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Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home: Bad Real Estate Photos

Construction on our custom, mountain dream home should finally be finished soon, after only a million years. Can you believe it? That said, you may be surprised to read my days of browsing Redfin and Realtor.com are anything but over. Listing photos are a fantastic resource for decorating ideas! Unlike Houzz, which features image after image of too-perfect-to-be-real (hint: they're usually not) pictures, real estate photos show you actual homes (just like yours!) with decorating ideas that are functional for real life.

As much as I love finding a Pinterest-worthy home on Redfin, my guilty pleasure is the bad listings. Like, yell at the computer, what-were-they-thinking bad listings.

Here is one for the record books. Just try to keep a straight face while browsing through these listing photos from a home in Holladay, UT. And remember, the photos you are about to see are all from the same house. The last one will blow your mind.


The listing price is on the bottom of this post. See if you can correctly guess the price by the time you get down there.

I can't figure out what's going on with that pink lamp in the corner, among other things. Is it touching the ceiling and the tabletop? Who or what fogged up the glass?

With "rustic bling" as my decorating style, the chandeliers and stone would actually be selling points for me. It's hard to overlook the orange, shaggy stairs though. My initial thought was that it couldn't possibly be that difficult to remove the carpeting, but look closer. Top, bottom, and sides; those steps are wrapped up tight.

It gets better though...

Carpeted shelves in mismatched colors. And how did stains get on the underside of that upper shelf?

Let's say this is somehow impossible to fix. "The shag carpeting on these shelves is crucial to the structural integrity of this house," you cry. "These are load-bearing shag shelves!" Fine.

But wouldn't the listing be better off without this photo? Mention the large walk-in closet in your description and let your potential buyers imagine they're better than they actually are. 

Out of everything going on in this photo, the counter is what really *calls* my attention.

For the longest time, I thought that was a mirror instead of a door. It's just the photo right...and not a crooked door?

If orange shag (at least, it used to be orange) and orange wallpaper are not your preferred color scheme, have no fear... 

...there's plenty of green goodness to go around!

Based on the rest of these listing photos, I'd say this room is the main selling point of this house. Considering we're not in the 70s, 80s, or 90s though, wouldn't it have been better to remove the window treatments? Showcase that enormous wall of windows!

Wood paneling could come back into style, I suppose. Do you think those bizarre window treatments are there because of the homeowner's strange taste or are they concealing an eyesore? There could be a cemetery or a nuclear power plant down there.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS HOUSE?!

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in real estate listing photos. Close the closet door when trying to sell your home.

Not that it really matters at this point.

This photo makes me giggle. Does that built-in TV have a knob? How do you reach it with the TV all the heck of the way up there?

Someone in this house really has a flair for style.

I appreciate the attempt at staging here, but can't help thinking the little bathroom friend made things worse.

I wasn't alive during the 70s. Can someone please tell me what that contraption is above the stove? My first guess was microwave, but I see one of those on the counter. And is it actually attached to the stove?

Crazy stairs!

And now, for the grand finale...

Are you ready? Once you see this, you can't unsee it.

Remember, all of the photos here are from the same, tragic 70s house...

OMG! Was this a 70s thing? I'm no expert, but I feel like this was never a thing, 70s or otherwise.

The best part? The asking price for this gem of a home is a mere 1.2 million dollars.

My parents have a house they're preparing to list. Over the past month, they've invested time and money to make it shine. They've done more to stage the entire home than has been done to even one room of this house. They're listing it as a rental. AS. A. CHEAP. RENTAL.

I have more hilariously bad real estate photos to share here. There are also some great examples of what you should do when photographing your house for sale here. Heck, visit that last link even if you don't have a house to sell. The photos are gorgeous!