Agent Photography Crimes

by Jim Ludes on February 25, 2014

in Sellers

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

It’s true. But you don’t want those words to be curse words from your seller. I tweeted out a link to an Inman News top ten photography crimes real estate agents commit. I’d like to do my own touch on that and add a couple off the top of my head in this spot if I may.

  1. Photographs that have date stamps on them. How can you even do this nowadays? No, literally, I don’t know how. I’m sure there’s some setting on a point and click digital camera (or maybe even mine) that allows this but unless you’re a P.I. and need to timestamp for proof of something, I’d suggest leaving it off. The market time listing is going to work against your sellers enough (if it’s high), you don’t need to show it off in every picture.
  2. Crooked photos. This is also absolutely unacceptable. It might be outrageous to ask your agent to use a tripod for photographing, right? WRONG. I’d also be wrong in assuming that agents edit their photos before using them in marketing (well, most). The simplest of photo editors has a balance or straighten-me-out function that can help. Pure laziness not to do this.

    Count the violations

  3. Blurry or out-of-focus photos. This gets a little out of the “I’m just lazy” phase and into the “I’m just not good at taking pictures” realm. However, on anyone’s camera, even if you’re using your smart phone as one, one may simply just look at the camera immediately after taking a photo. Any 2 year old knows that once a picture has been taken, it can be reviewed. If you were unaware of this- go take some photos of toddlers.
  4. Partial room shots. Listen, not every agent is going to give you high quality or professional photos. In fact, in our area, very few will. So, I’m not expecting every agent to have nice cameras and wide angle lenses. But spare me the crazy angle of part of the toilet, bathtub and vanity in one shot. You can take two pics you know!
  5. People or pets in shots. Back to laziness. If you can’t negotiate with your seller enough to move ten feet so you can shoot pictures, how can you negotiate on his/her behalf with any type of offer. Sometimes pets will sneak into a picture and you don’t notice a little cat head until you’re editing (IF you edit). Don’t use that photo (unless you’re doing some wacky marketing and a cat is in every picture).
  6. Open toilets. Gross.
  7. Interior photos with bad tint. Read a little about photography.
  8. Exteriors taken into the sun. See above.
  9. Interiors that are too dark. See both above. But, keep in mind, very few buyers are looking for dark, dungeony houses. Vampires do pay cash though- but one only runs into one or two of those in the course of a real estate career.
  10. Photos with mirrors that show agent/flash. The unintentional selfie! I take one of these at every home I photograph for fun; always with a wacky face or a wave hello. I have never once used one in marketing.

    The fish eye view

  11. Fish eye lenses. Don’t. Just don’t. Noone wants to know what the house would look like if they finished their water and held the bottom of the glass up to their eye or what the house would look like if wood warped and walls and such started bending inward.
  12. Ugly rooms. You don’t HAVE to put a photo up of hideous rooms. One should only be using the photos that show the house in the best light (slight pun). Average or below looking garages, bathrooms, ugly painted rooms need not be shown. They’re not helping get buyers in.

Here’s the deal, folks. In my world, photographs of your house are my main source of marketing material. 3 things sell a house: price, presentation and marketing. If your pictures are awful, you darn well better be priced perfectly for the market (or below) and it better show like a gem when people drive by or come for showings. Like all things in real estate, it takes work to be good at this. You, as a seller, should demand that your agent be competent or better at it…after all, it’s costing you money if he/she isn’t!


2011 Marketing

by Jim Ludes on December 23, 2010

in General

What is this and where does it take me?

This is a QR code. This will be used in my 2011 marketing to direct potential buyers to areas of the web that I want them to go. That could be here to the blog home page, a specific blog, a virtual tour, who knows where? What do you think? Will you use it? Do you know how to use it? Leave me a comment and let me know your age and if you’d make use out of this tool.