Another Good Reason to Fire Your Real Estate Agent

window at night

When I see a real estate listing with photos like these, from a $475,000 house in Massachusetts, I’m amazed that the agents who took them are still in business.

dark kitchenI’m trying to understand why this agent would take a photo of a kitchen in the dark? Or the back deck at night, without a flash? And then–worse–add them to her client’s listing?

fuzzy deck photoSeriously. What kind of agent takes a photo of a bedroom ceiling?light fixture-ceiling

The family cat…

cat on printerAnd herself?

realtor in mirror

If that’s not a good reason to fire your real estate agent, I don’t know what is. (If you missed it, here was the first Good Reason to Fire Your Real Estate Agent.)

Check out my Bad MLS Photos page to see more!

This Tudor-style home with a slate roof is on the market in Wisconsin for $650,000. It has four bedrooms, a large wooded yard with a…
1. Silk plants that defy gravity. 2. Paint colors that defy sanity. 3. Furniture that blocks doorways. 4. Furniture that blocks shower stalls. 5. Gargoyles.…

See More


  1. says

    Oh my goodness too funny! I love these posts of yours because they always make me laugh out loud. In defense of the agent (which is kind of hard here), what homeowner leaves their house such a wreck when selling? Plenty, I know. I’ve moved more times than I can count and grew up looking at houses (plus my mom was a realtor) and sooooo many were just awful inside. Expensive and messy just don’t mix. Clean your house people (says the lady in her bathrobe and currently very messy home ;).
    .-= Beth@The Stories of A2Z´s last blog ..Making Wine Cork Boards =-.

  2. says

    Oh. my. gosh. That shows a serious lack of judgement. I can’t decide which one is the worst. I’m wondering if she took the ceiling photo b/c the bottom half of the room didn’t look right??? I’m at a loss….

  3. says

    No kidding. Those images are terrible. I can’t imagine that their services would be less sloppy.

  4. Beverly from Montreal says

    Seems as if this agent, and her clients, couldn’t care less what impression the photos give perspective buyers. If they were really serious about selling, they would have made the effort to tidy up the rooms a bit. It is very telling that the agent, after looking at the awful photos she took, would go ahead and post them anyway. The one showing her reflection in the mirror also appears to be reflecting some sort of cityscape. If that’s the case, why not showcase the view instead of the clueless agent? Sorry, but this makes me a little angry.

  5. says

    Hahaha! If there is a picture of the ceiling, it makes you wonder what they aren’t showing that’s on the floor….. hmmm….
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Central Park =-.

  6. Trish says

    Another licensed Real Estate Broker here. I see these types of pictures almost every day. We have a couple of extremely high priced homes for sale in our area and I am embarrassed of the photos the agent took. We have a photographer here in town who specializes in taking real estate photos and for a few hundred dollars you can have him come out and do your photos. Well worth it for a million dollar plus priced property in our area. In this day and age of digital photography where you can take literally hundreds of shots there is no excuse for photos like these!

  7. molly b says

    A couple of weeks ago when you posted the “best college towns” link, I went fantasy real-estate shopping in Beloit, WI and found a great house for a dirt-cheap price… but the pictures were horrible. There was underwear hanging from the racks in the bathroom and piles of clutter everywhere. I went to look at it again just now, and it’s been taken down. I don’t know if they sold it or just took down the listing to clean it up. :-)

  8. says

    I agree with Beverly, from what you can see in the photos it looks like neither the buyer or seller is very serious about getting the place sold. I absolutely hate listing where people have SO much cr*p all over the place. Sometimes I stumble across listings and the person’s house looks more cluttered than the knick knack section at my local Goodwill. I can understand having to live in the place while it’s on the market but things you don’t use daily should be packed and stored.
    .-= Lauryn´s last blog ..Little Bit of Nature =-.

  9. says

    That’s hysterical! Especially a photo of the agent. It doesn’t get any better (or worse). The key word for this project is “editing”. (Ya think?)

  10. says

    LOVE it! I can always count on a good laugh from your MLS findings. And hey, I don’t blame the lady in the mirror; she’s probably just trying to get her face out there for more work. Ha!
    .-= Sheila´s last blog ..Wash vs. Warsh =-.

  11. Anna says

    This is simply unacceptable people depend on their agent to sell their homes and represent them to the fullest extent. As I was briefing through theses pics I thought wow this place must be full of hidden gems ( know as faults and repair), not only does it make the home look less appealing but it also shows how this agent carries her work professionally.

  12. Beth says

    Here in Massachusetts, photos like that aren’t that uncommon, even for houses around $1 million. We moved back here after living in Seattle, and the difference in the real estate listings is amazing. In Seattle, almost all houses over $600,000 are professionally photographed. In Mass, I’d guess just a small percentage of even the most expensive homes are professionally photographed. I’ve been seriously considering real estate photography as a career, but I don’t think anyone here will pay for it. Too bad–houses sell so much quicker, and for top dollar when staged and photographed by a pro.

