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3katz4me

How many real estate listing photos?

last month

We are listing our lake house in the next week and I'm going through the photos, deciding what photos I want in what order. Having looked at thousands of listings I think I have a better idea what looks appealing than many realtors do. Some listings have way too many in my opinion and too many of the same thing. So I have thirty-one. This is for a 3500 sq ft house with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, three living areas on three floors with the main floor being a great room type thing. I have eight exterior photos including one drone shot that shows the house in complete wooded privacy along with a couple of nice photos of the wooded landscape and marshy lakeshore. Marshy lakeshore is not a selling feature so I have only one photo that gives a scenic idea of what they're getting but no reason to include any more of the lake. There's a photo of every bedroom and bathroom (in some cases two if all the features didn't show in one) and two photos of most of the rest of the rooms. I didn't include photos of the furnace/utility room or the great attic storage or the inside of any of the garages though I notice some listings do show this stuff. The storage space will be mentioned in the listing. So what is your opinion on listing photos - number or any other thoughts.

Comments (29)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I don't think 31 is too many. I also don't think a listing really needs to show every feature. While you must have at least one photo of front and back, K , LR, DR, MBA and MBR, after that I would only include pictures if they look particularly nice. In other words, take a glamour shot of say, the bathroom, but then I don't think you need one from another angle to demonstrate each fixture in the bathroom. YMMV, but I think of it as a marketing piece, not a documentary.


    ETA --- is there a dock, or a small swimming beach on .your property or in the community? I'd show those things. Good luck!

  • last month

    I really like it when there is a schematic of the floorplan included, and find myself clicking back and forth between that and photos I am studying. It sounds like you've been really thoughtful about your photo selection, which is clearly not always the case, so I bet you have a terrific collection for prospective buyers.

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  • last month

    Oh yes, it is the norm in our market to have professional up to date floorplans, was just assuming that

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Yeah, I love it when there’s a floorplan. The realtor’s photographer has created one but it’s not quite right. Presumably it can be corrected and if so I’ll have it included. It’s not all that common around here. It’s the kind of place where a floorplan would be helpful. I have one picture of the lake/dock from a distance but trust me when I say it’s better not to have photos of a non-beachy waterfront.


  • last month

    So pretty! I think I remember that photo --- you put all that mulch down yourself ...during COVID? I may be imagining that whole story.

  • last month

    Great memory Mtn - about 75 bags of mulch a couple years ago. Hopefully it still looks okay as I don’t intend to do that again.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Pretty trail.

    If I was shopping from afar I would want to see a photo of the whole lake. (A picture that shows the size.)

    Good luck.

  • last month

    Do you have a pretty view when sitting on your deck? I'm assumingng you have a deck or screened porch?

    With this home, I don’t think 31 pictures are too many.

  • last month

    Forgot to add - re you using your own photos for the listing, or just to show the photographer the shots you want. IMHO professional photography is a must. Your realtor can advise.

  • last month

    I know that you won't do this but I want to add one of my pet peeves is when there is an "artsy" closeup photo of some random decor. Why?

    Fingers crossed for a quick and painless sale!

  • last month

    I kind of disagree, and here is why. A slideshow of rooms, basically, with every photo from the same distance, is boring. The problem is identifying something worthy of a close up to get that variety in. It needs to be a permanent feature of the home and worthy of a close-up. It's not easy to do that right.


    Remember you are marketing. That is emotional. Think about spreads in decor mags; it is not a series of images from the same distance.

  • last month

    "Professional photography" necessary??? Maybe this is a regional thing? I've never ever never ever heard of this and certainly know no one who bothers. In this market particularly!! Most realtors bring their phone, snap pics and post them. A lake home will sell w/o photos so the idea you NEED to pay a photographer is foreign to me. As to the posters question 30 for sure too many. One pic per main room and one of the front and back out side elevatioins, DONE. It's not numbers is over kill if there are different angle pics of the same room. People need an idea not a walk through. These are to entice someone to come!!

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I'm not using my own photos. I have the photos from the photographer though I will say I have a couple that I want to use because she doesn't have the same shot. I've put them all together to see if mine look noticeably different from the professional photos and I don't think they do. The view from the deck is pretty much the same as the photo above. Its not common to have a photo to show the size of the lake. A photo doesn't really tell you if it's 500 or 1000 acres. That info is included in the listing details. In any case I will review my photo plan with the realtor to get her opinion as well.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I totally agree that the point of photos is to "entice," not to detail a crime scene.

    "Professional photography" necessary??? Maybe this is a regional thing? I've never ever never ever heard of this and certainly know no one who bothers.

    Maybe this is a regional thing?

    Clearly, as in , your region must be an exception


    Dee, agreed.

  • last month

    "People need an idea not a walk through. These are to entice someone to come!!"


    I disagree with this statement. Especially when talking about a lake house where people might be traveling a good distance to see the house. Our realtor used professional photography + 3D walkthrough imaging when we sold our rural lake house. The eventual buyers lived over 2 hours away and said the walkthrough really helped them decide to come see the house. We had 53 pictures of our 2500 sf home. The realtor did include drone shots of the 1/2 acre property and the lake as well as pictures of the community ammenities(lake front beach, tennis courts, etc).


    When we were looking for our new house, I appreciated the 3D walkthroughs as well... even though we lived within 10 minutes of most of the homes we toured.

