Listing Photos Hall Of Shame - What Are These Sellers Paying For?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Select Professionals

The subject of Lancaster PA Real Estate listing photos has been coming up this week, so I thought I'd have a little fun and poke around in our MLS looking for "nice" photos to share with my readers. As I've said many times, I'm blown away by the generally poor quality of photography that goes into the marketing of a home.

For this post I selected only homes in Lancaster County, PA being offered at prices between $300,000 and $750,000. I only looked at listings on the market for more than 3 months. You would think there would be a zero incidence of crappy listing photos, but alas...

I put some comments in for each photo - hover over the image for my comment.

Issue #1) Only one photo - and this on listings older than 3 months! Here are two examples of extreme opposites...keep in mind these are $300,000 plus listings!

Issue #2) underexposed interior photos - People, it's not rocket science. Clients expect you to either know how to photograph properly or pay someone who can. Here are a few living rooms:

Issue #3) Overexposed photos - not as common as the underexposed ones, but just as damaging:

Issue #4) Pictures of nothing - pictures of a bed without any context, or table, or a closet? Are these things selling points? Come on!

Issue #5) Just plain bad photos - here are some kitchen shots as an example.. I got bored after the first dozen...


Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed at the quality of the photographs online. Only a precious few listings has truly superlative photo work. Problem is, real estate agents have access to decent cameras, and can press the shutter button, making them able to take a picture that is not horrible. Therefore, they are not interested in hiring a pro photographer to do it right. Nor are they willing to learn the methods to improve their work. It's all marketing, folks! You've got a duty to promote your client's home and present it in the best possible light (pardon the photography pun)!

So take the time to think about what you are doing...

If you are looking to sell your home, or have had your home on the market with someone who takes photos like these for your listing, call me today! I can promise you something better...promises kept.

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Visit Jeff's marketing blog for real estate - lots of great tips for all agents!  www.JeffG.me  Jeff is also working with real estate agents and brokers to enhance their marketing efforts - let him help you today!

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
620,286
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
I see so many listings with no photos.  The poor photos many times are a result of the camera phone.  Agents who are too lazy to get a real camera and either them or their client are too lazy to remove some of the clutter, like dishes in the sink.
October 05, 2007 02:32 PM #1
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer
That's another issue I didn't focus on today, Randy - cluttered homes.  The magnets on the fridge are a tame example of the mess that an agent puts up with when trying to photograph a home, supposedly to capture it's highlights.  Thanks for your comment!
October 05, 2007 03:03 PM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jeff, the first photo of the kitchen you have in the $650K home -- I actually emailed that listing to a client of mine (I recognized the photo!).  She disregarded it because she is looking for a home with a "gourmet" kitchen, and doesn't think that this one will suit her needs.  Relocating from several states away, she will only have time to view homes that meet all of her needs, and she is disregarding that one because of the poor photos.  What a shame, because I bet that a few decent shots of the kitchen, taken properly, could have made all of the difference. 
October 05, 2007 10:05 PM #3
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer

Wow, Jeannie - your situation is compelling proof of my point!  If you've got a $650K home around here, a primary market for you is going to be buyers relocating from more affluent areas with money to spend.  Great photos are going to be mandatory!   Thanks for your great comment...

October 06, 2007 09:18 AM #4
Ambassador
1,858,126
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
International Properties and Investments LLC - Wellington, FL
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale

Jeff- I wrote a post this week about this and how crappy MLS info input is done by agents. This is marketing 101, go take a class if you don't know about marketing. You can use Microsoft picture/fax editing software that comes with new computers. Edit the photos, crop the photos, there is a lot to do! I read this post last night at 3 a.m. and my eyes were shutting so I planned to comment today on this post. I did see this one last night. Katerina

October 06, 2007 10:56 AM #5
Rainmaker
350,366
Lori Mode
Keller Williams Realty - Elk Grove, CA Homes for Sale - Elk Grove, CA
Mode and Durham, Your Elk Grove Real Estate team

Jeff - It is unbelievable how bad some agents are at taking pictures!  If they can not do justice to a home they should hire someone who can.  With the amount of buyers using the internet these days, it should be mandatory that agents figure out how to use their cameras.  I wonder if these agents actually are emailing a copy of the listing as it appears in MLS and Realtor.com to their sellers...I doubt it!

 

October 06, 2007 11:03 AM #6
Ambassador
1,028,438
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Great examples of what to do and not to do for pictures ....thanks.
October 06, 2007 02:24 PM #7
Rainer
34,861
Mehmet Met Dilsiz
FND Photography / M2 Real Estate Solutions - Midvale, UT
I love these pictures...   My favourite ones are the Pictures of NOTHING  :)   I don't know why but people get the urge to take the pictures of Closets to show that there is one  :)
October 07, 2007 05:18 PM #8
Ambassador
2,032,224
Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
I'm guilty of some of these offences myself. But, I can tell you on our MLS, I try to put only a few great photos. On my website though the amount is KING, bad photos or not! I've realized that when I put a lot of photos on my website and have the photos labels as the address plus a letter at the end, it increases the exposure on Google of my listings. People then can search for a street name and my listings come up within 2 days as a listing on that street.
October 08, 2007 12:12 AM #9
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer
Lori - thanks for stopping by - I'd be surprised if the sellers knew about this going on.
October 08, 2007 01:12 PM #10
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer
Sally - I appreciate your comment - I'll perhaps do an article on "what to do" with before & afters....that'd be interesting.
October 08, 2007 01:13 PM #11
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer
Katerina - your post was one if the ones that inspired me to write this.  When presenting a listing, preparation and forethought is key!  How can I find "main photos" of a home that were taken out a car window?
October 08, 2007 01:14 PM #12
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer
Mehmet - thanks for your comment.  It's true - what good does a closet photo do?  Or a bed in the corner of something?  The goal of a listing photo is to convey VALUE and DESIRABILITY, not to create a batch of insurance claim images.
October 08, 2007 01:16 PM #13
Rainmaker
325,189
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Trainer
Todd - don't feel guilty - sometimes there may not be anything worth taking a picture of.  We've all been in places like that.  I don't think the # of images is critical to sell the home, but if you need more for the MLS or Google then make it happen!
October 08, 2007 01:18 PM #14
Rainer
12,566
Tom Sinclair
About the House - Home Inspections - Fairhope, AL

Jeff,

If it weren't so very unprofessional it would be hilarious! Just because someone can afford to buy the "new" technology of a digital camera doesn't mean that they should be allowed to use it!

Tom Sinclair

Fairhope, Alabama

October 15, 2007 10:44 PM #15
Ambassador
492,749
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Todd, good comment on labeling photos with their street name!

Jeff, I can only agree with you that some agents seem to have no shame about which photos they select... 

October 20, 2007 05:26 PM #16
Rainmaker
349,380
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Prop. Mgt - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369

Jeff, I love the photo of the clothes in the closet, do they convey? My pet peeve is not enough photo's. Especially at Smith Mountain Lake. If it's a waterfront property, why only one photo, how about SHOWING the relationship to the water? Great post.

February 20, 2009 09:49 AM #17
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Rainmaker
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Jeff R. Geoghan

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