The 10 Photo Commandments

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA BRE Lic #01490977

The 10 Photo Commandments

 

Real estate photos for marketing a listing effectively are a huge deal – we all know that, as does the buying public. Sadly, many in our profession appear to be clueless on this issue, or don’t care. There is simply no excuse in my opinion in this age of digital photography for crappy photos, or lack thereof. None!

 

Open Toilet in a home - MLS quality? Hopefully notHere is my 10 Photo Commandments List for sellers that I just created and have now added to my pre-listing package, and plan to include in my listing presentation.

 

Making sellers aware that bad or very limited photos are commonplace, but worse, are inconsistent with what I, and many others, believe is responsible seller representation, is my goal.

 

Sellers WILL have a commitment from me, in writing, that my photos will be the best they can possibly be.

 

Of course part of that discussion is also to coach sellers on how they can enable me to achieve this goal on their behalf.

 

So here they are. Whadya think?

 

My 10 Photo Commandments

 

Thou shalt include multiple photos - the maximum allowed on listing sites and the MLS

Thou shalt take photos of the interior and the exterior

 

Thou shalt not include photos of an open toilet, EVER!

 

Thou shalt take multiple photos of each room from different angles to enable the best pictures to be selected

 

Thou shalt not take photos of blank walls, corners of an empty room or the ceiling

 

Thou shalt not include photos of driveways with cars and trucks, especially those up on blocks

 

Thou shalt not take exterior photos of the home on trash collection day

 

Thou shalt not include photos of dirty dishes in the sink or on the counters

 

Thou shalt take no photos of dirty laundry on the floor (or anywhere) and unmade beds

 

Thou shalt not include photos which are crooked, upside-down, out-of-focus, or dark

 

Jeff Dowler

Your Listing Agent

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  1. Mike Martin 01/15/2012 10:04 PM
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Topic:
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Show All Comments
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Sheldon - so glad to see you back and chatting with us! I saw a listing recently for a $900K+ home with not 1 but 2 raised toilet seat photos - different bathrooms. And BTW I took this pic intentionally as a demo.

Margaret - I NEVER leave the seat up. LOL

Jeff

January 12, 2012 12:10 AM
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Debbie Laity
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO
Cedaredge Land Company

I agree that photos are very important. It's one of my pet peeves when a listing only has one, or even no photos. But at the same time, I can understand why there may not be many photos...but never not a one. You can at least get a photo of the front of the house. I've got a listing right now with a seller that just got divorced. He doesn't want me to get interior pictures yet, but it is important for us to get the house listed right away. He's been a bachelor for quite a while and not a happy one. He has some cleaning to do before I can take interior pictures.

January 12, 2012 12:10 AM
Rainmaker
1,183,676
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

Okay Jeff, if you ever sale my home and take picture, I'm going to need some time to make some corrections before you get there.

:)

Great post.

January 12, 2012 01:14 AM
Rainmaker
1,050,745
Ginny Gorman
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate

Oh Gee Jeff, you mean i have to start from scratch on my picture taking..lol...great true advice!

January 12, 2012 07:25 AM
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Debbie - yes, there are exceptions, and I have certainly had them as well. The whole point of this is making the commitment to do the best possible photos within the circumstances, and to have a dialog with the sellers about the issues.

Tom - I suspect that is true for many people who decide to sell. Unfortunately it seems that some agents do not care. And some sellers clearly don't either.

Ginny - oh we have all made mistakes in our photos from time to time.

Jeff

 

January 12, 2012 09:26 AM
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Melissa Zavala
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Broadpoint Properties

I have always wondered why I see so many photos of toilets. 

January 12, 2012 09:33 AM
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Melissa

In this day and age of indoor plumbing it doesn't seem necessary to convey to buyers that there IS at least 1 toilet in the house. ONe does have to wonder. Granted bathrooms, especailly small ones are not easy to photograph but why even include unless it really IS outstanding. LOL

Jeff

January 12, 2012 09:52 AM
Rainmaker
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LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet

I hate seeing blinds closed during the day. I hate seeing garbage cans. I hate seeing rugs in bathrooms and I hate seeing the dogs dishes!

January 12, 2012 04:13 PM
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Kathleen Daniels
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822

Jeff, I think these are great photo commandments. There are some rooms, those on an angle and rooms that are small that are difficult to capture. We do the best we can … highlighting the great features and minimizing the not so great features of a home.  You’re hired!

January 12, 2012 07:16 PM
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George Souto
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut

Jeff, I have a problem with number 2.  What if I have to go quickly, number 2 maybe the cause of an embarrassing moment :)

January 12, 2012 08:51 PM
Rainmaker
1,389,117
Tom Braatz
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459

Jeff

Very good and effective list. That open toilet one is crucial as can be.

January 12, 2012 10:58 PM
Rainmaker
881,459
Jane Peters
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene
Power Brokers Int'l

And in Southern California thou shalt not take pictures on a rainy day....

January 12, 2012 11:04 PM
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

LaNita - LOL. So tell us how you REALLY feel! I agree, though.

Kathleen - no doubt some rooms, homes, and sellers, present some significant challenges,

George - you are REALLY in trouble if the house is vacant and the water off, seat up or not. LOL

Jeff

January 12, 2012 11:14 PM
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William Johnson
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
RE/MAX Associates

Hi Jeff, That was quite a good list of commandments. I especially liked the one about the toilet. I will try to remember all these, :-)

January 12, 2012 11:36 PM
Rainmaker
572,131
Janis Borgueta
LIC R.E Salesperson - Homes for Sale Newburgh NY
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ~ 845-527-7115

I also say NO photos of children. Some realtors take photos that show off furniture and art work. REALLY?? It makes me crazy the photos I see.

I just showed a rental today. My clients are paying my fee and this was found on Craigslist. I asked the owner after if she would list the rental with me instead of trying this on her own. Of course she wants all my trade secrets, but her photo of the front of the house was terrible. Grey, crooked and just plain awful. We were all pleasantly surprised to see the home was actually pretty.

Well, she will not get showings, and hopefully give me back a call. I let her know that our marketing is DIFFERENT than her. Not being a professional, she has an excuse. When I see agents do the same thing, well... that is NOT forgiveable!

January 15, 2012 11:06 AM
Rainmaker
582,797
Susan Neal
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks

Hi Jeff - Sounds so simple, but apparently a lot of agents don't understand that the purpose of the photos is to market the home.  Just a few days ago I was looking for a property for a client and on one listing there were pictures of two different open toilets, a table, a door, and a lamp among the 8 photos.  I have no idea what that agent was thinking.

January 15, 2012 10:21 PM
Rainmaker
848,551
Lottie Kendall
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco
Today | Sotheby's International Realty

Great list, and great idea #11 from Hella.

February 26, 2012 09:14 AM
Rainmaker
331,338
John Juarez
CDPE, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN
Prudential California Realty

My personal entry at the top of the “what were they thinking?” list is the photo taken with a cell phone camera from through the side window of the car with the rear view mirror in the picture!

February 26, 2012 10:21 AM
Rainer
96,421
Bart Foster
Boston MA Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty Boston - Metro

#11 Thou shalt not use a phone or tablet (regardless of price) to take photos

#12 Thou shalt hire a student of photograpy or ameture photographer if your too cheep to hire a professional.

February 26, 2012 11:07 AM
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August 06, 2012 08:19 PM
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Jeff Dowler CRS

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