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Biggest Real Estate Seller Listing Picture Mistakes

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You're ready to sell your home, done some kitchen remodeling updates, along with a few other key improvements; and now, it's time to move forward. The good news is, the current local Sarasota real estate market favors sellers, but this doesn't mean it will be a short process. Buyers will continue picking and choosing which homes to see in-person after hours of going through online listings. If there's one aspect of home selling you should be very concerned with, it's how your home presents on the internet. The vast majority of home searches begin on the web, so, it's paramount your property pique interest and you should know which of the biggest real estate seller listing picture mistakes to avoid.

Biggest Real Estate Seller Listing Picture Mistakes


When people start their searches for residences in their locality, there are a few key reasons buyers choose a home. These primarily include: location, price, condition, energy efficiency, and various surfaces, components, and systems. However, even if a home is in an ideal location, is priced right, in good condition, and is energy-efficient, if it does not strike a chord with potential buyers, it will be seen far less in-person. And, when there are few visitors, a home will linger on the market longer than its closest competition.

In real estate, pictures need to say more than a thousand words -- they need to say what your home is really worth. Cultivating drive-by curb appeal is still important for people who want to sell a home, especially if they want to sell quickly. But in the age of online listings, photos make the real impression on potential buyers. A whopping 84 percent of homebuyers and sellers surveyed by the real estate website Trulia said they wouldn't even consider buying a property if its listing didn't have a photograph. --CBS News

Simply put, if your home listing description isn't accompanied by great images, it will not get the attention needed to sell quickly and for the most money. Buyers look through scores and hundreds of online images when house hunting. The ones which are most impressive will be the properties they tour to get a firsthand feel. With the right images, your home will get more interest and will sell faster. Here are the biggest real estate seller listing picture mistakes to avoid:


  • Bad lighting. Whether it's too dark or too bright, bad lighting is a serious no-no. If it looks dark, buyers will quickly conclude the entire home is somewhat of a dreary dungeon. If the images are too bright, it will just cause confusion. Buyers will wonder what causes it but certainly won't drive over to get to the bottom of the mystery. Light balance is critical for images to make a good impression about a home.

  • Clusters of clutter. There are three steadfast staging rules to follow: depersonalize, disinfect, and declutter. These aren't just for readying an open house, they apply from the very moment you decide to sell your property. Clutter (anywhere) will sabotage even the best listing photo. It not only looks bad, it also sends a message that you as a homeowner don't really want to be a home seller. It can also imply you do not regularly keep-up with basic cleaning and will make buyers wonder whatever routine maintenance is avoided.

  • Photographer’s reflection or shadow. An image that captures the photographer's reflection or shadow is one that should never be published in a listing. It not only looks very amateurish, it also sends a subtle message the seller was not willing to snap a few more pictures in order to get a better photo. There's just no justification acceptable to include a listing picture with the photographer's reflection or shadow.

  • Poor quality images. Out of focus, crooked or bad angle, fuzzy, or whatever else it might be compromising an image, immediately disqualifies it from being published with the listing. There is absolutely no reason to publish poor quality images and every reason to retake and post better pictures. Even if you're on a tight timeline, rushing it for the sake of getting the listing active will only backfire big time.

  • Timestamp. Images containing a timestamp -- by definition -- date a picture. This is never a good thing, regardless of when. At the very least, it shows a listing is very fresh -- which can easily lead buyers to thinking the listing price will come down. At the worst, it dates a slow-selling listing, something you definitely do not want buyers to mull over.


Another huge real estate seller listing picture mistake is too much editing. Sure, an enhanced photo can really make an impression, but it should be a positive one. If the photo looks too good to be true, buyers will pickup on it and believe the seller is being deceptive in order to sell his or her home.