A Picture is worth a 1,000 words

Google “bad real estate photos” and you will come up with 10+ pages with examples of hilariously terrible pictures that made it onto Multiple Listing Services across the country. Everyone pretty much knows a bad real estate photo when they see it, but what does a good picture look like and are they really that important? Let’s tackle the second question first...

The short answer is yes, pictures really are that important. Will a great house with bad online photos still sell? Yeah, it will. But will some buyers pass it by in their quest for the perfect home? Will the likelihood of a packed open house decrease? Will it be less likely that the owners receive multiple offers? Definitely possible. Is it worth the risk? Absolutely not!

We all know what bad photos look like - our personal peeves include family pets in pictures, agents’ reflections in mirrors, windows and even stainless steel appliances, cars in driveways, TVs turned on, fans spinning - the list is long. But let’s delve into what good real estate pictures look like and how we ensure that every McSharry and Associates listing has the highest quality photos.

High quality real estate photos tell the story of the house. They are well lit, well composed, and uncluttered. Every shot provides the prospective buyer with specific information - where are the windows? what is the flooring? how can furniture be arranged? To help buyers walk through the home virtually, the photos should be arranged logically one room to the next. There should be photos of every important detail but not necessarily every detail and certainly there should never be repeated photos. Buyers are savvy and catch on quickly that quantity is not the same as quality.

Because we understand that photos are a huge component of our marketing services, McSharry and Associates carefully composes and edits interior and exterior photos. We hire a drone photographer for exterior photos and virtually stage empty rooms/homes when appropriate. We share our photos with our clients prior to listing to ensure they are satisfied with how we are representing their home online.

We also provide clients helpful tips for preparing for a photo shoot, including the check list below-


  • Cars in garage or parked on street
  • Mow, rake and trim
  • Garbage bins out of sight
  • Garden tools, hoses away
  • Arrange outdoor furniture
  • Garage doors closed


  • Door mats, rugs straightened out
  • Bags, shoes, coats stowed away
  • Counters cleaned off (kitchen and baths)
  • Garbage cans emptied/out of sight
  • Declutter tables, bureaus, bookcases
  • Remove animal beds, bowls
  • Turn on all lights, make sure fans are off
  • Open blinds and curtains
  • Hang towels evenly on towel racks
  • Straighten throw blankets and pillows

Finally, we assure clients that if they forget something, we help with any last minute adjustments before we take the pictures.

Check out some of our current listings to see what we are talking about -company listings