One of the joys of real estate is that it a spectator sport.  We get the chance to peek into the homes and lives of our fellow residents, to see how they decorate, how they live and what it looks like beyond the front door.

Not all Realtors are skilled photographers, and many choose to hire professionals to make sure that the marketing they do for the listing showcases it at its best.

A few brave souls decide that they know what they’re doing and forego the services of a professional.  Sometimes it looks pretty good, most of the time it looks pretty bad and sometimes it’s just mystifying.

Without further delay, here are some recent photos that we saw in the course of working with our clients that made us laugh, blink our eyes in disbelief and ask “What on earth were they thinking using that picture?!”

The Rare Lying Down Shower

A relatively common mistake we see in listings is uploading photos sideways or upside down.  It isn’t that difficult to figure out the rotation and set it properly, but nonetheless we often see photos uploaded this way.

Below is an otherwise fine shower picture that has been uploaded sideways.  You could lie down and have a shower while you nap.  Maybe even reach up and take down that green painter’s tape visible in the corner.


Make Sure You Get the Hydrant

It’s rare that you see the trifecta of the three most desirable attributes in an outdoor shot.

  1. Overgrown tree.
  2. Excessive hydro wires.
  3. Peeling fire hydrant.

Even though this photo showed up on a listing for vacant land, it feels like there wasn’t much effort put into the marketing for the property given this was the only photo that was used.


One Front Door?  No Sir, Two!

We’re not genuinely sure what this is a photo of, but it appears to be a wood panelled hallway that is what you see when you open the exterior door.  It’s one of 8 photos, and one of three of the interior of the home.  It was probably this feature that sold the home after 488 days on the market.


This One Is For The Great Grandkids

This next one is bit of a departure as at first glance it doesn’t look that bad.  Just an old picture of an old condo building.  This one is worth sharing only due to the way it ended up on our radar.  When we look for some of these bad real estate photos, one of the ways we search is to look for how it long it took a property to sell.

There is a strong correlation between good photos and a quick sale and bad photos and a long sale.  In this case, the above picture showed up because of the length of time it took to sell.

73,142 days.

Yup, that’s about 200 years.  You’re probably thinking that the agents involved in this sale must have been pretty pleased at selling such a modern looking home in the 1820s.

In actuality, we have here a rare time travelling sale, where it was listed for sale in May, 2002 and it sold, according to MLS, in August, 2202.  I hope the agents on both sides have made sure their descendants are prepared for the commission when it shows up in 180 years or so.


If you’ve come across some perplexing photos in your real estate search, let us know and we’ll share them in our next edition of Bad Real Estate Photos.

If you’re thinking about selling and want to make sure people say “Wow, what a great photo!”, then make sure you work with agents who understand how important marketing is to the sale of your home.