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Please stop hiring bad agents who take bad listing photos!

I think agents who take bad listing photos (or none at all) is my biggest pet peeve with the real estate industry.

Which always begs the question: Are people not reviewing their MLS listing once it goes live? If so, how in the world are you allowing your agent to get away with the bad listing photos they have taken to market your property?

I always think that if a client of mine saw absolutely dreadful photos, that they’d fire me on the spot. I’m really trying to understand who the people are that don’t care at all that their home is a laughingstock on the Internet and that virtually everyone will ignore their listing and they’ll more than likely sell their home for far less than they could have. 

Listing photos have a direct impact on how much money goes into your pocket!

Experiment Time

You know I’m not crazy. You’ve gone online and looked through dozens of listings and have seen the photos I’m talking about. But, just to prove how widespread this phenomenon is I decided to do a quick experiment. 

I went onto MLS this morning and looked at the new listings available in Mississauga across all home types. At around 10am, there were 10 new listings available for sale. Here’s the breakdown of their photography:

Horrible iPhone photos…no photos…no interior photos…no photos…professional photos…professional photos…professional photos…crooked iPhone photos…professional photos…professional photos.

To recap that’s:

5/10 = professional photos
3/10 = agent phone photos
2/10 = no photos

This is a small sample size but I assure you this reflects reality. Do the experiment yourself. Go to and check out any 10 random listings in any city in the GTA and you will have a similar breakdown.

At any given time, ~50% of homes listed for sale have either no photos or have horribly unprofessional photos taken by what I can only assume is an incompetent listing agent.

Taken further, that means about ~50% of all agents fall into the incompetent category. No wonder this industry gets a bad reputation!

Bad Listing Photos vs Good Listing Photos

Please, everyone, take note. Having great, professional listings photos is an absolutely vital part of the listing process. Everyone starts their home search online and if your photos look terrible no one is going to view your property.

From the above list, here are the examples I pulled of bad listing photos vs good listing photos:

Example #1 – The Living Room Shot


This gives me absolutely no sense of the space. If anything, it looks cramped and dingy. Maybe turn on a lamp since there is no light fixture….


Granted, this is obviously a bigger space but at least there is furniture! They’re both lower floor units (this one is ground floor) and are taken at around the same time of day. But, a proper camera can take in a lot more light than your probably out of date Blackberry. 

Example # 2 – The Mind-numbingly Dumb Shot

Not every iPhone camera photo is terrible. Some might end up looking a little dreary but you can still do quite good work with a smartphone.

What’s completely inexcusable is not decluttering the space in which you’re shooting. I mean, what is even going on in this one?


Why is there a mattress against the wall? Why are there clothes everywhere? Why is this happening? Does this person still have a pulse let alone a real estate license?


Just make the bed. You don’t even need a lot of furniture. You really don’t need the serving tray, but hey stagers sometimes get a little out of control. 

Maybe paint your place? Clear the floor of your clothes. Yup, I think that’s not a bad idea.

This last one is probably my favourite of the bunch. I don’t know when it started or why people keep doing it but they do.


Thanks for letting me know there is some kind of washer/dryer in the home. It’s a bit blurry but I think I can make it out between all the pixels.

No one in the history of the world has cared about the laundry machine shot. It’s fine if you want to take one because you have room for 50 photos online. But when you upload 7 photos, why is this one of them?

I don’t even have a good one to show you because you really don’t need this shot. It’s unnecessary. 

Please, 50% of people, please…stop this insanity. Only you have the power to prevent bad listing photos.

I’m Mike. I created this website. I'm a real estate sales representative, but I’m a consumer behaviourist at heart. I like to understand what makes people tick and find out what’s really important to them. I value honesty and integrity over everything. I’m fiercely competitive and loyal and view myself more as a consultant than salesperson. In my free time I’m a registered sportsaholic and TV junkie.

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