The importance of "UPDATED" MLS Photos (Spring versus Winter)

Real Estate Agent with Grampp Realty: Real Estate in the Quad-Cities Iowa : # S40848000

Grampp Sold Sign                                                National Association of REALTORS                                                Grampp Realty/GMAC Real Estate

"Call Paul" @ (563) 508-1649, 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year!!

One of the things that I was taught early on in my Real Estate career was the importance of keeping current, up-to-date, exterior property photos on the MLS (and thus cooperating brokers with upload capacity) websites, on listings that take over 60 days to sell, and especially during the two seasonal changes in which the most dramatic changes in photo appearance occur: Summer into Fall, and Winter into Spring.

Nothing screams out "desperate seller" more than an MLS Photo of a home with snow in the yard when the potential purchaser does an Internet search in the month of July...

I just changed out the exterior photos on all of my listings today, and what with the rain and warm temperatures we've had (up until today), its amazing how much better the new pictures look (with nice green grass and a blue sky in the background) than the ones that I took in January when everything was dead and brown (and frozen).

I'm a firm believer that one good exterior MLS photo (along with as many interior pictures as your MLS will allow) makes all the difference in the number of showings a property receives and in the time it will take to sell the home.

It's well worth the extra time and effort to keep everything current.

"Call Paul" @ (563) 508-1649, 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year!!

Paul David Hiebing, REALTOR

"The Quad-Cities Premier First-Time Homebuyer's Specialist"

Licensed in Iowa and Illinois

Grampp Realty/GMAC Real Estate
2500 18th Street
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
Office Phone:(563) 359-4401 Ext # 264
Cell Phone: (563) 508-1649
Office Fax: (563) 359-4405

Posted by
Paul David Hiebing, REALTOR®

"The Quad-Cities Premier First-Time Homebuyer's Specialist"
"Call Paul" @ (563) 508-1649 for all of your real estate needs.

Licensed Real Estate Agent in the State of Iowa 
Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Illinois

Grampp Realty of Bettendorf, Iowa
2500 18th Street
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
Office Phone:(563) 359-4401 Ext # 264
Cell Phone: (563) 508-1649
Office Fax: (563) 359-4405

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Real Estate - Fallon, MT
No excuse for old photos... Should always have the camera ready.
Apr 05, 2007 09:20 AM #6
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Paul - one of the most basic, but often most overlooked tasks as a Listing Agent. Thanks for the reminder!
Apr 05, 2007 09:26 AM #8
Michael Hutchins - Consumer Advocate, Chicago
Michael Hutchins Ent. - Chicago, IL
Great reminder Paul.  The very best agents that I work with are always on top of their game.
Apr 05, 2007 09:28 AM #9
Richard Parr
ADT Security Services - Slidell, LA
Home Security Specialist - Greater New Orleans, Louisiana
I agree completely.  I am also a fan of getting as many pictures that I can out there even on a handyman special.  Many people disagree with me on this, but I believe that people want to see the condition of the property.  The handyman property is a different buyer so you don't lose anyone that MIGHT be interested.  What you actually do is prevent buyers from feeling that you wasted their time.
Apr 05, 2007 09:32 AM #10
Cindy Jones
Absolutely correct.  While you are at it upload more than the one free exterior photo. Go ahead and invest in a decent digital camera, you can get a nice one for under $200, and take multiple interior photos.  Please use a flash :-) 
Apr 05, 2007 09:35 AM #11
Carla Truscott, Montrose Colorado
Being here in Western Colorado where we actually have all 4 seasons, this is very critical.  Thanks Paul for the reminder!!
Apr 05, 2007 09:37 AM #12
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

We don't have to deal with that too much although it is good to see lush green grass.  I have been surprised at some of the snow pictures I have seen very recently on AR.

Apr 05, 2007 09:50 AM #13
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

We don't have to deal with that too much although it is good to see lush green grass.  I have been surprised at some of the snow pictures I have seen very recently on AR.

