What's My Franklin TN Home Worth?: Should This Photo Be Used to Market Your Franklin TN Home?

Should This Photo Be Used to Market Your Franklin TN Home?

Should This Photo Be Used to Market Your Franklin TN Home?

Is this the Photo You Would Want in the MLS?Today, while perusing the multiple listing service (MLS) in Franklin TN, I saw a photograph which, I believe, should have been excluded.

Since it is a copyright violation to post that photo here. I decided to include a similar photo.

Should this photo be used to market your Franklin TN home?

Carefully examine the photo to the right. Is there anything in this photo that jumps out at you? Anything that shouldn't be in the photo?

Don't look at the quality of the photo. I just got a new camera and I was playing with the light settings. Instead, look at the objects.

Did you find it? That's right, the furry little creature in the left-hand corner shouldn't be in the listing photographs. While the seller may absolutely love their little doggy, as I do mine, this is no place to have their pets displayed.

I wish I could say this is the worst I've ever seen in the MLS but this just begins to skim the surface. I have seen a man who looked like he hadn't bathed in a week sitting at his kitchen table smoking a cigarette, a cat with his hairy little butt sitting on the kitchen counter and young children playing in their rooms. That's right, someone included a photo of children in their bedroom. Are they crazy? Let's broadcast to the whole world that the seller has young children in their home.

Now, some may say that visitors to the MLS will know the seller has young children by the room decor. That may be true but posting a photo of that young child is totally unacceptable.

My advice to sellers, don't allow your real estate agent to take photos with animals, people or children in them. If you aren't present while the home is being photographed, ask them to send you a link to the MLS listing so you can review the photos. If something is in them that shouldn't be or the quality is poor, then ask them to delete the photos and take new ones.

Better yet, contact me. I hire a professional photographer to shoot all my MLS photos. The quality and lighting is excellent and you won't find any dogs or cats in them. If you're looking to sell real estate in Franklin TN, call Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC at (615) 495-0752.

Should this photo be used to market your Franklin TN home?

Tammie White, Managing Broker/Owner
Franklin Homes Realty LLC
Franklin, TN
(615) 495-0752 
This posting with the content written here and photographs displayed are the intellectual property and opinions of Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC. Any party who uses this material without the written permission of Tammie White is subject to copyright infringement and possible lawsuit.
Comment balloon 54 commentsTammie White, Broker • September 22 2013 10:32PM


Tammie - There are often photos that shouldn't be in MLS.  I agree with not taking pictures of people or animals. 

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 5 years ago

Tammie, And sometimes the kitty makes it a challenge to NOT have them in the photos.  We've had some that run into the room and plop down on the floor EVERY room we go to.  Have to keep chasing them out to make sure no pet pictures are included.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) about 5 years ago

I don't get it. Why do some agents still do this?!

Home stager's side note, I would rearrange that furniture also. The big couch just makes that area seem so small and it's almost blocking the entry way into the living room.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 5 years ago

Christine - It's just bad form.

Bliz - I know cats can be especially challenging. I usually ask the owner to put the cat in another room until we're done.

Suzanne - It's beyond me. Actually that wasn't the entry way. I wouldn't include that photo in the MLS for the same reason you pointed out.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Tammie,  pictures of kids - no way but the little furry guy, I kinda like.  Make it look like a home, lets people know he "looks" sweet and maybe keeps them on the page doing the "ahhhhhhh" just a little longer.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) about 5 years ago

Chris & Dick - I've seen people pass on a home, just because the MLS photo had an animal in it. The goal is to get as many buyers as possible in to view the home. This little guy may prevent that.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Tammie- I dont like them in thephotos either.. I had one pet that wouldnt leaveus alone.. Ended up havingto use a photo with them in it..

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) about 5 years ago

Dogs, smokers, and a mess of a house is the quickest way to turn away some potential buyers, I wouldn't have posted it even if the dog wasn't it, whats with the cord underneath the chair and something green on the floor in the corner? Maybe I'm jut to much to picky!

Posted by Kellie Wisecarver about 5 years ago

I like the fireplace.

Posted by Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist (eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales) about 5 years ago

Yes, even for those of us who love kids and dogs and cats, photos of them don't belong in MLS - for all the reasons you mentioned.  I can remember one buyer with allergies who crossed a really nice home off her list of ones to view because even though the pet itself wasn't in the photos, there were pet dishes, toys and a litter box practically front and center in 2 pix.  Oops!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA about 5 years ago

Tammy, I agree. Pets are family members. People including Realtors need to be aware of how much "personal" information they are posting online. Certainly a pet release is needed.


Posted by Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Hello Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

I like the dog in the photo, I think it adds a nice touch--but I agree with Nancy.  I have posted pics of children WITH a Seller's permission because lifestyle ads to sell property; however, dogs or cats in a listing photo will definitely impact the Buyer with allergies.  As a broker, I would take a look at the photos and hope the pets aren't home when I show the property.....

