Rae Hoffman, Real estate agent serving the Katy area (Roots & Wings Realty Group / Walzel)

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Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

I'm a photographer. I studied photography in college.  I used to hire pros to do mine and realized that mine were as good or better. I have all of the equipment to do a first-class job, and my photographs are the one thing I'm regularly complimented on. One recent sale was made by a kitchen photo. I might be an anomaly. 

Jul 01, 2018 06:22 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

They are cheap and lazy! And the next question is why do their seller clients accept these sub-standard photos?

Jul 01, 2018 04:54 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Not all Realtors are bad photographers.  And, I see many professional photos that look good, but don't highlight what buyers want to see.

Jul 01, 2018 05:21 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Not all "professional" photos are satisfactory and not all photos taken by agents themselves are bad. I see examples of both plenty of times. 

Jul 01, 2018 05:42 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I have some agent friends who are absolutely fabulous at photography. I'm not one of them. And it depends on the property. I have become very fond of aerial drone photography for the exteriors of my commercial properties and land parcels. But I'm not going to bash agents who take their own pictures if they're adequate at it. Not everything requires it.

Jul 01, 2018 05:32 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

The same reason they do not return phone calls, write terriable offers, do not provide room sizes in mls, etc etc etc

Jul 01, 2018 05:57 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Many do not see the value in a professional photographer. Penny wise pound foolish. Rae Dolan 

Jul 01, 2018 04:54 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

It all depends on the property and price point.   While every seller deserves professional representation that does not always include professional photos.

Jul 01, 2018 04:53 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Maybe some agents take good photos. Maybe the seller decided on a different commission scheduled based on whether or not professional photography is included. Maybe the price points in a particular area result in commissions below $1000-2000 (before tax is taken out) and an agent does not want to spend a sizable portion of their commission on photos. Maybe the seller insists that the agent use their photos. Maybe..... 

The point is, there could be a lot of reasons. I do see listings and I cringe and say to myself, what in the world were they thinking? Dark photos, rooms full of junk, open toilet seats, etc. But my focus is on my business. If other agents put up listings with crummy photos, that reflects on them. It makes my listings look better.

Jul 01, 2018 06:15 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Gee, they think their photos are great & they evidently do not get embarrassed! I think the worst are the ones that BS that Iphone photos are great.

Jul 01, 2018 06:03 AM
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

While I am a decent amatuer photographer, I learned years ago to offer pro photos to ALL listings, after all it is MY brand and reputation out there. I didnt understand why colleagues werent doing the same,,especially when the lighting was off. Finally asked one why, ,,their response?  " I think mine are as good as a pro, and I didnt have to spend $300+ . " 
I guess its akin to the person you see in the grocery store with Red and orange striped shirt and Camo   Khaki  green pants!

Jul 01, 2018 05:45 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

This question should be qualified. Many of us here are trained photographers. We still take our own and the diligence and focus to detail is over and above higher that the results we have experienced when hiring so-called professionals

Jul 01, 2018 09:54 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

We would not get professional photography in my area for less than $500. 

Some agents are better photographers than "professional" photographers. 

I realize you are making reference to bad MLS photos.  I agree photos are a huge piece of the listing marketing.  

The real issue runs deeper than crappy photos.  The real issue, from my perspective, is why sellers accept lower standards when selling their home. It could be they bought the discount. Need I say more? 

Jul 01, 2018 08:53 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I have never understood this either Rae! Even during the recession, regardless of the price point, I hired the professional...and always have and will! My sellers expect nothing but, the best!

As for pricing - $200 would be a dream in my area!

Jul 01, 2018 07:38 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

A professional "real estate" photographer often adds too much artistry to "their" presentation. An agent actually has a better sense of what they wish to portray. Quality is the real issue and if you cannot produce that hire a pro!  

Jul 01, 2018 06:05 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

There are likely many reasons--- I don't spend much time thinking about it.

Jul 01, 2018 05:03 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

The reality is anyone whose business practice differs from our own is lazy, stupid, pound foolish, sub-standard, (add your pejorative here).

