MLS Photo Fail Conundrum – Should We Laugh At or Feel Empathy For The Listing Agent?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with AgencyLogic

We routinely highlight some of the worst MLS photos around but recently an agent posted this comment on Really Bad MLS Photos. Kay stated:

 

"Some of these are indecent, but don’t “shoot the messenger” if the homeowner won’t prepare for photos or have good taste. If the kitchen is painted like a rainbow, what’s an agent to do? Neglect showing a kitchen photo?"

 

which promotes some questions; what can an agent do when a home is nowhere near ready to photo and market? Related but different: what should an agent do? We weren't even sure what ActiveRain groups to post this in! Is it funny or a very real marketing issue?

 

While it's hard to defend some of the photos, should an agent spend time staging a home to make them more pleasing on the eye prior to taking the photo? In the context of this question 'staging' can mean something as simple as tidying up. For example, this photo would look a lot better sans the vacuum cleaner:

 

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Should the agent have closed the doors, removed the cups and wiped down the surfaces prior to taking this photo?

 

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And with the toilet seat down, trash can emptied and the towel removed this photo is 100% better:

 

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But again, how much is too much when it comes to, at a minimum, tidying up?

 

While you ponder the questions take a look at this home which is listed on Zillow. What, if anything, could be done in this instance?

 

The agent is clear:

"Attention Investors, Needs complete rehab, cash only offers considered, will not qualify for financing. Extensive mold and hoarding, house conveys "as is" with all contents. Subject to Probate Court Approval."

 

And here are the photos...what say you?

 

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Rainmaker
231,027
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Sometimes the buyers like to imagine the house with the "lived in" look.

Feb 16, 2018 12:30 PM #1
Ambassador
2,898,080
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

That clearly is a hoarder house in the pics at bottom. As for owners not being ready to have photos taken - not happening in my world. Ridiculous.

Feb 16, 2018 01:37 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,434,247
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

I agree with Anna Banana Kruchten CRS,CRB that is a hoarder house it looks terrible and those paint colors ouch!

Feb 16, 2018 02:36 PM #3
Rainmaker
3,983,519
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Well showing the really bad ones is ok so people understand what they are getting into. But otherwise don't bother

Feb 16, 2018 02:51 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,581,599
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Those extreme examples are a testament to what can go wrong when it comes to "marketing" photography.  And, then there is what we won't say about the owner's housekeeping skills.

Feb 16, 2018 05:10 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,349,392
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Wow... "as is" "extensive mold".  This property needs a buyer with access to a bulldozer. 

Feb 16, 2018 07:26 PM #6
Ambassador
1,888,443
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Honestly, we would not list a house that looked like either of these. I assume those who specialize in investment properties for those who rehab and resell might.  If the price is low enough, I'm assuming somebody will look past the clutter, at least for the one in the first photo. As for the hoarder home that's a scary one to fathom cleaning up. 

We have a list of preparations we send to our listing clients prior to a shoot, if they aren't done, our photog will cancel the shoot. They are serious about getting good photos which is why we hire them. 

Feb 17, 2018 06:28 AM #7
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