First Impressions

They say you never get a second chance to make one.

Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® conducts a survey of home buyers and sellers and they produce the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. I learn a lot about how best to market  your home when selling from this annual report. One of the things we are learning as an industry is that internet usage grows every year for buyers searching for a home. And the #1 thing on the list of what home buyers want to see when searching the internet  is PHOTOS.

Knowing this, it’s amazing to me that some agents still put listings in the MLS without a property photo. Let’s take a look at how today’s home buyers will see your listing when there isn’t a property photo entered into the MLS by the agent.

The listing agent. Just. Didn't. Care.
The listing agent. Just. Didn’t. Care.

When I run a search in the MLS or when one of my clients opens a list of properties that I’ve emailed for them this is what we see.  No Photo Available. 

Now, when the buyer hits the internet and begins searching on their own, it’s also what they’ll see at – the public site for MRIS, the local MLS used by agents in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Nice, right?

Okay, how about It’s a pretty popular search site. Here’s what that No Photo Available translates to:









Long & Foster tries to build some momentum by saying “coming soon”

l&f bad pic
It’s not here yet, but it’s coming. Soon. We hope.









Zillow at least refuses to default to NO PHOTO and gives  you the option of a map, aerial view or street view. You can see the home (well, the roof anyway) in the cross hairs:

It’s there. Right there. Sort of.









Here’s Trulia’s take on the whole thing:

Wait. It’s. What?








And, to be fair, my own website takes creative license:

no photos liveinburke






Everything that’s entered -and omitted – by the agent gets sent out to multiple internet sites – MANY thousands more than are mentioned here. It’s called “syndication” and it’s the way to get your home exposed to the most buyers so that you have a successful sale. Hopefully, you can understand why it’s so important to have -at minimum- an exterior photo of your home for buyers to see. It really is the first impression a buyer has of your home.

Christine Zinser


Leave a Reply