If one is not privy to the listing contract it is possible one does not have all the facts.

What is missing in the conversation of this call to judgment is the success of the agent and the outcome expected by the owner. If the Sub-standard images result in a house sold, the take away may be that many agent are chasing professional shiny things. 

So, share with us, what are the historic RESULTS of this agents listings? 

It is possible this agents listings endure on the market 6 months longer than the statistical average. With that fact one can employ surrogate endpoints and declare, "Sub-standard photography results in 6 months longer on the market." Now you've got my attention.

Jul 01, 2018 05:29 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Because they are...

Image result for cheap

Jul 01, 2018 08:47 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

In a previous life, seemingly a thousand years ago, I was a professional commercial photographer. My clients used my photos in catalogues, magazines, books, news releases and even in an encyclopedia.

Today I am a Realtor, not a photographer. I hire professional photographers and videographers.

However, if it's a low-end house or fixer upper, I'll go ahead and take the photos myself.

Jul 01, 2018 08:13 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Every agent is different ... and there are numerous reasons, but here are just two:

1.  The Agent takes great photos

2.  The Agent is just starting out or does not have the extra funds ... they are working toward the goal


Jul 01, 2018 10:54 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Speed, economy on a cheap listing, and some agents are very good at taking their own.

Jul 01, 2018 09:06 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

They are doing their sellers a disservice. A couple of months ago our floor agent got a call from a seller who had listed his home with another agent for several months with no response.  Looking up the listing, the photos were obviously cell phone images - and poorly done with many photos out of focus.  The seller fired the existing agent and hired ours - who hired a professional photographer and raised the price and got the home in contract immediately.  We just closed on this home plus two more properties from the same seller!

Jul 01, 2018 07:19 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

they don't care enough to spend the few dollars....

Jul 01, 2018 07:14 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

I wonder the same thing...

Jul 01, 2018 06:08 AM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Why would an agent take their own photos?  Simple.

It takes at least two or three times to come back and time the sun to get the perfect lighting on the exterior pictures. 

Two of the professionals simply parked in the driveway and took a shot of their car in the driveway for the mls lead photo.  Seriously???

No matter how many times we tell the sellers to have their house immaculate for the photo shoot there are always things that need to be moved or "thinned out", in most cases.  The professional photographers had no clue that the clutter needed to be moved before taking the photos.

Deeply shaded homes in  woods and homes with a north facing front elevation in winter  you have to wait for a cloudy day to get the best picture.  

Also scheduling is problem sometimes with a professional photographer.

We found it is much more efficient to have spent $3,000 on a great Nikon camera with various lens and the all important flash attachment.

There are countless You Tube videos that are so helpful.

Perhaps professional photographers in other real estate markets have an innate sense of what pictures to take for the mls but we deal with what is available and make the decision that is right for our sellers.


Jul 01, 2018 12:23 PM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Huh, under $200 - feel free to send a photographer over here, because ours are much higher priced than that!

Jul 01, 2018 11:29 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I will tell you why I resisted professional photography for so long.  The pro photos made houses look much better than they actually were, which was an immediate let down when you walked in and the home was smaller and darker in person.

I pay for pro photos now because technology outpaced what I could afford in a camera.  Those photos are the norm in our market and buyers are used to adjusting their expectations down.  But it sure does make for extraordinary marketing pieces.

Jul 01, 2018 08:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

No doubt they have their reasons. Some Realtors take pretty good photos.

Jul 01, 2018 07:07 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I used to be a professional photographer and I enjoy taking my own photos. Fact is I'm no longer a photographer so I'm an amateur and I insist  on doing it Rae Dolan .

Jul 01, 2018 06:47 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Because not all agents are lazy slackers incapable of taking good photos.

Jul 01, 2018 04:34 PM
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTAcondos.com
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

That's a very good question, I don't know.

Jul 01, 2018 09:40 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

It all depends on the home... Usually I do hire a photographer, but if its a smaller home I have a great 35mm camera with a few different lenses, and can take great photos... It the cell phone shots, the long and narow ones that don't fill the space for photos that look terrible.. showing you a picture of the bed instead of the whole room..

