Bad MLS Photos – Why can’t my house sell?


bad mls photo - dirty toiletEver come across a photo of a house that’s for sale and wonder, what were they thinking? Here’s a collection of bad MLS photos from a variety of websites and listing services across the country.

Maybe I’m wrong…Feel free to write your own photo captions in the comments and rank them on a scale of 1 to 5.
1 = It’s actually a good photo
2 = Not that bad
3 = I’ve seen worse
4 = Really bad
5 = Horrible, what were they thinking?

If you find a bad MLS photo, let me know and it may be featured on this blog in the future. Email your name and a link to If you know the city where the listing is located and/or the MLS number, please include it.

bad mls photo - Elvis

He’s alive (and selling real estate?). Who thought this would be a good idea? On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?




bad mls photo - cemetery in yardWhat? Is that what I think it is? Note to self: Remove tomb stones before taking photos. Although, I can’t really blame the agent on this one. On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?


bad mls photo - dead animalsPoor Bambi. Whether you’re a hunter or an animal lover, who can focus on the room? On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?


bad mls photo - toilet

Do you really think a toilet is going to help sell the home? Check out the half empty roll of toilet paper on the counter and the bag on the floor among other things. On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?








bad mls photo - creepy statueThis guy fell asleep waiting for buyers to come look at the home. Creepy statues throughout the home aren’t the best selling features. On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?


bad mls photo - christmas lights in dining room Hmmm. Where do I even begin? I’m not sure what’s throwing off the balance of the photo. Is it the dated/crooked photos on top of the mirror wall? The fan in the corner? No, wait, maybe it’s the Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?


bad mls photo - spacious bedroomSpacious bedroom? Maybe they should have went with different verbage, or, I know, how about a different angle. On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?


bad mls photo - reflection & bed









    I guess neither the seller (on the bed) or listing agent (taking the photo) noticed their reflection in the mirror. On a scale of 1 to 5, where does this photo rate?


Source for some photos: Orlando Real Estate Photography, Lovely Listing, Zillow

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25 Responses to “Bad MLS Photos – Why can’t my house sell?”

  1. Mark Broyles Says:

    These are great Tisha! And, to go along with them, you can find some great comments. Like “No showings during the day. owner motivated!” We should have a bad photo, most outrageous comments contest!

  2. Becky Lancaster Says:

    I am always amazed at how many pics I see with the toilet seat up!
    Garbage under the bed, kitchen counters so stuffed with items you cannot see the counter. It’s all about taking control with your sellers from the beginning and making sure your listing looks ready to sell !! These were great examples!!!

  3. Lloyd Carver, Loan Officer Says:

    My wife creates the financing flyers for my agents and her pet peeve is blurry photos along with lack of a good selection to choose from. Of course the Elvis photo would have been front and center of that listing’s flyer.

  4. jeff claeson Says:

    LOL. Well at least the toilet bowl just had water in it.

    • Tisha Gay Says:

      I know. I debated on including the “other” photos, but then decided against it. An entire blog entry could be devoted to bad bathroom/toilet pics.

  5. Arthur Harris Says:

    These photos are pretty poor, but I have seen a lot worse.

  6. Pat Viohl Says:

    Where do I start? Obviously these are real, because you simply can’t make this stuff up! I really don’t know which is worse – Elvis or the guy who looks like a cadaver!

    On a serious note, agents need to develop the ability to step back and look at pictures from a buyer’s perspective, and ask themselves, “would I want to see this home, based on this picture?”

  7. Laurie Bos Says:

    These were pretty bad! Although I had another agent call FMLS to take down photos of a listing he saw. There was a 10-12 year old girl fully clothed but in “sexy” inappropriate poses in all of the rooms! Creepy!

  8. Yvonne Thomas-Brooks Says:

    And how about poor lighting or fuzzy pictures? It amazes me how many pictures I see that could have had potential with the correct lighting or with the proper lens use…
    With digital photography there should not be an excuse. Some of us remember having only 24 shots to get the best pictures (am I showing my age?). LOL!

