The Top 10 Things to Avoid with Your Listing Photos

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage MD RE License 579412

I can't emphasize how important good photographs are enough.  As a listing agent that also represents buyers, labeling pictures is important too so the prospective buyer knows what the purpose of each room is and which bathroom they are looking at, especially, when the property is vacant.   Plus, we all have cellphones, there is absolutely no excuse for a listing with no pictures at all or just one of the exterior of the home.  

I include professional photography with each listing, at no charge to my seller!!

Original content by Tom Gilliam- RE/MAX Classic 314578

Listing photos are one of the most important elements when marketing your home. They’re often the first thing that prospective buyers take note of, and they can create a strong impression. High-quality photos make your home look warm, inviting, and spacious. Bad photos, on the other hand, can turn potential buyers away.

Hiring a professional photographer can be a great way to ensure you get the best possible pictures for your real estate listing. However, you and your agent can take high-quality photos on your own if you’re willing to invest the time and energy. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid with your listing photos:

Clutter and Personal Items

1. Clutter and Personal Items

You can stage your home for pictures just like you’d stage it for an open house. Your goal is to help viewers imagine their own lives and families inside the home. Excessive clutter and personal items can make it difficult for prospective buyers to take interest in the property. Additionally, cleaning up clutter can make your house look far bigger and more inviting. De-cluttering can be a major project, but the results will be worth the effort.

Bad Lighting

2. Bad Lighting

The lighting in your photos is almost as important as the actual contents of the pictures. Dim lighting makes it difficult to see the details of the room, and it can make your home look dull or dingy. However, intensely bright light can be overwhelming and can also obscure some of the details in the space. Natural lighting is typically your best resource for real estate photos, so you should shoot most of the photos standing by the window.

Incorrect Color Balance


3. Incorrect Color Balance

If you can’t rely on natural light to shoot your pictures, you should ensure that your photos have the correct color balance. Most interior lighting sources have warmer color temperatures than natural light, but this mix of warm and cool colors can look strange in photographs. You might have to invest in a professional lighting setup or hire a photographer who has the correct lighting equipment if your home doesn’t get enough natural light to fully illuminate the photos.

Corner Pictures

4. Corner Pictures

When homeowners take their own photos for real estate listings, they often include images of corners. These pictures can look awkward, though, and they don’t showcase the size or layout of any room. Instead of making the corner the focal point of your photos, every picture should feature at least two corners of the room. This ensures that the photo captures the actual size and design of the space, which is far more helpful for interested buyers.

Too Many Close-ups

5. Too Many Close-ups

It can be tempting to take close-up shots of appliances, landscaping, or other elements of the home you think are good selling points. While you should absolutely showcase the features of your house that will appeal to buyers, close-ups are rarely ideal for real estate photos. The purpose of the pictures is to give buyers a broad view of what your home looks and feels like, and close-ups don’t accomplish this. Prospective buyers will get a chance to inspect the appliances and other details when they view the home in-person, so allow your photos to let your home as a whole shine.

Grainy or Blurry Pictures

6. Grainy or Blurry Pictures

If you rush through your real estate photos, you may end up with grainy, blurry, or out-of-focus images. In this day and age, phone cameras are capable of taking high-quality, focused pictures, so blurry photos are completely avoidable. To prevent this mistake, take multiple pictures at each angle, and give yourself plenty of time to take the photos. Then, you can sort through all of your images and select the best option at each angle.

Showcasing Valuable Items

7. Showcasing Valuable Items

Safety should always be a concern when you’re sharing the interior of your house online. Unfortunately, homes on the market sometimes become targets for theft, especially if you host open houses. If you feature any highly valuable items in your real estate listing, you could make yourself vulnerable to crime. Before you take photos, you should remove anything that might catch the eye of a burglar.

Not Enough Photos

8. Not Enough Photos

Your real estate listing should include enough photos that a prospective buyer has a general understanding of how the entire house looks. Even if your photos are high-quality, having too few photos might lead to a lack of interest from buyers. The typical recommendation is to include about 25 to 30 photos in your listing, but this can vary depending on the size of the property.

Only Exterior Photos

9. Only Exterior Photos

Including only exterior photos in your listing is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When prospective buyers see a listing with no interior photos, they will assume that the inside is filthy or in disrepair. A listing with only a few exterior photos is a major red flag, so it’s almost always worth making the effort to stage the inside of your home for pictures.

Incorrect Order

10. Incorrect Order

Arranging your listings in the correct order can help to generate interest in your home. Buyers tend to make judgments quickly, so the first few photos in the listing can make or break their decision. It’s almost always best to start with one exterior shot of the house. Your next photo should be the most eye-catching room in the home, which is likely either the kitchen or the living room. From there, you can take the viewers on a tour of the house, going room by room and finishing with bathrooms, hallways, and other secondary spaces.

High-quality listing photos can draw the eyes of potential buyers and help you get more offers on your home. To ensure you make a good first impression, your photos should be focused and well-lit, and they should show off a clean, spacious house. If you’re concerned about your ability to take quality listing photos on your own, a real estate photographer may be worth the investment.

Posted by

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in  Maryland give me a call at 410-292-0100 or start your search here and I'll talk about the market conditions and what your home could possibly be worth in today's marketplace if you are thinking of selling.  If you are considering buying a home, there is no better time than now to buy. The tax savings and wealth building alone are worth the plunge into today's market. Coldwell Banker and I are connected with some of the brightest and best real estate agents in the world and can assist with your move here to Maryland or anywhere in the United States or abroad.  Ask me how.

During these trying times, Coldwell Banker and I are equipped with the latest technology to sell your home using Virtual Open Houses, Virtual showings, electronic signing, virtual inspection, and even online closings.   You can reach out to me through Snapchat, Duo, Skype, Google Hangouts, What's App, text messaging, or simply by phone.  We take your and your family's health and safety very seriously.  

June Piper-Brandon ~ Associate Broker ~ MRP, AHWD, CDPE, ePro

Coldwell Banker

410-292-0100 - Direct   410-461-7600 Office

June Piper Brandon - Agent with Century 21 New Millennium

June Piper Brandon - Agent with Century 21 New Millennium

Comments (3)

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon June,

Thank you for re-blogging this post. I missed it. There is absolutely no excuse for a listing with no pictures at all or just one of the exterior of the home. I too take professional photos on all my listings at no cost to my sellers.

Aug 12, 2022 12:16 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello June Piper-Brandon these are important list of things to avoid with listing photos.

Aug 12, 2022 01:46 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi June,

I am lucky, I am married to a professional real estate photographer. We collaborate on all our marketing and media material.

I have sold many poorly photographed homes to buyers because other buyers passed them by.  I know the properties and had an advantage because no one else was looking at them.

Aug 12, 2022 05:24 PM