House Listings: Tips for Effective Photographs

By: Samantha Holt, Cook & James


Only use accurate and high-quality photos for your house listings. Sounds like a ‘no-brainer’, right? After being on my own home searching journey, I noticed continuous inaccuracies with pictures in home listings that led me to believe cropping, retouching, and low quality images may be more common than I thought.

One house listing showcased gorgeous photos of the interior. While viewing the house, I realized some of the photographs were from a completely different house! I wasted 15 minutes walking around the home with my phone out trying to find the room that matched the photo only to realize it was a photo of a completely different house. Another listing had old appliances in the listing’s photos and didn’t mention new appliances in the house’s description; however, the kitchen had been newly renovated when I viewed the home. By not posting up-to-date and accurate photos, the agents listing these homes filtered out potential buyers.  


When it comes to showcasing a home, you have to start on the Internet. Here are tips for making the most out of the photos on your house listings:

  • Ensure good lighting in all photos. When taking photos for a listing, use natural lighting to your advantage. Open window blinds and choose well-illuminated angles. For rooms without natural lighting, turn on the lights in the house and experiment with taking pictures with the flash on.

  • Use up-to-date photos. Photos can make or break a buyer’s decision to view a home. Make sure your photos are recent and include any interior updates such as new appliances and light fixtures.

  • Take photos featuring the home’s best qualities. Mentioning a cute breakfast nook or spacious yard in the description only goes so far. Most of the home qualities you mention in the description should be photographed. For example, if you mention a home’s vaulted ceilings, then make sure you take photos of the rooms with vaulted ceilings that are angled to include the vaulted ceilings in the shot.

  • Don’t alter photographs. Altering photos to make the home look better than its actual condition is deceptive and can get you into trouble in the industry. So just don’t do it.

  • Use a wide variety of shots. Don’t leave potential home buyers wondering about the rest of the home. Why show just one bedroom when you can show all of them? When you have more photos of the house, your potential buyers have a better understanding of what the house looks like. Put yourself in the shoes of buyers--would you rather look at a home with 30 photos of the house on the listing page or a home with only 5 photos of the house on the listing page?


Homes with few and low-quality photos raise red flags for buyers and make them wonder, “what is the seller trying to hide?”. When it comes to home listings, put yourself in the shoes of your buyers. Would these photos convince you to buy the house? Is seeing the master bathroom important? Should you photograph the front of the house? The backyard? Yes, these are all very important to photograph! Nowadays, buyers want to see as much as possible before they take the time to view the home in-person.

Have questions about improving your photography skills? Let us know! The Cook and James Growth team is here to consult with you on all of your design and marketing needs.