Jul 01, 2018 07:13 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Exactly what Nina Hollander said... and that makes them lousy marketers. 

Jul 01, 2018 06:37 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Most of the time professional photos are warranted but there are exceptions 

Jul 01, 2018 06:21 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

You have a lot of good answers here. Good Photography skills yield good photos & photos are a big part of selling the listing. I've seen more good photos than bad. The agents who hire professionals & agents who take great photos themselves are doing it right. The ones who slack on the photos tend to be the ones who slack on everything with their business. 

Jul 02, 2018 10:04 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I do my own and I do very well.  I own excellent eqyiptment and know how to use it.


I also do small get togethers and pther agents photo's

Jul 01, 2018 08:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your observations.

Poor photography does not work well for successful marketing.

Jul 01, 2018 01:47 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Sometimes it is done out of necessity, when I need to get a listing up and I don't have time to wait for a photographer. We don't have a lot of real estate photographers here, there are only 2 that I and a lot of others like to work with.

Jul 01, 2018 01:29 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Invest in the technology, learn the art and you can shoot your stills, capture your video loops and have a first class image array. You don't have to hire it done and the eye candy can be collected while you are at the listing where you know what you want to emphasis. Don't have to farm it out and lots of great photographers and also those who mix in the floor plans, plat maps, more than just the images. Aerial drones are all part of what you collect to put together an online listing that gets sold.

Jul 01, 2018 12:05 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The phone camera technology is advanced it replaces a lot human skills required. It does not replicate lightings though.

I have worked for several re photography companies covering some of the pricey homes in SFBA, I take crystal clear photos with great lightings multiple flashes. The angle comes with experience not technology.

Jul 01, 2018 09:58 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Some think they are good photographers.

Some are cheap.

Some do not understand that bad pictures equal fewer showings. Potential buyers reject the photos – and the house – that the see on their electronic device.

Some do not understand the requirements of properly representing sellers in today’s market.

Jul 01, 2018 08:43 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Some people are just cheap!

Jul 01, 2018 08:36 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

When I was working professional photos weren't available in my area.  Fortunately, I was a decent photographer and my sellers often commented how pleased they were with the pictures.  I've seen some pretty horrible pictures, though, and those agents should definitely hire a pro. 

Jul 01, 2018 08:08 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


Jul 01, 2018 08:04 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Doug Dawes nailed this one!

Jul 01, 2018 06:59 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author


Jul 01, 2018 06:00 AM
Melissa Jackson REALTOR
Trinity Premier Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

I agree with Nina Hollander With all the competition for listings why would a seller not expect and demand more than cheap shots from a cell phone.

Jul 02, 2018 03:40 PM
Jeff Perlis Prime Properties
Prime Properties - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Experience Your Own Transformation!


Yet, the cost of pro photo + drone+ video+ website is much more than 200, but I always pay. 

Jul 02, 2018 11:29 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I have to say I have seen some agents take great photos and with editing software and sites available, it's not a terrible idea if they know what they're doing.


Now on the other hand, some agents just think they're part time photographers, industry evangelists, celebrities, etc (aka the "We do everything!  (but don't do anything well!) crowd)



Jul 02, 2018 09:44 AM
Jordan Ayan
The Lifestyle Collection - Scottsdale, AZ
Luxury Market Expert, CLHMS,Million Dollar Guild

I am an excellent photographer - went to College originally to be a photo-journalist.  Have more camera gear than is healthy.  However, I do not shoot my own properties.  My market is luxury, and to shoot a high-end property requires an architectural photographer, which is a special talent.  Every property we list and sell tells a story and the images need to help tell that story.  We usually book a photographer to shoot interiors and outdoor twilight and night shots.  Our clients love the images, and they do help sell the home.  I am amazed when we get listings that other agents had previously and the owner tells us they shot the pictures of their $1.5 Million home on an I-Phone.  If interested, you can view our image portfolio here.  The image below is from our listing that went live yesterday (one of the night shots).

