What’s Wrong with These Listing Photos?

HGTV never talks about listing photos.  After 26 minutes of semi-drama, buyers magically show up at Open Houses.

Truth is, listing photos are EVERYTHING, they will make or break a listing. Sellers and agents who can see things as buyers do have a huge advantage!  Can you spot what’s wrong with these photos?








No? OK, how about these? (Maybe this will help?) 








Do these make it any easier?














Alright, it’s a kinda-sorta trick question. 

These are listing photos of properties staged by The Refreshed Home. All were in contract for ask or over within 30 days. So, as is, nothing is wrong with any of them…for these sellers. 

But had their results not been so immediate….had any of these listings lingered for say a month or two, the exteriors would have been dated. Usually the first photos in a listing, NOTHING says telegraphs OLD LISTING faster than an out of season exterior!

Staging consults look at the entire property, inside and out. Living in the Northeast, we have a constant progression of seasons. My counsel is always to think seasonally forward, here are some tips and markers I share with clients: 

  • Fertilize lawns, edge gardens, fall clean up as late in season as possible, so when snow melts neat and green shows through
  • Yellow pansies Feb-March (they will live in snow).
  • Decorative grasses will take you through til late fall
  • Typical summer flowers fine for pics thru August. Mounds of impatience will not read as ‘Indian Summer’ in September
  • Mums, then marigolds after Labor Day
  • Backyard fire pits with white lights on the patio work from Memorial Day til the snow falls, IMO
  • Pumpkins, dried corn etc should disappear as Thanksgiving approaches.
  • Keep any Christmas decor subdued. If it’s one snowstorm after another, generic white lights on landscaping could work into early Feb if need be. 

If your landscaping is a big part of your property’s value, then start taking *the same photos* of the different seasons now.

Otherwise-yes, this is a challenging market, and spring arrived late this year. But if your photos show bare trees in July….brightly colored leaves in March…summer wildflowers in October you are telling buyers waaay more than they need to know. Update your exteriors now!!