  13. says

    I have to wonder if this agent did this on purpose. Maybe as revenge for the homeowners not cleaning up ANY of their stuff before she came to take pics? Or maybe she is selling her ex husband’s house or something. Either way, I can’t imagine she is seriously trying to sell this house. Sometimes I feel bad for the agents who have to deal with crazy people that won’t clean up or declutter….many agents earn their commission and then some dealing with the crazies!
    .-= Sara @ Russet Street Reno´s last blog ..LavenDon’t =-.

  14. says

    I seriously think I could do better….and I’m a poor photographer!
    Yep, I’d be looking for a new agent!
    .-= Pat´s last blog ..Say Cheese! =-.

  15. says

    so the realtor is crazy, for sure… but what person owns a 475,000 home & then decorates it like a dorm room?? tv on the floor, junk on all the counters? looks more like a frat house! maybe the realtor was trying to take some of the heat off the home decor being substandard! : )
    .-= rachel´s last blog ..ummm… tuesday thoughts =-.

  16. says

    That’s CRAZY! At first I wondered how you knew it was a woman real estate agent, until I saw the self portrait in the last picture. YIKES!!~! what a sloppy horrible mess.

  17. says

    but, after looking at those photos, I have to agree with the others that it reflects on the owner as well. I wouldn’t have my house look like that if I knew someone was coming with a camera.
    .-= annie´s last blog ..Impressive =-.

  18. says

    Another Realtor in Massachusetts chiming in….I DO ask the sellers to clean up and to let me help them stage it and they usually refuse to see the need. The claim is “if it’s good enough for us, it should be good enough for the buyer”. Aaaargghhh!! My pictures may not be professionally done, but they are certainly better than these!! Do not get me started 😉
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..PROGRESS =-.

  19. says

    Looking for real estate is exhausting. My husband and I once made an appointment to visit a listing with a broker. When we arrived the house was filthy, but to make matters worse, the inhabitants were still in bed! We were very embarrassed, yet they were completely at ease in the situation. The broker even mentioned that he showed the house once before when the owners were still in bed! Needless to say, we had no further interest in the property.

    Susan and Bentley
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Cheerful Red Touches in the Kitchen =-.

  20. says

    I would cancel the listing and get another broker! I took images of some of my works of art late one night w plenty of lighting etc. They were horrible and I started over next day w clear daylight, no flash and voila!!
    Art by Karena

    Julia I have a work up, come see and follow!

  21. says

    I’m sorry to say real estate agents in Mass have been sitting pretty without trying for so many years that I’m not at all surprised at the non-effort behind those photos. I would definitely be firing this lady asap! There will be a lot of former brokers soon, once they realize that real estate is not easy money, not anymore. With listings like this I can’t possibly imagine what she is grinning about in that last photo??
    .-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Becky Kelso =-.

  22. says

    This has got to be a joke. I’ve met cows with more common sense than that.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Duped =-.

  23. says

    Now, I know that I have super high expectations, but come ON – there is absolutely no excuse for that. Sing it, Mr. Trump…. “YOU’RE FIRED!” hehe
    xo Isa
    .-= Isa´s last blog ..Oh, GIve Me a Home…. =-.

  24. Nathan says

    I’m guessing the picture of the ceiling was to show that sloped part – why else would it be included (although, why would she post ANY of those pictures, lol).

  25. Kim says

    This lady has a nice camera, but yet she didn’t make an effort to take good pictures? I mean come on, even I could do a better job then that. If I were the homeowners, I would have made this real-tor take better pictures and if she still didn’t do a good enough job, then I would have fired her. Also the homeowners need to make an effort to make their house less messy.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have been looking at houses online and come across listings, where the pictures could have been better. I mean I have seen plenty of blurry pictures. Makes me want to take over and take much better job. I guess some people just don’t have that magic eye when it comes time to taking photos, like a lot of us on this site, which makes me wonder why these people ever became a real-tor in the first place. Sorry I just can’t stand it when I see a poorly done listing.

  26. says

    I love when they photo the family pets……why? do they come with the house? lol And Ive seen some where the houses were just full of stuff all over……come on, do you really think someone wants to see all that junk? I mean if these people are pack rats or slobs……then say the house needs work and you have to see it for yourself. Or another one……..they highlight a piece of art or furniture but it doesnt come with the house. Why bother?

