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Really Awful Listing Photos

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By : M Shane    99 or more times read
For most real estate agents, especially in the current times, staging a home for good photographs is a foregone conclusion. However, there are those among us who obviously don't want to sell the home at all. Whether on the MLS or Craigslist, home sellers and representatives are still posting awful property photos. Perhaps an enumeration of the more traumatic, how-could-you-think-that-was-appropriate photos is in order!

When showing off a home, it stands to reason that a home, especially the areas where people eat food or attend, ahem, personal needs, should be as clean as possible with everything that distracts from the actual home removed. Even if you're moving piles of crap from one side of the room to the other, it's better than taking pictures of a cluttered living room or a filthy kitchen. This is, sadly, a rule that is not observed by some of the people posting pictures onto listings. Leftovers, dirty dishes and sinks threatening to evict the contents before they grow into a new species of life and crawl out on their own have all been lovingly captured on film. Worse, there have been pictures of toilets. Bad pictures of toilets.

The aim of home staging is to help buyers imagine themselves in the home, something that will encourage them to buy. So, one would think that having pictures of people in the home would be a definite no-no, along with dogs, cats, Burmese pythons, religious symbols and I (Heart) Hitler posters, all of which have graced the pages of listings near you. Apparently, there's nothing more homelike than a White Pride banner stretched on the living room wall or a dog squatting out on the front lawn. While family, friends, pets and personal beliefs are important to home owners, they are not important to buyers. Keep personality out of photos as much as possible. Buyers want to see themselves living in a home, which can be hard to do if they are violently allergic to dogs and you have pictures of your German Shepherds lounging in the back yard.

There is a horrible trend in listings photos of photoshopping in furniture, erasing permanent fixtures or photoshopping things like the lawn (or lack thereof) with a plain green fill. Lightening up a photo or cropping it to make it look better is fine. However, creating or taking away details that could have a material effect on a buyer's choice of a home is unethical. And really, your buyers won't be impressed by the authentic Eames dinette set in the living room when they see the jagged edges where you've cut and pasted it. Plus, it's hard to explain how a full set of powerlines managed to be erected beside the house in the three days between its appearance on the MLS and the first home tour.

People who don't take the time to produce decent photos are not going to sell in a buyer's market. Why would buyers explore a filthy home when there are others for the same price that are clean? Why would an allergic person bother looking at a house that obviously have pets when there is a similar one for a similar price with no such revealing photos? If you really want to sell your home, you'll want spectacular photos that capture a buyer's interest.

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