6 “What Were They Thinking?” Real Estate Photos

by hookedonhouses on September 14, 2012

1. “I might have gotten your kids in a few of the photos I took for your listing, but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to blur out their faces.”

2. Wonder if he’s playing dead, waiting to spring on hapless house hunters…?

3. If there’s going to be an animal hanging overhead, I’ll take the teddy bear.

4. Nothing sells a house like a bed in front of a fireplace and a young mother juggling baby bottles and cigarettes.

5. What better way to show your love of Pinot Noir than by painting a giant bottle on a pillar?

6. “Never shoulda believed that agent when he promised to blur out my face…”

Thanks to the readers who submitted these: Corinne, Patti, Andy, Tammy, Barbara, and Allyson. If you spot something unusual in the real estate listings, send it to me!

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shawna September 14, 2012 at 8:03 am

So funny! I would go for number 4! It looks like it could be a craftsman with good bones unfortunately filled with slobby tenants. I’d hope for a bargain price because I’m one of those people with imagination who doesn’t need a house staged for me.

House Crazy Sarah September 14, 2012 at 8:05 am

WTH are these people (real estate agents) thinking!?!!? It never ceases to amaze…
And that possum thing hanging from the antler chandelier? Who does stuff like that? That’s truly HIDEOUS!
It should be a hard and fast rule for Realtors to NEVER have humans in listing photos! Pets are okay – as long as they are ALIVE!

Gloria September 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Pets could be a real turn off for many of us. If there is carpet, there is probably damage to the floors underneath. Just based on years of experience. Pets and people should not show up in pictures, IMO.

Lauren Perreault December 17, 2012 at 2:49 am

I’m a REALTOR in Manhattan Beach, California and our MLS rules do prohibit having people or animals in the pics. Now if only I could convince my fellow agents that leaving the toilet seats up and driving slowly by while taking pictures with their iphone isn’t the best multi level marketing plan LOL.

Cindy September 14, 2012 at 8:08 am

This made my day! Special honors to the cigarette/baby bottle photo.

Rebecca | MidcenturyModernRemodel September 14, 2012 at 8:17 am

Absolutely. Special honors. A tough to capture moment.

Alex @ Revedecor September 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

Corect! I don’t think this would crossed my mind.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com September 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I’m sorry, but I disagree. I LOVE pets, but I don’t think they should be in real estate pictures. That can push some people away to see the house.

Real estate pictures should display a “spotless” and uncluttered house. You can be realistic with what you have, but making sure it looks good and clean.

Have a great weekend.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints September 14, 2012 at 8:16 am

the one with the teddy bear on the bed was too funny. seriously hilarious!

Rebecca | MidcenturyModernRemodel September 14, 2012 at 8:16 am

Hard to pick. I have to pick #1 for the scary ghost kids. I didn’t get it until I read your comment. Then I looked back and gave a little start. WEIRD.

Megan September 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

When you think about it, it’s pretty darn dumb to blur out their faces by that point. People who saw the picture in the listing already knew the street address – and probably also saw the interior – so blurring out their faces doesn’t really do any good.

It would have been better to just leave the faces intact, and let a prospective buyer picture themselves playing in the spacious front yard. It’s not the best picture composition, but it’s better than blurring out faces!

Pat September 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

Love these pictures! It’s hard to choose a winner, but I’m going with the fireplace bed/cigarette baby bottle pic!

Mopsy September 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

I’d like to see the rest of the Pinot Noir room. The trompe l’oiel bridge on the wall behind the pillar leads me to believe there’s more of that in this house. I can only imagine!

Mopsy September 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

AND I’d like to know what the red juice in the baby bottle is.

Mopsy September 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

Or maybe I don’t want to know.

hookedonhouses September 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

Yeah, probably not, huh?

hookedonhouses September 14, 2012 at 10:51 am

Wish I could find that listing again. It’s been a long time so it’s probably off the market now. It was a large penthouse apartment with great views, as I recall, but this giant bottle of Pinot stopped me in my tracks. Ha.

Miss Charming September 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

I laughed out loud at these photos. (I guess the dead opossum hanging upside down from the antler chandelier is supposed to be a selling point.)

65andcounting September 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

I’m going with number three, not because of the animals hanging off the bed posts, but because the bed is GIGANTIC! Could it be any worse proportion to the room?

cbean September 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

That’s what caught my eye, too…that monstrocity of a bed! LOL

Dean September 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

What motivates people to take these kinds of ridiculous pictures? And am I correct: Is that a turkey nailed to the wall near the possum hanging from the antlers??? The mind boggles…

Mark September 14, 2012 at 10:15 am

How tall is the man in number #6???? OR…how low are those cabinets???? Top of my cabinets are at seven feet….hummmm?….may consider…….getting tired of getting that casserole dish down for my wife all the time……easier to dust too……(hehe)
Thanks Julia for sharing!!! :)

hookedonhouses September 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

Ha. Yeah, that perspective really doesn’t do the kitchen justice at all, does it?

