MLS Photo Fail Conundrum – Should We Laugh At or Feel Empathy For The Listing Agent?

We routinely highlight some of the worst MLS photos around but recently an agent posted this comment on Really Bad MLS Photos. Kay stated:

“Some of these are indecent, but don’t “shoot the messenger” if the homeowner won’t prepare for photos or have good taste. If the kitchen is painted like a rainbow, what’s an agent to do? Neglect showing a kitchen photo?”

which promotes some questions; what can an agent do when a home is nowhere near ready to photo and market? Related but different: what should an agent do?

While it’s hard to defend some of the photos, should an agent spend time staging a home to make them more pleasing on the eye prior to taking the photo? In the context of this question ‘staging’ can mean something as simple as tidying up. For example, this photo would look a lot better sans the vacuum cleaner:


Should the agent have closed the doors, removed the cups and wiped down the surfaces prior to taking this photo?


And with the toilet seat down, trash can emptied and the towel removed this photo is 100% better:


But again, how much is too much when it comes to, at a minimum, tidying up?

While you ponder the questions take a look at this home which is listed on Zillow. What, if anything, could be done in this instance?

The agent is clear:

“Attention Investors, Needs complete rehab, cash only offers considered, will not qualify for financing. Extensive mold and hoarding, house conveys “as is” with all contents. Subject to Probate Court Approval.”

And here are the photos…what say you?