  • last month

    I love the 3D walkthroughs but think it's a nice to have, not a necessity even for a long distance purchase. I bought a home 1300 miles away and I could tell if I wanted to fly there to take a look from the photos, listing details and google maps. The one I bought even had inadequate photos and my realtor had to go there to take some more to show the things I wanted to know about that weren't photographed.

  • last month

    Your thoughts on the photos are right on. I agree with the advice to include the floor plan; I always look for one and appreciate it when it is included. Completely unnecessary are photos of the local shopping center, supermarket, and banks. IMO. The long view to the lake is very pretty. I recall you laying all that mulch and being very impressed. Good luck with the sale.

  • last month

    As a buyer, I'd like as much info. as possible.


    As a seller, I think walk-throughs tend to look unprofessional and sort of, for lack of a better term, "break the mood." This isn't a Merchant Ivory film, and every house has awkward and/or plain old dull areas. If you were on a dating site, would you curate the best, most flattering pictures of yourself that tell enough of the story, or would you want to include the results of your last physical and dental xrays? 🤣


    Of course, all of this is subjective because we never get a control house to learn what actually works! I am sure you will do well.

  • last month

    I can't wait to see if my realtor thinks I'm a royal PITA - kind of like when I take an "active" role with my healthcare providers. I think she'll be okay. I'm polite in my approach to this kind of thing.

  • last month

    I love 3D walkthroughs because I have a hard time imagining how spaces flow together. It’s unusual here to have a floor plan and most houses are multi-story which makes it even harder for me to understand the flow.


    While I understand @mtnrdredux-gw‘s point about mood setting, I also find artsy photos of a cookbook or flowing water from a faucet unnecessary and unwanted. Maybe we have been brainwashed, but it is normal practice here to use professional photographers for listing pictures and to stage houses for sale when they are at or exceed a certain price level.


    Drone shots are great, but I always look up addresses on Google Earth to see the surroundings. I want to know how close commercial areas and busy roads are to the house, but I don’t expect the seller to provide that information.


    @3katz4me, I am very involved, too, when I sell a property to the point that I edit the listing verbiage and the order the pictures are listed. I’ve worked with my realtor for over 20 years, so she knows what to expect. I guess it doesn’t bother her too much since she’s never fired me as a client. Good luck on your sale.

  • last month

    I also find artsy photos of a cookbook or flowing water from a faucet unnecessary and unwanted.


    Agree. It takes some skill to find pictures that make the home desirable, vary the viewpoints and scale/scope, and are relevant.

  • last month

    In the last ~10 years I've sold 2 homes and bought 2 others....and I also love to look at listings online and do so every day.


    My experience as both a buyer and seller - and interested bystander - is that well done photos are always a plus. How can they not be? Some realtors do a fine job, others have apparently no skills or interest in showcasing a home properly. (Why I don't know, it would seem like it should be important to them. But I've seen photos that a real estate agent voluntarily put up online for all the world to see that were appalling...so....)


    I'm also friends with a professional photographer so have a bias in that direction. However the photos she does of homes are beautiful. They're never stretched out or deliberately altered - she knows how to make photos look nice, good color, good composition, etc. - and yet they're still real, if that makes any sense at all.


    In terms of how many, it sounds like yours is a larger home so I think ~31 is reasonable. Sometimes I do think less is more...I don't need to see 4 shots of a standard sized secondary bedroom with a window and a closet and no other defining features. :) I'm seeing some listings online now that put up 100 photos and that's just too much IMO. Leave some mystery! LOL.

  • last month

    I think you’re on the right track, 3katz. I pretty much agree with what you’ve said, and with what Ally De and Mtn wrote. For the most part, when looking at secondary bedrooms, most people just want to see that there is a certain size bed in there, a closet, and still room to move around.

    For the past couple of years, many decent houses around here have been sold to people who never did a walk-through of the house at all. I cannot imagine doing that unless the house was new, but it’s been real estate craziness here.

  • last month

    Try looking at the pictures or ask someone you know and trust to look at the pictures from a buyers view. On this forum we like looking at houses, but that is not the real purpose for a listing. You want to show the best things about the house, the things that made you purchase the house. You want to avoid showing anything that may make a buyer decide not to bother seeing the house. More isn't always better.



  • last month

    @Jennifer Hogan - Yeah, I've looked at them from a buyer's point of view and have included those that show what's most appealing about the property and excluded those would deter buyers from wanting to take a look. I know more is not better as I alluded to in my initial post. I've sent my selections to my realtor for another opinion.

  • last month

    Night shots....at dusk...are popular. How is the place lit up? Professional photography is popular HERE too.

  • last month

    It seems that you have a good number of photos covering the most important aspects of the house. If you do not include a walk-through and buyers are interested they can have their realtor do a Facetime walk-through with them. This is how we bought our vacation house, homes were selling immediately and we could not get there as quickly as needed, we made an offer after our Facebook tour.

  • last month

    @nicole___ this place is in a more rural area, in the deep woods on a lake - it's not really lit up so night photos aren't very popular here. Met with the realtor today and she had no problem with my choice of photos, or any of my other feedback, and astutely suggested that maybe I wanted to be involved in writing the verbiage for the listing. So I gave her my input, she will write it and I will review/edit. Coming soon is popular around here so it will be coming soon in a week and listing will go live a few days after that. I've gotten several professional opinions on the listing price, which seems high to me, but we will go with that to start as DH is in agreement with it. However we won't dawdle to reduce the price if needed depending on feedback. We have four months to get this done before we head south again. Step one - get it sold. Step two - get rid of everything that's still left here. Should be interesting.....