Common Mistake Listing Agents Make

As you can imagine I have received many calls from agents who need photography for a just listed home. We go through the normal items of availability, price and delivery time, and then the agent will say something like “I listed the home with a couple of shots I took on my cell phone, but I want to get good photos as soon as I can…”.


This is is Joan. Joan listed her house with cell phone pictures. Don’t be like Joan.

I understand how it happens; a homeowner is in a hurry and wants it listed NOW. You don’t want to disappoint your new client, or worse – lose the client, so you take a few photos and list within 24 hrs. Some agents even have a temporary for sale sign in their trunk so that they are perceived as efficient and on top of the game. These tactics may work initially, you can indeed make an impression as an agent in command of the profession, but the rush to market is a huge mistake, and you aren’t doing your customer any favors when you do this. That impression changes when the house is on the market for months without selling!

Buyers agents however, get customers differently, they create a filter set to auto notify when a house meeting the buyers requirements comes on the market. This is very effective for serious buyers, they want to see homes immediately – before someone else grabs their perfect home. The old adage is “You only get one chance to make first impression”. The thing with old adages is that they become old because they are true and meaningful.

Because of this, it safe to say that the most important time to have you very best photos and write up is when the property is first listed. Those initial photos are going to put the property in front of buyers who have auto-searches set up for a house just like the one you are listing. The auto-searches do not notify those people when the good photos are added, you only have one shot to get it right, and many of you do not.

Another issue is with the many aggregator sites, like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc. These sites pick up the initial photos very well, but often do not respond quickly to photo changes after the home is listed. That fast cellphone photo you took of the front view may be on the internet long after you replaced the poor quality images with professional photos.

I can tell you from experience that great photos get the phone to ring and poor photos do not.

It is far easier to give the client what they want (immediate listing) rather than try to explain to them why they should wait a couple of days. But that is your job! If you let them know that there may be people looking for their exact house , and who will be notified within nanoseconds of the listing going live, then your client will want to wait and not miss out.

We all know to keep our car clean, to wear professional clothes, to be neatly groomed, and to speak professionally. We know that we must make a good first impression, but somehow this common knowledge is sometimes lost when it comes to marketing the home. I am sure that it is fear of losing the listing that drives this common mistake, but trust me, if you are confident and sure of your knowledge, you can easily convince any homeowner to wait for a couple of days and do it right. Fear of loss is one of the big motivations that lead to closing a deal. If you confidently convince the buyer that they may lose a sale by pulling the trigger too quickly, then the buyer will not only agree, but will want it that way!

So how long does it take to get professional listing photos? There are two parts to the answer, I can usually get out to take the photos within a couple of days – if the schedule is open, sometimes even on the same day. The second part of the question is how long does it take to deliver? In most cases the photos are delivered the same day as taken or early the next morning. I guarantee 48 hours after the actual photoshoot, but the actual time is generally much quicker.


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Mike Cartwright

Mike Cartwright

Mike Cartwright is the principal photographer and has many years of experience shooting mid-level and high end homes. His Father was also a Photographer, and Mike started shooting and developing while still in grade school. His photos are published, has won awards, and have contributed to the sales of many homes. When it comes to architectural photography, Mike is a seasoned pro who can get the right lighting and angles to make your project "pop"!

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