All of the photos in that listing had people in them and Christmas decorations. It looked like they were having a big party when they were taken. Every photo focused on the people instead of the house. So bizarre.

Shannon September 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

Yes, flying stuffed turkey stapled to the wall. So pretty.

Lauren Perreault December 17, 2012 at 2:51 am

have to remember that when I next stage a house….or not.

Jocelyn Pascall September 14, 2012 at 10:41 am

Hahahaha! I love when you do these. So funny.

Janet September 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

Too funny but question on number 4…..is that an animal under the bed looking out??

Shannon September 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

It’s that same possum.

hookedonhouses September 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

Oh, my gosh, I hadn’t noticed that. I think it is!

Laura September 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

Please tell me these are for sale by owner.

Jessica September 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm

For #2, I would like to know how they turn that AC on and off. Maybe they pull out a ladder every time. These just freak me out and then I laugh :)

cbean September 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

The gentleman in picture # 6 does not look too happy at the prospect of moving. (:

Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies September 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Ha! I have no idea how I landed on your site, but I am glad that I did. =) The houses we looked at didn’t tend to have pictures – more like comments that turned out to be complete understatements. “Mild fire damage” = roof looks like an airplane engine went through it!

hookedonhouses September 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Oh, wow, that’s pretty bad (but funny)!

Stephanie Durdan September 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Too funny!!! That possum reminds me of that commercial where the dad gets his kids a possum for a pet. They ask him what’s wrong with it, and he says it’s just playing dead, then it sits up and hisses at them. I LOVE that commercial.

Love these pictures, too!

Tracie September 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I just love these! Proof positive that people are “different”(i.e. WEIRD!)

john in nc September 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm

i bought a teacup on ebay- the pic was of the teacup sitting on a dirty mattress with someone’s ugly uncut toe in the side of the pic- teacup was lovely tho i have never drunk out of it and probably never will

hookedonhouses September 15, 2012 at 8:05 am

Oh, my. That must have been a pretty great teacup if you bought it anyway! Not sure I’d be drinking out of it, either. Ha.

Shabby Chick September 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Ewwwwwww. Seriously? Are teacups really that hard to come by?

Kim September 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm

All of these pictures are terrible, and I don’t understand how any one could think that they are good.

Jane September 15, 2012 at 7:58 am

What a fun start to my day! The baby bottle cigarette girl pic is my favourite!

Barb @ The Everyday Home September 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

As a real estate agent myself, I am just appalled at these pics, and at the laziness of these agents. Cause trust me, that is really what it is. Laziness. Unreal.

That aside, I really laughed b/c it reminds me of some of the homes I have been asked to sell. I have actually had to pick up bras and underwear off the floor to take pics. :)

Maria September 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm

That opossum one is scary! I don’t think it’s dead. I think it crawled in there because there is a hole in the roof opposite that unfinished plywood wall with the snake shaped poop stain on it.

Shabby Chick September 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm

UGH. Honestly, I don’t know how much more of this I can take, Julia. I mean, just when you think real estate listings can’t possibly get any worse, you prove us wrong. Again! There should be a lot fewer agents in the world, that is all I can say.

Kim @ Everything Etsy September 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

This post had me practically falling out of my chair…very funny stuff! The girl with the baby bottle was really too much!


Christina from Dallas September 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

I hope these are for sale by owner, otherwise these real estate agents need to be fired.! Is it really too much trouble to ask the people to step aside while you take the picture.
That lady with the cigarette and the baby bottle is priceless! Let’s vote her mother of the year! LOL

Sara @ Russet Street Reno September 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

Oh wow, these are unbelievable. Kind of like the ‘people of walmart’ photos for houses instead. It amazes me what people think is ok.

Judy Jennings September 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Sad that you can’t walk out A DOOR onto that upper balcony in that first photo.

Tanya September 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Is it just me or does the guy in the last picture look like a fat version of Peirce Brosnan?!

Nita September 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Maybe the real estate people are just trying to get back at sellers who leave all their dirty clothes for open houses or who tell the realtor it’s okay to bring someone over and then go into the bedroom and start having sex to surprise the realtor and the possible buyer when they show up! And yes, that happened to a realtor I know.

Cindy September 16, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Sometimes you just don’t want your new house to remind you of what used to live there. Be careful with those pictures, please, especially if you want a sale.

Jess September 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm


how2home September 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

These are terrible real estate photos! Hilarious though!

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) September 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

These are too funny, Julia! Does make you wonder what the agents are thinking.

Lauren Perreault December 17, 2012 at 2:53 am

too often they aren’t! I saw a listing the other day that had window “pains” with custom “shudders”. Guess the house didn’t like that agent either.

hookedonhouses December 17, 2012 at 7:09 am


c September 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I think that bed is about 100times too big for that room!

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