  9. Esther Drouault Says:

    I hate to see Christmas Decorations in July, snow on the ground and trees with no leaves in May. Agents need to remember and update pictures with the seasons!! Our listings are on the market longer and need to be ‘refreshed’!

  10. Anne Langley Says:

    I don’t know which is worse photos like these or none at all. It is sad to say if we look on FMLS right now we may see some of these.

  11. Evangeline Carr Says:

    Thanks so much for the entertainment! Made my day! Can this be a regular feature, please?

    • Tisha Gay Says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I plan on making this a regular feature. Stay tuned because I’ve already found a lot more bad MLS photos.

      Forward a link to this blog entry to all of your fellow agents and ask them to submit any bad MLS photos they find to with their name as well as a link or city and MLS# for the house and they may be featured on the blog.

  12. Judy Jones Says:

    Remember, these are the BEST features of these homes. Imagine what the appraiser sees when they go out to ensure that the home is worth the sale price and worth the risk to the lender who is fronting the money!

    • Charlene Says:

      Well, that’s the point: often they AREN’T the best features of these homes, which means that the appraiser never gets to see them – because buyers don’t even bother to look.

  13. Dennis Doll Says:

    Unbelieveable but TRUE! Where are some agents heads? Show the house in a positive way! If you are willing to list a property, be willing to tell the seller to remove objectionable items and in any case DO NOT include them in your pictures.

    Thanks Tisha for the great article.

    ps:…Another pet peeve of mine is searching for a single story ranch only to get to the house and discover it is a split foyer!

  14. Isabel Unguras Says:

    In addition to real estate, I’m a graphic designer and professional photographer. I think we need to be realistic. I know it’s hard to have the same feelings as other people (they love what they have), so I think the best way is to take lots of pictures and select the good ones and work together with the seller. Also, be professional when you take the picture. It’s our job. In mexico, we say “make coco wash” (talk nice to make them change some ideas).

    • tylerbrenner Says:

      Good point, Isabel! You HAVE to tell these people to move certain items (like a multitude of Deer heads) to stage the home before taking photos. Don’t be afraid to tell your client “that just won’t look good in the listing photos”.

      Also, don’t be afraid to move some things yourself. For instance, how easy would it have been for the agent to close the toilet in the above bathroom pic? I mean, come on!

      You’re right, some people ARE sensitive, but an agent’s job is to help their client sell the home as fast as possible for as much gain as possible. In that respect, these pics just won’t cut it.

  15. Sandra Rodrick Says:

    Thanks for this week’s best laugh. The really sad part is that you don’t have to look that long and hard to find them! Can’t wait for the next batch. Hope you don’t find anything like this locally and even closer to home on our website! It sure makes you wonder what makes people think, certain things are attrative or stylish. Of course, these are some of the same people I’ve seen dress for business appointments and I still wonder! Better stop here before I find myself caught in my own trap!

  16. Jeanette Nolan Says:

    The Statue of the old guy playing the piano reminds me of a model home in a communtity I was selling. The builders’ wife(of course) was the decorator and she insisted on having a player piano with a manniquin sitting on the piano bench-we were suppose to turn it on everytime someone came in – it freaked me out-something about it reminded me of a funeral home-maybe the casket shaped piano?

  17. Wanda Guyton Says:

    Now this article was right on point! This should really make some agents take their listings (photos) seriously. Keep up the great work!

  18. Bad MLS Photos – Why can’t this listing sell? « Metro Brokers Blog Says:

    […] More bad mls photos – 1st entry Source for some photos: Orlando Real Estate Photography, Capri Wilbanks […]

  19. Maura Bordon Says:

    I think I first came across your blog via a link on Twitter.. I truly like the stuff I have read on your site and plan to keep reading when I find more time. Do you have a Twitter account?

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