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Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos

Published: 10/12/2015

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I've pointed out Saskatoon agent, Norm Fisher's really funny presentation of bad real estate photos before but it's so funny I think it is worth featuring again. I feel like inventing a real estate marketing award for Norm's presentation.

I was reminded of this subject by the fact that Athol Kay, a Connecticut Realtor got some coverage in last week's LA Time Real Estate section for his Bad MLS photo of the day feature on his site. Athol has some really special examples.

It's interesting to see how many agents are beginning to make fun of standard MLS photos as a marketing technique. In addition to Norm and Athol I ran across these agents also using this technique:

There are also several YouTube videos on the same subject:

Over the years I've made it a habit to occasionally pass a long some of the sites that feature bad MLS photo. It's frankly amazing how many of these sites there are. These sites are always good for a few laughs. The interesting thing about the post that lists these estate listing is the sixth most popular post. Right up there with wide-angle lenses and pricing a shoot! I guess the reason these are so popular is that people dedicated to making property look good find it hilarious to see what people do that don't care about making property look good!

Recently Dave in Perth, AU sent me this article in the DailyMail.co.uk to add to the list. One of the  listing photos has a huge pig sleeping in it. What can I say? I've added the link to the DailyMail article as item #10 on the list.

Here are several sites that I've come across recently:

  1. Bad MLS Photos
  2. Terrible Listing Photos AOL.com
  3. What not to do when selling
  4. Hooked on homes
  5. Bad real estate photos
  6. Lessons bad MLS photos teach
  7. So Cal MLS Hall of Shame
  8. Lovely Listing
  9. Terrible real estate agent Photographs
  10. How NOT to sell your house: Hilarious collection of world's worst estate agent photos

The list goes on! It's just amazing how lazy and ridiculous agents are that actually load these photos on listings! The main point here besides the funny photos is the fact that it's becoming a world wide pastime to make fun of MLS photos. This is good for the real estate photography business!

Larry Lohrman

7 comments on “Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos”

  1. Terribly bad real estate aerial (drone) photos are really easy to take. I've posted some local examples on the "Wall of Shame" tab of my web site. I have at least 4 aerial photo/video competitors who charge as low as $75 for aerial (drone) photos; they're drone owners but I would not call them photographers. Some of their work is on homes listed over a million dollars. If I were the seller, I would fire my real estate agent if he/she tried to use photos like these on my listing.

  2. I'm not really a big fan of those type of sites. There is no back ground as to why those photos were used. It's easy to say that the photographer shouldn't have taken those shoots or the the agent should have used a professional. However, that is not always the case. Some times the photographer or the agent is just trying to make the best of a bad situation. More often than we think, a home owner gets sick or has other issues and just can't get a home ready to sell. I have taken photos of more than one homes were I had to choice the best of a bunch of really bad views. The owner has to sell and the agents needs photos for the MLS and advertising. You do your best to make the home look decent without committing fraud.

  3. "...It’s easy to say that the photographer shouldn’t have taken those shoots..."

    I agree, but I tell my agents that if the home cannot be cleaned up, it's better to not post bad photos than to post terrible ones. I try to find an angle that avoids clutter or damage. Rentals with renters there are the worst. In some cases I only take exteriors. But, many of those “Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos” have no excuse -- the nude photographer in the mirror? Dogs on the bed?

    I once did a condo owned by an Indian family that had a nicely framed religious symbol on the living room wall. The symbol: a swastika -- which before 1930 was an ancient symbol of auspiciousness in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. I "air-brushed" it out to avoid any misunderstanding.

  4. While the photos are pretty bad, you can be sure those sites don't have copyright permission to use them....funny the double standard.

  5. @Chris, "While the photos are pretty bad, you can be sure those sites don’t have copyright permission to use them….funny the double standard."

    Most likely, the web sites can rely on the "Fair Use" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use) defense, in particular criticism and/or parody, that most countries include in their copyright legislation.

  6. I know for a fact that since we started promoting excellence in real estate photography in our market several years ago, that many agents have stepped up to compete. As a result, the market for professional real estate photography has increased dramatically. I have not been shy about calling out crappy photos from other agents. I have yet to get a take-down notice due to copyright with my comparisons.

    Here is my bad MLS photo page on our website
    http://conniebarnes.com/bad-mls-photos/

    Here is a direct link to our YouTube promo
    https://youtu.be/EbYO-q3sD7I

  7. Hey Jim, I can say that I truly appreciate what you have done to increase demand for professional Real Estate photography in our area. I am regularly looking at homes in the area that catch my eye for great quality photos, and your work is fantastic. Do you photograph Real Estate exclusively for Connie? If so, do you have a good photographer to whom you refer other agents looking for professional help?

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