Bad MLS Photos and the Lessons They Teach


Remember that a picture is worth 1,000 words. With most people first seeing the home they wind up buying on the internet, it behooves sellers and their agents to take some care with the photos they post. And yet, much to our collective amusement, not all do.

Here are some lessons to be learned from others' bloopers.

1. Don't be lazy.
Here we have a home shot from the driver's seat of the car. The car's side mirror is clearly in view. If your agent can't be bothered parking and walking across the street to pose the photo, find another agent.

2. Hold the camera straight.
Credit to agent Barry Bevis of Bevis Realty in Tallahassee, Fla., for finding these. As Bevis notes, photos tilt to the left, tilt to the right. We'd hate to see the agent who shot these try to walk a straight line in a DUI stop.

3. When they say "depersonalize,"
they mean you!

The dead animal trophy room (is that a stuffed dead dog on the sofa at left?) is a bit over-the-top for most tastes. To each his own, but the best course in selling a home is the neutral one.

4. Show me the house.
Sounds obvious, but perhaps not always. While this is a lovely tree, buyers want to see the house behind it -- and shot from a different angle, perhaps they could have. Looking at bad MLS photos is such an industry past-time that there is now even a Facebook page devoted to it.

5. Don't go nuts with lens distortion.
There are times when using a wide-angle lens works. And then there are times when the photo technique is overdone. Safe to say, buyers can tell the difference. Although maybe this room (above) really is concave?

6. Declutter before the photo is taken.
Are they selling a laundry basket of old toys or a house? Photos should reflect your home's spaciousness, not underscore how little storage space these poor people actually have.

7. Keep the people out of the photo.
While these guys certainly seem to be yucking it up, if the point is to show off the backyard barbecue, it gets lost when you include people.

Also see:Newest Home-Staging Trend: 'Placement Pets'