Listing Photographs: What Would You Do?

Listing Photographs: What Would You Do?

With online presence leading the way, your listing photographs are more important now than ever. Did you know that 72% of potential buyers shop the internet for prospective properties? And this number is only increasing. Gone are the days where newspaper ads had the leading edge, and an open house was bustling with potential buyers seeing the property for the first time. Now, properties are being red circled or vetoed largely based on how they look online. If your photographs don’t showcase your property, chances are potential buyers will click past your listing and move on to the next opportunity.

What this really means: your property won’t even be given the chance for a buyer to fall in love with it when they step through the door, because they won’t ever set foot in the door!

So, what would you do with your listing photographs today? Here are some comparisons for you to contemplate.


Would you use this photograph:

Living Room Photo ‘A’

Or this photograph:

Living Room Photo ‘B’

In photo ‘A’, did you notice the clipboard on the ledge behind the sofa? Was your eye drawn to the large silver bowl right beside it? How about the gap behind the sofa? Were you visually drawn into this room? Note, your photographs should never have anything in them that doesn’t feature the room. No clutter, no clipboards, no unnecessary distractions! Make sure your accessories are strategically placed to draw the eye into the whole space and to the architectural features, not just to the forefront of the room. And make sure that your photos capture the positive features of the room at a good angle. Photo ‘A’ was taken from an awkward elevated angle, maybe from a stool or a chair. This distorted how you would actually see the room if you were stepping into it, moving through it, or just standing in that spot. And that’s because the angle has you looking down on the room rather than into it.


Would you use this photograph:

Family Room Photo ‘A’

Or this one:

Family Room Photo ‘B’

In photo ‘A’, did you notice that the table lamps were off? Do you think capturing the artwork behind the love-seat was important, or showing that the brickwork to the left of the fireplace has an additional feature? Did you know that taking a photo on the diagonal of a room is more effective than straight on? With this comparison set, the straight-on view of photo ‘A’ weights the focus toward the window, which suggests it’s the primary architectural feature. Did you notice your eye resting on the window? Where does your eye go in photo ‘B’? Does the fireplace feel like a feature? These photo comparisons illustrate the difference a slight shift in positioning can make to what the viewer takes in, and how that impacts the overall ‘feeling’ of the room.

Besides the difference in image quality, if you were a potential buyer how would these photos speak to you? If you were selling your property, which photos would you choose?

The ‘B’ photos were the ones I took after finishing the re-design staging of this property (re-design staging is working with the owner’s furniture, artwork and accessories; it does not focus on rentals or purchases). The ‘A’ photos were the actual listing images used online.

It’s about selling your property. From coaching you through the pre-listing process to staging your property, when we’re finished you’ll be ready to list… We make the biggest impact when you contact us first. Creating a ‘welcoming’ feeling is our goal; showcasing your investment is what we do!

Related Posts You Might Like to Read

First Steps to Selling Your Home

Curb Appeal: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Curb Appeal: What to Do About That Picture!

Staging for the Seasons

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10 thoughts on “Listing Photographs: What Would You Do?”

  • I’m reading this post way late, but I still wanted to applaud you for it! This is unbelievably relevant in our industry, and something we shake our heads at on a daily basis. We can’t believe the horrible photos we see on-line; such an injustice to some beautiful properties. Is the quality of the camera the main difference in the clarity between photos A and B?

    • Thank you again, Pauline, for sharing this article on FB and Twitter! Totally unexpected, and very much appreciated. I am blown away by the images we still see on-line, even now in spite of the digital reality behind selling a home. The quality of the camera helps, for sure, but more importantly it’s setting up the shots, taking the photos from effective angles, and staying away from the camera’s auto setting and flash. At least that’s what I’ve found. In my experience, the photos are too often rushed in order to push the listing through to get it posted to MLS, on the listing realtor’s website, in the newspaper, etc. I think that’s a disservice to the client, and ultimately to featuring the property for sale. Taking a little extra time and money to stage a property, and photograph it properly is worth its weight in gold… I firmly believe sellers should engage a stager first, and a realtor second. That way there is a better chance of having great photos to represent their property!

  • So glad I read this. I knew that the A photos were not the best quality, but the details you pointed out in the B photos totally made sense. Great article Sheila!

    • Thanks so much, Maureen! I’m passionate about this topic, and discouraged at the same time. Discouraged only because of the snail pace that this reality is taking to catch on and sink in!

  • It’s shocking to me how many people have such ghastly photos. I am always stalking the mls and I think it’s crazy when trying to sell a massively expensive item that such crap photos make their way on to mls. Good job as always Sheila!

    • You are so right! Crap photos, indeed! I am truly boggled at the disconnect between selling a significant investment, and doing what it takes to achieve that end. Seriously. Take the extra time, and do it right! Hire a stager for a preliminary consultation, act on all the ‘to do’ prep that you can, and once you’ve done this, have the stager back in to present the property… then, and only then are you ready to hire your listing realtor, and have the photographs taken. Not the other way around! My last thought on this is that sellers should not settle for crap photos, no matter what order they tackle listing their property in. Even if that means having the photos redone!

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