Jul 02, 2018 06:34 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

We found a FANTASTIC Matterport company for under $300 and use them for EVERY listing.

Jul 02, 2018 04:39 AM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I am sure they have their reasons. I can't justify it any longer, so I rarely waste the valuable first impression, when it hits the market, with my own photos. I have a photographer I am happy with, and the photographer is happy with me.

Jul 01, 2018 08:38 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Many agent photos are actually better than the professional ones. It's the agents who do not act professionally that allow bad photos on their listings.

Jul 01, 2018 05:21 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Some Realtors are pretty proessional when taking their own photos. Those who use bad pictures are A. Lazy. B. Do not care or C. Too busy to hand any more listings, AND either way, should refrain from taking listings if they can not take or use good photos or in some cases, any photos.

Jul 01, 2018 04:54 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I am with you on this.

Jul 01, 2018 03:00 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Because many agents are better photographers than they are agents. Also, time can be an issue. I've seen photos taken by so called professional photographers that are pretty awful. I remember one " professional" photographer sent me a slide show of her work. I actually thought it was a slide show on how not to take photos. Also, many homes aren't staged or organized, so all the professional photos in the world aren't going to make it look better. Another factor is the current market. Many homes sell in 2 weeks or less with bad or average looking photos, agents know that, so they figure, why spend time and money on a professional photographer?

Jul 01, 2018 02:57 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Some of us take good photos and know how to edit but professionals are very affordable and you don’t use your own time. 

Jul 01, 2018 01:38 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I just think that they do not realize that they are doing work that can be done more effectively by someone else.  The time it takes them to do it could be better spent in selling aproperty or getting a listing.  A

Jul 01, 2018 01:27 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

Penny-wise and dollar foolish.

Jul 01, 2018 12:19 PM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Money... Cheap.

Nov 10, 2018 03:02 PM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

I love professional photos. 

We do take a low priced rental's picture ourself though.

Nov 10, 2018 11:41 AM
Neil Breed
EXP - Burlington, NC
A Breed Above The Rest

because you can go to a site like fivrr and have them digitally enhanced for 30 bucks versus paying a professional photographer 200 or more to take pics of a listing...just my opinion 

Jul 14, 2018 06:32 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!


Jul 06, 2018 09:09 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

a- you don't get a professional in my market for anywhere close to $200.  $500 is about as cheap as it gets here and

b- some agents are capable of taking fantastic photos.

Jul 05, 2018 08:30 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

The photos sell a property, and not sure why they don't invest in their own business - I agree with you!

Jul 05, 2018 10:51 AM
Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

Seriously! Even in the greatest, most expensive state of California, I can get superb photos (even drone shots) for $190 to $240 per session. Those who take photos from their smart phones and try to wing it because why spend extra money when it's gone in 2 days, are missing the point. These are COMPARABLE SALES for your fellow Realtors/Agents. They thinking stops at the end of their nose! And their clients? How can they abide such shabbiness?  This is one of my biggest beefs with the shoddy work of agents now in our industry. Lack of viable comments to accompany the photo in the MLS is also another issue. I don't need to see "Kitchen" as the only description of the kitchen! Same indiots who take a client through a home and point out, "now here's the kitchen."--like what else has an island, sink, double ovens, cooktop, stainless fan overhead, granite counter tops--than a kitchen! Arrrrrrgh!! 

Jul 03, 2018 09:09 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Rae ~ For the ones that have the equipment and skill to take the photos, it probably allows them to make sure that they are able to present the property in the best possible way.  The other camp that has neither the equipment or skill, it is almost certainly a cheap thing.  They don't want to spend money if they don't have to (in their minds) and the seller need to call them out if the photos are crud.

Jul 03, 2018 07:55 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

   Nickel diming... trying to save a few bucks.   Hire a professional!

Jul 02, 2018 09:38 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Rae Dolan - Indeed I always wonder! They want to save money for sure.

Jul 01, 2018 10:08 PM