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) about 5 years ago

I just got a new listing that was listed with a different firm for several months and the seller was not happy with the marketing.  In the previous listing detail the former agent had only 4 photos (in our MLS you can put up to 25).  The main photo of the home was the front of the house with a large Rottweiler standing in the driveway looking menacing.  Is it any wonder the home was getting only a few showings...  Animals are not a feature or a benefit of a home and have no place in the marketing photos. 

Posted by David Kerr -Sonoma Real Estate Agent (winecountrylistings.net - Terra Firma Global Partners) about 5 years ago

Great minds must think alike, Tammie! I actually just did a blog post on pets as a staging challenge. Our artists shoot over 100 homes per week around the country, and they've reported back to our Director of Photography that agents complain about pet problems more than almost any other issue. We always encourage people to hide any sign of pets before photo shoots because agents tell us that they're a deal-breaker for a lot of buyers.

Posted by Jim Griffin (HouseLens: Video Marketing for Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Tammie, actually it was a nice photo you took! And, excellent points to be made. It didn't take me long at all to see the visual faux pas (paw)!

good feature! congrats

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 5 years ago

I always ask my clients to secure their pets and wrangle the kiddos if they are home. I don't want to be the one letting Fido make a break for it while I am loading in gear. The kids are always really interested in the process but I work faster when they are not popping in and out of the frame.

Posted by Katherine Gooding, Google Trusted Independent Photographer, Get your business on the map! (Soundview360.com & Katherine Gooding Photography) about 5 years ago

I looked at a million dollar+ listing on the MLS today.  It showed a huge dog in one photo and a woman standing at the kitchen sink in another.   The one with the dog looked like he was posing, with the sunset over the water.  We see lots of pictures with people playing at the beach and things that are in the neighborhood, not the property itself.  Real Estate photos should be just that, not people and pets.

Posted by Jen Bowman, Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL (Keller Williams on the Water) about 5 years ago

The dog looked like a statue to me.  But, should not be there.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) about 5 years ago

Oh Tammie, this is so true, I also don't understand why agents don't have their clients mow their yards when posting pictures of the yard. Some homeowners just don't listen and we don't know the whole story but I 100% agree with your statements make sure no animals, people, and children in them. Here in Austin we will be fined if there is a photo of a child under age in a photo. 

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 5 years ago

The dog almost looks fake like a statue-like ceramic doggy.


Love and light,


Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 5 years ago

Scott - I actually ask sellers to leave the home when we take photographs. If they have pets I ask them to crate them or take them along. Cats are especially hard to capture.

Kellie - I agree on all points. I am very picky as well. This photo would have been cut from the MLS for multiple reasons. Good eyes.

Marcy - That would garner an additional close up photo.

Nancy - I ask sellers to remove litter boxes for photos and during showings.

Emily - I don't want anything to excluded a buyer.

MaryKay - I'm not sure I really understand the reason for using children. It's a big no-no for me.

David - Too funny. It's amazing more agents don't have our eyes.

Jim - One of the biggest agent challenges for sure.

Gayle - You're so witty.

Katherine - I ask the sellers to leave. Then I can move furniture or knick-knacks out of the photo without offending.

Jen - I saw a $1.3M house once with a photo of the dog bed displayed.

Jay & Michelle - Someone might think it's taxidermy.

Bob - I like the idea of fining agents for photos with under-age children.

Laura - Pretty scary, huh?

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Interesting thought. I know a RELTOR who take s her Havanese with her just about everywhere and make it a point to have the dog in one shot (usually the fron porch) of the pictures that she is planning to use on tthe MLS.

I always thought it was cute and a creative way to do some branding.

Posted by Jean-Paul Peron, Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive (The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany) about 5 years ago

Jean-Paul - I guess she thinks it's more important to brand herself than to sell the home she's listing.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Since pets can do so much damage to homes, showing the possible villain right in the home seems a little bold :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 5 years ago

Tammie - Most definitely not a good idea to advertise that a dog is living in the house...... There's always photoshop to fix that of course....

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) about 5 years ago

Interesting - my first thought when looking at this picture was that it was not a flattering view of how the furniture is arranged.  The way it is arranged might look good in person, but not translating well in that shot, and thus not flattering the room and that really nice fireplace. 

I see your point about the dog.  In this case, it was other things that actually caught my attention more!

Posted by Suzie DeYoung (Fridrich & Clark Realty, LLC) about 5 years ago

Charles - I like the way you think.

Robert & Lisa - Oh, the many things we can do with photoshop.

Suzie - Another agent with a good eye. I would never use this photo for a multitude of reasons. As you said, the couch is really blocking the view of that beautiful fireplace but I see my fair share of these in the MLS as well.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Nice post, Tammie. I almost had a dog in a shot the other day. He wouldn't move so I finally picked him up and moved him for the photographer. I wouldn't mind seeing a dog but a man smoking...that would be a real turn-off.

Posted by Jill Winchel, We make it easy. You make it home. (Royal Shell Real Estate - Koffman & Associates ) about 5 years ago

Tammie, I see people (including children) and pets/animals in MLS photos almost daily.  As a general rule of thumb, I think people & pets should not be in any photo that gets uploaded to the MLS.  The only possible exception I may consider making is if it's a pet-friendly condo (since many are not).  A photo that includes a pet can show that they are allowed.

