a negative impression of the property that can not be erased in the mind of the viewer/buyer. 

Mar 18, 2017 04:22 PM #50
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Congratualtions on the feature Kathy Streib . I see these and more every day and of course one of the worst is the listing with only 1 picture at all 

Mar 18, 2017 04:51 PM #51
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Oh my gosh - you've hit all the NOs!  Yet - everyday we see these trangressions and wonder how the sellers are so unaware.

Mar 18, 2017 05:04 PM #52
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

It really irritates me when an agent has two or three lousy photos, and hands out the MLS sheet at an open house.  When you buy a car they give you a bright glossy book, and another with instructions.  Even foreclosures are doing a better job.

Mar 18, 2017 05:52 PM #53
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Kathy,

Great tips. Sometimes, it is important to get the home on the market, even with less than ideal photos. I often go back on a day with better weather, so I at least get some sunshine on the place & coming through the windows. That is permanent. The weird posters are not.

Mar 18, 2017 08:32 PM #54
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Great post and important tips.  I know that 99% of the time when the toilet seat is up, the listing agent is a guy!  


Mar 18, 2017 08:45 PM #55
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kathy Streib - I just don't know why some agents want the negative publicity of the home - not only for buyers but for everyone else!

(Of course, there are exceptions to this rule like when you want to sell the 'fixer upper'.)

Mar 18, 2017 10:08 PM #56
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I look at every house on line before I inspect it and sometimes the photos are unbelievable!

By the way, my mother always said to leave the toilet seat up.  Or was it down?  Bummer, I can't remember now.  It's been too long.

Mar 19, 2017 03:52 AM #57
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Sometimes I think we are more immune to the shock of poor photos in the MLS. But sellers who are most in need to good photos are the ones who suffer the most!

Mar 19, 2017 05:55 AM #58
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

Good morning, Kathy!

Some really great tips!  I have also come across photos that are sideways.  Once I even came across one upside down.  What a disgrace and disservice to the Seller.  I admit we are human, therefore, not perfect.  At least have the Seller proof it before going live.


Mar 20, 2017 06:52 AM #59
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Some very simple tips can make all the difference to set your photos apart.

Mar 20, 2017 09:27 PM #60
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Excellent tips Kathy!  And you are absolutely right, it isn't just the buyers looking at (and judging) the photos, the home and the agent representing. -Kasey

Apr 04, 2017 05:29 PM #61
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Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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