A good number of real estate photos used on the MLS are awful. They don’t even qualify as amateurish. Agents with poor photographic abilities may take awful photos themselves using their cell phone. They may also get free service from one of their subcontractors to whom photography is not part of their main business. Either way, they do not know what they are doing. One thing is certain: They are doing a disservice to their clients.

Here are some qualities of truly Awful Photos:

Awful Photos lack basic skills of photography: They are out of focus, not sharp enough, and/or too dark. The photo below was taken in low resolution resulting in its small size. When viewers see this on the MLS, the image does not cover the full area possible. That’s lost real estate! The room is also poorly lit. (Photo: CRMLS)

Awful Photos suffer from a bad composition. For example, they focus on only parts of the room and leave out much detail. They also go back and forth between landscape and portrait. All photos should have a landscape 1080 layout. (Photo: CRMLS)

Source: CRMLS

Awful Photos omit essential and important parts of the house. Certain amenities that may appeal to many people are ignored. Even an entire bedroom or the backyard may be omitted. The local schools might be excellent. There could also be a great greenbelt nearby.

Awful Photos are taken in bad weather or with poor lighting. Even among indoor photos, the different shots can have different exposures. In the photo below, no secondary lighting source is used. Each photo is dependent on the installed light fixture in each room. (Photo: CRMLS)

Awful Photos have obstructions that block important parts of the house or alternatively, reveal too much personal detail about the owners. The below photo has several problems: poor lighting, poor composition (not showing the whole house), obstruction (cars parked), and personal info (car license plates were not blacked out). (Photo: CRMLS)

Awful Photos indicate that the house was not ready to be put on the market. It is not staged. That is, it was not cleaned up, de-cluttered, renovated, spiffed up, ready for open-house, etc. They make the buyers think that the owners don’t really care. Maybe they don’t need the highest price the home is worth? (Photo: CRMLS)

Awful Photos are presented without post-processing. A photo editor can really refine and tweak the photos to make the home look much more attractive. Below is a Smart Photo of a small bathroom made to look larger and fancier using a fish-eye lens and post processing. The photographer’s reflection on the mirror has also been removed. (Source: Smart Realty)

Awful Photos are when inexperienced or uncaring agents use the wrong image as the first image buyers see on the MLS. The worst offenders use an image of a messy living room or even a bathroom. When people idealize their house, however, they begin with the exterior. Thus, the photo presentation should start with a good exterior shot. Which one looks better between the two below? (Source: Realtor.com)

Awful Photos are when only one, a few, or even no photos are used. If a photo is worth a thousand words and if the MLS allows 50 photos, that’s 50,000 words you can use to sell your property. Yet, there are many agents who get away with using only 1, 5, 10 or no photos at all. (Source: CRMLS)