It’s Time to Fire Your Realtor When…

Times are tough for real estate agents. The competition for house sales is fierce. So I have to scratch my head when I run across real estate listings with photos like this posted on the Internet. I thought it was bad enough when I saw this close-up of trash in the kitchen of a Massachusetts home. I mean, couldn’t he/she at least move the garbage and step-ladder aside before taking the picture? And then I saw the bathroom:

What in the world is that disembodied head doing on the back of the toilet? Looks like it’s missing its hair.

Oh. There it is!

I found the link to this listing at It’s Lovely! I’ll Take It! If you come across photos that are so bad, they’re good, send them to me here.

Want more? Check out Bad MLS Photos.

#1: Woodland Creatures in Glass Domes: #2: Stainless-Steel Bench Toilets: #3: Woofer Speakers: #4: Egg-Shaped, Space-Saving Washing Machines: #5: Patriotic Bedding: #6: Tables on Wheels:…

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  1. rosecolette says

    Sadly, not surprised. The place we’re renting is up for sale. Not only did the real estate group price the house out of the market (there’s a house around the corner selling for $30k less and has 2 more bedrooms than our rental), but they wanted to take pictures of a kitchen with dishes in the sink and a bathroom with towels over the rack. When your renters are having to tell your agent that the house needs to be de-cluttered and depersonalized before pictures are taken, it’s time to fire your agent.

  2. says

    I know we’re beyond Movie Monday, but these pictures brought to mind the movie “American Beauty”. This listing needs Annette Benning! I love the scene where she goes to one of her listings and scrubs the place from top to bottom – all the while repeating, “I Will Sell This House Today”. In this market, a realtor has to be willing to go the extra mile to get a property sold.

    Denise’s last blog post..The Geek Squad hits Seattle

  3. says

    How gross and hilarious at the same time. What’s with the hair?!?! Maybe it’s been misplace from that disturbing head on the back of the toilet.

    kat’s last blog post..YouTube Tuesday

  4. says

    The sad thing about these pictures if you look past the crap they have some great bones. The person posting these pictures should change jobs.

    krissi’s last blog post..Monkey Bars

  5. says

    I can always tell when a real estate agent is male when looking at listing pics (ok, at least I think I can). Who takes pics of a bathroom where all you can really see is the toilet AND the lid is up???!! Oh, and lets not forget the silly empty bedroom shots when all that is seen is the corner and maybe part of the window. Thanks Mr. Agent for giving me a great view of this home, it makes me want to run right out and buy it without the tour! :):)

    Deanne’s last blog post..Dust Off Your Fanny Packs!

    • says

      I hear ya on those corner shots.. I’m always like what room is this again.. Sometimes I think they shoot the same room just different corners to save time.. And is it just me it always seems to be the left corner what is up with that… LOL

  6. Kelly says

    I wonder how disgusting this house looked before the pictures??? It reminds me of the time I went to an open house and there was a very well used tube of Preparation-H on the bathroom counter.

  7. says

    Oh my!

    I remember when we sold our first house, I cleaned that house spic and span…but…you can’t possibly get everything…and when a family came to look at the house, their realtor sort of nudged her head towards a window…there was a BIG DEAD BUG in between the windows, lol. I don’t think her people say it, but I was glad that she pointed it out to me. I still laugh about that.

    Bella Casa’s last blog post..Help Me Decorate My Living Room

  8. says

    It tells me much about both the realtor and the homeowner.

    Alas, more than I wanted to know. I like to live in this fantasy world where most folks have a bit of taste and a lick of sense.

    This, however, jerks me back to reality.

    RehabOrDie’s last blog post..Really Fine Tile

  9. says

    Oh my gosh – I laughed out loud when I saw the hair strewn across the table. That is all soooo bad!

    When I was searching for houses last spring I was constantly stunned by the photos people would allow to go on the MLS. Not to mention the zillions of little improvements they could have made to make their house MUCH more appealing…but that’s a different story.

    AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage’s last blog post..Ikea + 1 Teenage Boy = (I think you can guess)

  10. says

    Are these people serious about selling their homes? Doesn’t look like it. Very funny!

    Robin’s last blog post..

  11. says

    Oh man, I didn’t even recognize the disembodied head for what it was. The sad thing is, it looks like that house needs all the help it can get to sell. It’s like the realtor showed up early for their appointment and started snapping picutres while the homeowner was still not ready for the day, let alone the open house.

    Aubrey’s last blog post..A Milestone Birthday

  12. says

    haha! We run across poor listings all the time. We like to browse for fun, and our budget is slow, so we get the scary houses sometimes. Still, none of them are quite like this one. Geez. Great find, Julia. Well “great”.

  13. says

    Oh, my, mercy, Julia! I am laughing out loud … but, if it was my house for sale, I’d be crying! (No, wait, if it were my house, I would’ve cleaned up before the Realtor took those awful photos!) 😉

    Kathryn Wells’s last blog post..The Power of Prayer

  14. says


    It took us three tries to sell The Money Pit, with a different Realtor each time. At least none of the pix looked like this!

