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Category ArchiveListing tricks

Gallery of bad MLS photos!

Everyone knows that a picture says a thousand words. Make sure you make the most of photos and virtual tours for your listings. For some humorous MLS images, take a look at the DON’T photos below. All of the pictures below could have been fine if some simple guidelines had been followed and a little care had been taken to stage the photo better. While we certainly don’t want to mislead potential buyers as to the condition of a home, taking a few extra minutes to straighten and brighten a room and to set up the photos will make your listing look more inviting.

Don’t be in the photo yourself. Avoid taking pictures in the mirror and crop the photo if you can see yourself or the flash. 

Don’t take photos of an open toilet. Close the lid.

Do use flowers to add a splash of color and make the room seem homey and cheerful.

 4  Don’t take pictures of messy areas or of half-eaten food. It would take seconds to remove the bowl and napkins from this photo and make the kitchen look nicer. Remember that you want potential buyers to be able to see themselves in the home, not be constantly reminded that there are others living there. 


Clearing off countertops in bathrooms and kitchens and clearing tables in dining rooms and living rooms will make the home seem clean and ready for new occupants.

Don’t let your finger cover the camera lens. Crop the photo if there is anything in the photo which shouldn’t be there. This is also not a very interesting picture for buyers as it makes the property seem almost scary! At lease remove the “Beware of dog” sign! 

Do think about how a potential buyer will view the photo and what conclusions he/she will make about the home and its surroundings based on your pictures.

Remember to stage your photos to make the home look at its best.

 b Don’t add photos which do not add to the value of the listing.Do take pictures of the neighborhood, community and community amenities when possible. 

Do take photos showing the view from the home if in a vacation area.

Don’t have other people in your photos. 

Don’t take photos without any light as it makes the home seem dark and uninviting. Use natural light when possible or use floor or table lamps to create an inviting glow.

 dirrty pool  Don’t take photos with trash that can easily be picked up such as the bleach container or hanging branch. 

When possible, speak to clients about investing a little money to clean up their house and pool to stage it in the best light and get the best possible sale price.

Don’t take cluttered pictures. You want the home to look clean and neat. 

Do have clients make the bed properly and remove clutter and trash.

Do take photos from a corner of the room or from a doorway to make the room appear its true size.

n.b. a wide-angle camera lens makes great photos but beware of using it in very small spaces as it make rooms look much larger and can be misleading to prospective buyers. However, do use a wide-angle lens for exterior shots and for large rooms.

 Picture 1
 Picture 2  Don’t. Just don’t.
Don’t post fuzzy pictures. This photo does nothing for the listing. 

Do check your pictures before leaving the photo shoot to make sure that your photos are clear and not blurry. If you don’t have a steady hand, purchase an inexpensive tripod or place the camera on a stool when taking photos.

Always take several different photos of each area and only use the best ones to advertise the listing.

 Picture 3

written by Britten Treder.

Create Better Listings

How would you like your listings to stand out from the crowd, have more people view the listing and receive more calls??  Follow my suggestions and watch how many more leads come your way.

Usually, you put your listings in the MLS and fill in all the fields including the description field. You also add photos and virtual tours to the new listing. Now, it is time to change the way you treat your listing through the description, photos, virtual tours and websites.

1. Descriptions: We have to think about the description and how the buyer will read and understand it. When we enter a listing in the MLS and fill in all the different fields, we think we are done. This is only the beginning. Next, we have to proofread, add, make changes and more. Here is an example, I have seen listings of homes in the MLS that state the name of the community, the view, the floor of the condo, a list of amenities and so on. Then I look at that same listing on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, and local websites to find that many of the important features are missing from these sites because of field differences between the MLS and the website. What I suggest to you is to add this important information into the remarks field and then visit these sites and add or change the description as needed. If you haven’t already, you should create your agent profile on sites like Realtor.com, Trulia and  Zillow in order to make the changes. Here is a simple description that has the needed information and also uses real estate keywords.

125 Vermont Rd, Estero
This beautiful condo is on the 15th floor of the Essex overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The Essex is a terrific condo complex located in a gated golf community of Estero Grande, close to the beach, shopping and downtown. Community features include golf, tennis, private pool, doorman, security, underground parking, social club, fitness room, etc. The unit itself has a gourmet kitchen, upgraded appliances, tile floors, 2 balconies view beach views, 3 over sized bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Keep adding more details that will make your listing stand out and finish with something like this; many more photos are available, floor plans are also available so please contact me.

2. Photos: you should be taking at least 30-40 photos of your listing and its location or community and community amenities. This is especially true for homes located in country club, golf, boating, vacation or waterfront communities. Clients don’t simply want to see photos of the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom; they want to see the neighborhood and community amenities as well. First you add the 20 or more photos in the MLS for your listing. Now, what you need to do is go to the other large websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com and change some of the photos to make the listing look different. On one website you may want to feature the kitchen, family room, dining room and show off the interior. On another site change the photos to feature the outside of the home or condo, feature the amenities and give a different view. Remember that different people react differently and have different interests. One person may be more interested in the views and location while another might be interested in the brands of the appliances. Today, most cell phones will take high enough quality photos to do the job. While it is always best to hire a professional photographer or use a professional camera with HDR and a wide lens to take awesome photos, you can usually  do a good enough job with your own phone, given that you put some thought into staging. Click here to see some terrible, but funny MLS photos and get additional tips on how to stage your photo shoot.

3. Virtual Tours: similar to photos, these need to be changed up for the different websites and you should use branded tours when possible. While some websites force you to use non-branded tours, others – including your own website, can feature your branded virtual tour. You can also place this on YouTube, link it to Facebook and more.

4. Websites:  On your personal website, you can promote your listings on your home page, link to extra photos, add a slideshow, a YouTube video or virtual tour, and display a google map to show the location of the property. Write a lot of content for your property on your website. You should also write more about the community with all of its features. Add information about local shopping, beaches, mountains, scenic areas, dining and more. Remember that the buyer may have never been to this area before so give them the total experience.

The tips above are also useful when working with Craigslist. The same listing can be promoted in several different ways in several different Craigslist Ads. For example, if you have a listing in a coastal golf and country club community, create ads geared to the interests of different potential buyers: the avid golfer, the social butterfly, the beach-goer, etc.

Listings are more then just a quick write up to enter them in the MLS. The more time you spend writing a great description with photos, the better reaction you will receive from buyers and sellers.



All content was created and written by Gary Kusher, Gary@garykusher.com and Britten Treder, britten@realestateofficepros.com. Copyright© 2013 If you have questions or need help implementing the above tips please contact us at britten@realestateofficepros.com or (239) 810-4399