Apr 05, 2007 09:50 AM #14
Ronda Myers-Waters
Willems Realtors, Principal Broker - Chesterton, IN
I agree.  I was taught to retake pictures when a season changes.  If you want to show pictures from other seasons to add them too.  The MLS I belong to has no limit to the number of pictures you can attach to the listing.
Apr 05, 2007 10:01 AM #15
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

THANK YOU for bringing this up! I actually have a reminder on my Top Producer four times a year to "Re-Do Listing Photos."

Also... NEVER use an out-of-season picture as your main picture, even if the "season" you're in is god-awful ugly. This is hard to explain to sellers cause they want their home to show it's finest and will insist on using the gorgeous in-full-bloom picture from June in the middle of December. 

Apr 05, 2007 10:09 AM #16
Jennifer Martin
Letting License Expire in June 2010 - Santa Claus, IN

I completely agree Paul. We moved our home from my previous broker to mya new one and I personally went and took fresh pictures. My "old broker" used pictures that were with it when WE bought the property and it was no surprise that he got less than 3 calls in the 4 months he had it.

Within days of moving it to my new brokerage and updating the pictures AND the lame property description - it became one super hot property. We've actually countered no less than 5 offers in the past 3 weeks and looks like we'll counter a 6th over the weekend. (The buyer agents are taking their buyers to see properties they CANNOT afford. Our home is priced at $127,500 and the lastest offer was $115,000 w/ US paying $10,000 in closing costs (FHA terms) - I mean geeze ya know.

But anyway --- the point of me responding to your post was by me updating the pics (to show current and within the season) and sprucing up a very drab and boring description; a forgettable listing has become one worth bragging about. I foresee it selling by the end of this month. When those buyers come and see the thousands invested in landscaping and all the blooming colors --- it'll be gone :).

Great Post!

Apr 05, 2007 11:00 AM #17
Link Moser - NH Lakes Region
NH Link Realty LLC - Gilford, NH
You are absolutely right! Good quality, up to date photos ARE the easiest marketing trick in the book. The saying is correct, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Apr 05, 2007 11:11 AM #18
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
I was in Michigan in June of last year and saw photos of snow covered homes.  What a sign that the house has been on the market for a long time.
Apr 05, 2007 11:27 AM #19
Teresa Boardman
Boardman Realty - Saint Paul, MN
I wrote this same post on my real estate blog last July and included photos of home sourounded by snow.  Another agent in our market thought it was a bad post.
Apr 05, 2007 12:04 PM #20
joanne Douglas
Terrie O'Connor Realtors - Ridgewood, NJ
Yup, I agree.  Not just the exterior photos but the interiors that include things like Christmas trees and poinsettas.  
Apr 05, 2007 01:09 PM #21
Desiree Daniels
RE/MAX Tri County - Robbinsville, NJ
I couldn't agree me.   I also believe that if the DOM are extensive I will ask the seller to withdraw the property and relist it as a new listing and generally with new photos to keep it "fresh".  Thanks for the information.
Apr 05, 2007 02:21 PM #22
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
If your photos have to show holiday decor, be sure to replace them as soon as the decorations are removed.
Apr 05, 2007 02:45 PM #23
Kelly Kilpatrick
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Right about now I'm thanking my lucky stars to be in seasonless sunny southern California. I have never given this any thought and perhaps that's because my listings don't typically remain on the market for very long.  But many people do decorate for the holidays and that's something I will be thinking about in the future.
Apr 05, 2007 04:34 PM #24
1SG (Ret.) David Kucic
Hawaii Military Realty, Inc. - Ewa Beach, HI
President and Owner
Paul-That is one of my pet peeves.  I am happy to see that someone else is equally as concerned about giving the best service to your client.  Aloha!
Apr 05, 2007 08:49 PM #25
Robert Whitelaw
Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services - Morgan Hill, CA
Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
I could not agree more. Sometimes those photos are all you have to grab the attention of buyers. I make a point of reshooting home photos right after work, improvements, better weather, etc.
Apr 05, 2007 09:56 PM #26
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Paul David Hiebing

Quad-City REALTOR®, @ Grampp, Realty of The Q.C.
Feel free to ask me any question about Quad-Cities Real Estate!
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