    We did discover that the assistant to the Realtor who actually got it sold had accidentally posted a photo on the web showing our little toaster oven sitting on the coffee table out in the otherwise great shot of the sunroom! We had moved it off the kitchen counter for that shot, and nobody noticed till it was posted that it was shining brightly, right there in the middle of the best selling feature of the whole house! We quickly fixed it.


    Scribbler’s last blog post..Tam’s Tuesday Threes

  15. says

    Totally time for a new realtor! That’s horrible! My has been a realtor my whole life. She always goes in and stages her pictures. It makes a huge difference!

  16. says

    you are so hilarious but so right. this is ridiculous! they should be ashamed of themselves. the head thing on the toilet looks creepy. also, is that fungus on the disembodied head thing. this is bad. i wanted to say thank you for your nice comment you left on my blog. i really appreciate it! have a blessed day!

    God Bless,

    charmaine’s last blog post..

  17. says

    Julia, I couldn’t agree with you more. As a home decorator and stager for real estate sales I am shocked by what I see when I tour around to look at homes for sale. I have heard agents say things like. “I know they should remove their family photos but geez, they have to live here!”

    Hello! They have got to realize that once the For Sale sign goes up they are in the business of selling a commodity. They have to emotionally detach to do that and if the agent doesn’t get it, heaven help the client!

    Bonnie Mattson’s last blog post..A Simple Woman’s Day Book~March 30, 2009

  18. says

    Excuse me while I clean the ice tea that just got spewed across the computer screen! Too funny!! You really have to wonder how bad they want to sell their home.

    Heather’s last blog post..front door make-over

  19. says

    I would be upset if my realtor took those pictures to show a preview of my house.

    There is a house on the way to my DD school. Their mail box was involved in a hit and run accident. The owners had a reward sign on their lawn. And then they tied their mailbox to a realtors wooden sign. They have their house for sale. I told my DH I wouldn’t want to buy their house if they are too cheap to replace the mailbox. Finally they have put in a mailbox after over a month of the other one being hit.

    It looked bad.

    SoBella Creations’s last blog post..Sugar Pie Farmhouse

  20. ida says

    lol………..i needed that good laugh…omg thank you Julia thank you. see today is my “saturday” and i was just waking up and dragging my feet. makes my house look marvoulous. :)
    once again i thank you. its a blessing from God that laugh you provided.

  21. says

    The styrofoam head on the toilet is just over the top….how could a realtor allow this? What a great example of why home staging is needed!!!
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and also for your very kind comments, Sarah Richardson is a personal favourite for me, and all 5 HGTV designers I interviewed were very friendly and receptive to the reno questions I asked!


    Housewears’s last blog post..‘DESIGN BY 5’- Housewears chats with HGTV’s Sarah Richardson

  22. says

    OMG this post cracked me up. I used to sell Real Estate and pictures that some of the Realtors took of their listings were enough to tempt me to call the client and ask them if they wanted a new Realtor. I never did but always felt so bad for the clients that got so little action on their listing.

    Sue’s last blog post..~ Blue Monday ~

  23. says

    My hubby always knows when I am looking at ‘It’s lovely, I’ll Take It’ as it is the only time I sit at my computer and laugh out loud. The commentary is wonderful! A-M xx

    A-M’s last blog post..A Question

  24. says

    Oh, that’s bad!!!! Spending 5 minutes tidying up those rooms before the pictures were taken could be the difference between selling and not selling the house. Time to fire that real estate agent!!

    Kelly @ DesignTies

    DesignTies’s last blog post..Trulli unique Italian houses

  25. says

    What a laugh out loud! Thanks! This is just so funny – in a sad way. I took most of my own photos for my listing in Florida. I made sure NOTHING showed that wasn’t good. These people DO need a new realtor!!

  26. says

    I have to agree with all of the above comments! Wow, pretty bad! It’s quite amazing to think they are not aware of all these items that are distracting to the buyer! Anyone with common sense should see those hazards!
    The wig is unbelievable! It reminds me of a haunted house or a scarey movie!

  27. Elizabeth says

    i come across pics like this and i think ‘what were they thinking?’ The shower curtain will be open with all the shampoos, things will be sitting around… in the living room. I don’t get it

  28. Kristin says

    I know this was yesterday’s post but I ran out of time to comment. Here’s the thing, I can’t stop imagining the person who dons that wig and prances around that house in the robe hanging in the bathroom. Make the images stop Julia.

  29. Lisa in Australia says

    Oh my god… you all think like I do. For SO long I looked at real estate photos and thought “why the heck didn’t you move that stuff or put the dishes away”. I also hate photos that show the furnishings of a house, not the house features… 99% of us are not rich enough to buy the furnishings!!

  30. greenie says

    OMG! OMG! OMG! A wig form on the toilet…and the wig on the vanity? No way!

  31. Beth says

    Not surprised this is Massachusetts. When I lived in Seattle, realtors hired photographers for mid-to-high end houses. Here in Mass, realtors take really bad pics themselves of high end houses (million-plus). Not sure why Mass realtors haven’t figured out that people use the internet to shop for houses. It’s where buyers first see the house, make a good first impression!

