Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : MAYBE PICTURES DO MATTER?


Which home would you look at?


This courtyard welcomes you.  The plants are green and the sun is shining.  It is bright and full of life.  I want to take a look at this building...


Brrr.  I get a chill looking at this picture.  Is it a prison entrance?  It looks cold and uninviting.  If I am a buyer, I am probably not looking at this home...


I recently wrote a post that questioned the role pictures take in selling homes.  After looking at the above pictures, it is pretty clear I was wrong...

As you may have guessed, the above pictures are of the same building.  They are both active listings on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

As Realtors, we at least need to try and take nice pictures.  I don't believe we need to be professional photographers, but really, let's work a little harder...

Which home would look at?


To search for homes in Naperville and all of Chicagoland, go to my website anytime.



Comment balloon 24 commentsKen Tracy • May 30 2009 09:45AM


Ken, what a great comparison... it is pictures that matter, but in reality it is staging before the pictures are taken that matters... I'm just saying... :-)

Posted by Joanne O'Donnell (Chic Home Interiors) about 9 years ago

Wow what a difference! Were these photos also taken in different seasons?

Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) about 9 years ago

That picture is worth a thousand words what a difference they make . Thanks for the post that makes the point very clear

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( about 9 years ago

Ken - Good contrast shots. I always update my pics if they are shot from wintertime to the springtime shots. Hopefully my listings sell before I have to do that though. lol

Posted by Robert Hammerstein, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) about 9 years ago

Hi Joanne, Teresa, and Charlie.  Thanks so much for reading.

The pictures are clearly different seasons, but the realtor for picture number two should probably stop on by and take a nicer picture.  Even in the winter, pretty pictures can be taken on nice days...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 9 years ago

Hi Ken, you are right, plants and landscaping make all the difference in the world.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 9 years ago

Great example of the how much different pictures can look.  Depending on the day, time of day, and the seasons. 

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate about 9 years ago

Hi Mark, Gary, and Robert.  Thanks for stopping in.

I believe in taking lots of pictures.  That way I always can select the good ones.

I am surprised how many bad pictures are out there.

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 9 years ago

Hi Ken

A good photo is worth a thousand words, and sell real estate.

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 9 years ago

How true! Anyone who has worked with buyers knows that listings with poor photos (or none) get passed over completely sometimes.

Posted by Jon Budish (Resident Realty) about 9 years ago


Well, what do they always say....a picture is worth a thousand words.

I too have paid particular attention to exactly WHAT I'm putting in MLS to make sure I can make my listing have the best foot forward....(sometimes, it's difficult!) HA HA

Posted by Sheila Moran,, RE/MAX Access, 210-32 (RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels)) about 9 years ago

Hi Ken, yes pictures do make a huge difference in the way buyers feel about a house.  They are usually starting their search online and if they come across a listing which have poor pictures they might skip over their dream home.  Agents should update photos regularly especially when we have season changes.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by William "Bill" and Karen Farragher, SFR (EXIT Blue Water Realty, Matawan, NJ 07747) about 9 years ago

Hi Bill, Sheila, Jon and Lou.  Thanks for commenting.

Pictures get buyers in the door.  After that, the house sells itself.

But without good pictures, those buyers will never see the home...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 9 years ago

Photo presentation is the "attractor", initially.    Has to be realistic, though.   I've seen clients become angry, when holding photos printed from the internet, on another realtor's listing, and there's no comparison to what's actually "in place".   

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) about 9 years ago

Ken - It's the old saying: "You never get a second chance at making a good first impression".

Posted by Palm Springs Realtor Stewart Penn, Bennion Deville Homes - Broker Associate (Bennion Deville Homes) about 9 years ago

Ken, With most everything starting on the internet, the curb appeal of a property has to pop to get people interested. In this case, the curb appeal of the photo. Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Hi Ken, Often the pictures on MLS make a property look much more appealing than it looks in person and that is disappointing.  But good pictures are necessary to create interest.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) about 9 years ago

Presentation is everthing. 

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Keller Williams Realty) about 9 years ago

Hi Tim, Shirley, Richard, and Sea...Thanks for reading.

I have definitely had pictures that look nicer than the real thing.  Not sure what to do about that????

Oh well, I just go on trying to take nice pictures.

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 9 years ago


I have always felt that the better the photos are the better chance you have of getting a showing and a possible contract.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) about 9 years ago

Hi Ken!
Even though I know it is the same building, it is hard to believe!  Does one side have a different person taking care of it than the other side?  Huge difference!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 9 years ago

Pictures tell a thousand stories. Of course pictures matter.

Posted by Nannette Hilliard, CDPE, ABR, CRS (Century 21 Zwygart Green County Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Hi Nannette, Paula, and Don.  Thanks all for stopping in.

It was interesting.  I know they don't "sell" the home, but they put you in play...

Thanks again guys!


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 9 years ago

Ken - pictures do in fact matter, and you have illustrated that well here. Thanks for a nice post.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate (Arbor Real Estate) about 9 years ago

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