Is no photo better than a bad photo when marketing your home?

Ok, I’m still on my rant about bad marketing photos.  Maybe because I think a picture is worth a thousand words when selling your home and I’m pretty passionate about the photos I take.

It never ceases to amaze me how many really bad photos show up on the Arizona Regional MLS.  Why would an agent take a photo of a living room complete with a man laying on the floor watching tv, with an open pizza box perched on his chest?   Yes…I’ve seen it.  My question is, does this man come with the house?  Definitely not a feature anyone is looking for.

It’s not just bad subject matter that’s a problem either.  Some photos are so out of focus, you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking at.  Ok, so maybe photography is not an agent’s “bag”.  Then please, for the sake of your seller, hire someone to take your photos.

A great thought to ponder was made by Kathy Torline on one of my recent posts about bad photos.  Is an agent “neglecting their duties” when posting bad marketing photos of a home?

I mean, really…is this good marketing?  The title for this photo was “handy garage door…”  Ummm, handy is not how I would describe this.  If an agent REALLY thought this garage door was worth marketing, how much trouble would it be to move the junk out of the photo? 

Maybe it’s like guns and children.  Some agents probably shouldn’t handle a camera..especially when it’s loaded.


  1. A little wall cleaning wouldn’t go amiss either… Wow… That’s a horrible picture… I’ve never really thought of a garage door as “handy”. As for the man with the pizza box… Perhaps if he was sitting on a couch… That would be way more comfortable. Might make the living room seem a bit more cozy?? Plus, you could see the TV better and with a simple living room table, you’d even have somewhere to put your Heineken. Much better than eating on the floor… Actually, I’ve seen some pretty bad pictures in the MLS too. When we took classes on how to use the MLS they made a point of showing us some of the ridiculous photos that end up there. Silly agents… 🙂 To answer the main question though… I think it might be better not to have a picture, than to have a picture like this one. But what if you don’t have a choice in the matter? If there is something that’s broken/leaking/needs repairs that aren’t going to take place before the sale? Do you just show pictures of the things that don’t look messed up?

  2. I think there’s a difference between “marketing” and reporting a defect. I don’t know. I mean, I’m really glad these photos were up on MLS…saved me a trip for sure! But, I think…no…I know I would have turned this listing down until it was cleaned out!