  27. says

    Oh my gosh – that is crazy! It almost looks like she is laughing in the last picture. Maybe she knows how terrible the pics are! :)

  28. Kat in Texas says

    Oh, my stars! If that woman knew her stuff about real estate marketing, she would have told the owners to clean up the place before she arrived to take photos. And put the cat in a pet carrier and stash him in the laundry room. Horrible lighting, horrible photos. Next time, hire a professional! I’m surprised the broker for whom she works allowed her to post them. Unless, of course, she owns the firm. In that case, I wonder how many of her listings actually close?

  29. Kat in Texas says

    P.S., The last time I was house hunting, my agent and I walked into a home which was cluttered to the ceiling and dirty. One look at the teenage boy lying on the sofa watching TV and munching on Cheetos was enough for both of us. We turned and left.

  30. says

    I want to move my house to Massachusetts if that is the kind of money that house brings! My sister’s agent put horrible pictures up of their house, but made her do them over. She also listed the house for 3 times the price that they were asking. That was a typo, but wasn’t caught until after the house was listed in the MLS book. No wonder no one wanted to see the house. Once corrected info & pic, house sold in 2 days. Pictures can make a difference.
    .-= Beckie´s last blog ..Inherited From my Grandmother =-.

  31. says

    Wow, I especially like the deck. Looks like she captured ghosts. But the one of her with the camera? Priceless.
    .-= rh´s last blog ..DIY Linkorama =-.

  32. Suzette says

    Doesn’t look like the house was picked up too well before she came over! Maybe she was doing the sellers a favor by not photographing all their mess!

  33. says

    Wow, Julia, unbelievable! I was down on my knees making sure I had any dust from the corners on the floor before my realtor came to take pics of the B&B that we are selling.
    .-= Robin´s last blog .. =-.

  34. Ann says

    OMG, the horror! Moral of the story: Definitely check a realtor’s photos before hiring them.

  35. says

    Hi, I am a Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts going for my Brokers License. I do have to say that these pictures are horrible and do the home no justice at all.
    The broker in that office, should have picked up on these photos and let her know that these are unacceptable. She gives Real Estate Agents a bad name. Not all of us are like that, I give my sellers a list of things to do to improve their home, I offer adice in Staging and would not be afraid to tell them I cannot take pictures of certain things, and certain things will turn potential buyers away. These pictures will not sell that home. But, please just know that some of us are professionals in what we do and we love what we do.
    All I can think is maybe she is NEW and needs a mentor to help her
    And, NO these are not my pictures nor my listing
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..The Clock’s Ticking on Homebuyer Tax Credits =-.

  36. says

    Look at how the agent is smiling in the last photo. Is she doing this as a joke? I mean, really, what agent in their right mind would post these photos??? By the way, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!!! I took the quiz some time ago and I passed with flying colors!
    .-= Erin @ House Affairs´s last blog ..Getting My Feet Wet =-.

  37. says

    These are horrible! How do these agents stay in business? Seriously–how do they get hired!???

  38. Billy says

    Did the listing mention a tenant and require a lot of notice to show?
    The self portrait looks like someone not knowing that if you take a flash pic of a great view through a high E window, you get a pic of yourself.
    I wonder if the client is being insistent that that pix are taken and posted but not willing to clean up for them. Anyway to see the agents other listings.

    But is this any worse than $4,000k listings with pix from an iPhone?

  39. says

    Hi Julia
    I’m planning to do another post on Fig Tree Cottage, I have more photos of the beautiful garden, I’d love to do a link to your post you did a few months ago, I’ll have to go back and find it

    I loved this post you’ve done
    The photos are so very bad, I’m wondering if it was a ploy to get people’s attention – if so, I’d say it worked, I know if I was in the area, I’d want to view that property in person!

    love your blog ~ Gail
    .-= Gail McCormack´s last blog ..Fig Tree Cottage =-.

  40. Kathy :) says

    She’s either a new agent……or someone better check her purse for a flask (lol) !!!!

    Kathy :)

  41. says

    Wow…what were they thinking? I don’t think folks will exactly be rushing out to view that home.

  42. Leslie says

    Hi, I’m new here, but I’ve been enjoying your posts! I have to say those photos are really bad. What were they thinking?! I’ve been looking at a lot of real estate sites lately, and for a potential buyer it can be very frustrating if there aren’t sufficient photos to show what the houses look like. It’s like they’re either taking pictures of a corner of the room, so you can’t tell what room it is or what it looks like, or they’re too dark or blurry. I’ve even looked at some that promise 25 pictures, only to find out it’s 25 duplicates of the same photo, aaahhh!! Sorry for ranting, lol!

  43. says

    Wow, I am so excited about this website! My stager told me about it and it is so funny! I am an agent in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago and I know how important photos are, this is just unbelievable. That being said, it is a great laugh for me and reminds me that they way I do it is right and the best service I can provide my clients! :)

  44. says

    I love looking at MLS listings in my area. You can always find some that make you say “What were they thinking!!?!!? I love it!