  32. says

    I am a Cincinnati Realtor that works for Sibcy Cline (we have the Ambleside/Schott listing that you blogged). I’m also a photographer and when I see shots like this I just cringe. I mean, really? Your Realtor can’t figure out how to photograph your house but you’re gonna let them negotiate the sales price? I don’t think so….

    Love your blog!
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..324/365 – I’ve got my eye on you… =-.

  33. Quirina says

    We are at the brink, already after 1 month, to fire our Realtor. Pictures we had to make our own pictures, after we saw the ones she made of our house. First of all she told us a professional photographer would come. And we had seen pretty good pictures of her listings, so we trusted her. All of a sudden the photographer had moved!
    She doesn’t agree with the price, while yesterday we had a broker’s open house, and they all wrote on forms, the house was priced right. And still she wants to lower it by 35K!
    We had 1 viewing 2 weeks after the house was listed. Great!
    Another one was a no show. It took us multiple phone calls, and multiple emails to find out about the cancellation. No one had the courtesy to let us know in advance that the appointment was cancelled, but would be rescheduled. I ended up driving around for 2 hours for nothing!
    We spoke about that with our realtor to insure, in the future, that there was better communication and we would be provided with the contact information of the visiting realtor. That way we could make sure that I would not have to drive around for 2 hours if nobody was going to keep their appointment.
    Today (2 weeks later) I asked my Realtor what happened with the rescheduling, if she had called the agent? She gave some BS story she had called the agent beginning this week, and if we would like it, she would call again; 1 more time! Excuse me? Who is the realtor here? If I hadn’t asked her, we would have never known, and I’m sure she is telling us lies. Luckily we have everything written in black and white, plus recorded the conversations with her.
    Now we just have to figure out how to get rid of her without having to pay anything. For us this is malpractice or am I wrong?
    Maybe I’m at the wrong place here with this question.

  34. says

    I’m so glad I stumbled on to your blog! I’ve always been amazed/shocked at some of the photos I see in the’s unfortunate that it seems like there are more bad than good photos in the MLS of most homes. I’m a portrait photographer and former Realtor, and I’ve seriously considered branching out into doing photography for home sellers and/or Realtors just to stop some of the horrible stuff I’ve seen!

  35. Erin says

    We are looking for a home right now and walked through one a month ago with dog poop on the floor. Real dog poop, and not just a little. The entire sitting.

  36. Anna says

    It appears to look like bad camera angles and lack of motivation to sell from the home owners. To sell a home do some research on a good realtor and check out their home pages. Another thing is for the owners in order to sell your home, try to stage your home as in take out personal items and clutter make your space free and clear of piles of stuff and tuck away some of your belongings. Rent a storage locker for additional furniture, you want to max out your space to show potential buyers. No one wants to have a house showing with junk and garbage or who knows what else,I personally had this experience when my partner and I went to a home showing with not so pretty things lying around on the floor that I will dare not mention here, let’s just say I didn’t want to go back and the house still remains unsold to this day!

  37. says

    This is absolutely horrible. A Realtor that would leave this seller unaware is very possible the worst Realtor you can have. It is our job to educate and help.

  38. Erin says

    How about “It’s Time to Fire Your Realtor When…”

    (1) Immed after leaving your home from taking pics for the MLS, her Facebook status reads, “Just met with the most ANNOYING homeowner ever. lol j/k” After speaking with her broker/boss about the lack of professionalism, you receive an equally unprofessional apology from said realtor via Facebook reprimanding you for contacting her broker about her behavior.

    Umm…yeah…not impressed.

    (2) A showing was scheduled for 1130am at the potential buyer’s request. In preparation to be out of your home by 1100am so there is no sign of your existence, you hop into take a quick shower at 1030am. As you’re drying off at 1039am you hear voices right outside your master bathroom door. WTF??? Upon quickly exiting the bathroom mortified & dressed, the strangers in your home who are an hour early snottily tell you, “I tried calling you TONS of time, but there was no answer.” Check the cell, which is the only contact # on file — there is only ONE missed call at 1035am…nice…they called from the f’ng driveway one time.


    Time to fire our realtor.

  39. Claudia says

    The pics and your comments made me laugh out loud! Love your blog!

  40. Jae says

    I’ve been looking at houses on and off since 2008, seeing more bad photos than good. So bad, in fact, that when I stopped by one house with my realtor, she insisted taking photos of her own for “worse staged-house ever” contest at her office. The bad pictures on the MLS hardly did it justice. I’m pretty sure she won.

  41. says

    It makes me ill to see pictures like these on MLS and I am always shocked when it is a high end home. As a Realtor I understand it is a challenge at times to get a home owner to accept the fact a buyer does not want to purchase their dirt, but you learn to work around it or decline the listing. It is also our responsibility to market the listing with quality images, but some agents still use cameras with film or you will see crazy angles that focus on things no one cares about. I love the feedback on your site. This is a tool I can use to convince sellers I am not crazy for asking them to do things to improve the showing condition of their home.