Posted by S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist (United Realty Group, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Well, i'd say it is not as bad as some others...

Mr. and Ms. Seller, just a friendly reminding, those pictures your agent took now are public. All your neighbors and relatives, FB and LI friends and connections,  will see them.....just something to think about.

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) about 5 years ago

Jill - I have a dog and love them but I've had buyers who wouldn't even go look at a house that had a photo of a pet.

Leanne - I hadn't considered that.

Inna - Very good point.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

As much as I love my two Dobermans, i would never use them in any type of picture whether a listing or my own personal advertising.  Too many people have allergies or just plain don't like pets.

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) about 5 years ago

Marnie - Agreed.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Tammie great post feature worthy indeed. What type of camera do you have? Have a blessed day talk to you soon

Posted by Laura Filip, What can we do for you today? (Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life ) about 5 years ago

Yes, that's just dumb.  We love our pets, but they definitely are not a selling point and can be a detractor for many.


Posted by Hillary Sheperd, Co-Owner ~ Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, NY (Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon) about 5 years ago

Tammie I don't see pets often but when I do it's like - what are you thinking?  Seems like they'd simply take more photos but no - they use the pet photos.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 5 years ago

Man, I have seen some bad photos lately.  Why can't the agent at least close the toilet and position themselves so their shadow is not in the shot.

Posted by Elise Harron, Rural Vacant Land and Development Specialist (Dirt Road Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I was a free lance photographer prior to getting into real estate and I am amazed daily at the images I see on the MLS, not just dogs, kids, and clutter, but also agents.  That's right we can see you in that giant mirror.  Then there are the huge flashes, dark rooms, orbs, and what about the ones with only one picture (I am assuming we really don't want to see the rest?).

Posted by Laura Gaither, Memphis, TN (901) 239-5284 (Crye-Leike) about 5 years ago

Laura - Canon Powershot SX50 HS. It is a wide angle and telephoto lense all built into one. It's small and light-weight. I just got it and have been experimenting with interior photos. I hire a professional photographer for my listings but I plan on creating web pages for the new construction in our area and I needed a wide angle lense for those photos.

Hillary - Agreed.

Anna - I don't get that either.

Elise - No kidding.

Laura - Don't get me started. This is a real pet-peeve of mine. Get it? Couldn't resist.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Tammie, I did not realize that there is a dog in this picture so it must be excluded. However, if one has to take picture on the day listing is getting into the system, the sellers will not have much time either!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

Aggred with Robert.. pets should not be there..

Posted by Mohan Tarneja about 5 years ago

At least it's a decent photo! I agree about the doggie. But you should see what agents put into our MLS--it's a crime and I can't believe homeowners aren't up in arms with their agents about it.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) about 5 years ago

Don't even get me started on bad MLS pictures.  Photos like this one just scream laziness and sloppiness.          

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 5 years ago

Great point Tammie. . of course that little RCA doggie is lovable. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 5 years ago

Even worse than pets are the ones with people in them, or the seller's kids!

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) about 5 years ago

Praful - It's a must for me. I have seen so many buyers exclude homes because a pet was in the photo. Sellers need to appeal to the largest number of buyers. Also, I never take the photos the day I'm putting in in the MLS. The photos are taken a few days prior to listing so my photographer can edit and get them back to me.

Mohan - You won't get an argument from me.

Nina - I see some atrocious photos in the MLS. I don't understand sellers who put up with it.

Jared - Agreed.

Fernando - She is but she shouldn't be in the photo.

Marc - That's really troubling to me.

Valerie - How does the song go...If I Only Had a Brain.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Except for the 20-year-old bikini-clad female lounging about at pool side, I would not otherwise use people nor pets in a photo. Your photo made me laugh because I didn't see the dog right away. I was thinking, hey, nice fireplace, vaults, is that wood or laminate floor, oh, whoa, wait.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Elizabeth - She's a little dog who snuck into the photo. I can see how she would be missed but buyers seem to always hone in on details like that and miss the other things that might be wrong with the photo.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

It always amazes me how some agents post such horrible shots that are under exposed, or where the rooms are not even cleaned up!!!  In this day and age of photo shop, there is no excuse to posting a badly exposed photo. 

Posted by Maureen Megowan, Palos Verdes Real Estate Blog (Remax Estate Properties - ) about 5 years ago

I agree, keep the pets out of pictures.  

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) about 5 years ago

Maureen - Agreed.

Gary - We think alike.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

You know they saw the puppy! It was probably wagging it's tail to make sure...careless and inconsiderate!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Evelyn - Those pups sure are cute but aren't allowed in my photos.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 5 years ago

Aw but he's such a cute little dog.  I never thought it would be a bad thing to include a dog, and have sometimes had my JRT in pictures of vacant land I'm sellling just because she was there and it gave the picture some scale.  I will have to be more mindful in the future.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 5 years ago

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