Linda's Blog


The Top 10 Things MLS Photos Should NEVER Include

Great Tips for Photos on the MLS

Home Stager, Kathy Nielsen in Atlanta has a great list of 'what not to include in your Selling photos.' I'd add these to the list:

11) Take the clutter out of ALL rooms..period.

12) Have a professional Photographer take photos


The Top 10  26 Things MLS Photos Should NEVER Include:

Based on some incredible comments, this list now extends beyond the top 10 and now sits at 26! Thanks everyone for adding suggestions in your comments! This may end up being the most conclusive list of items NOT to include in your MLS photos.

Special thanks to Randy Lindis who added several.

  1. Trash cans - Inside and outside. Let's face it, trash cans are not appealing. 
  2. Cars in driveways - I once viewed pictures on the Internet only to relay back to the seller that I know what his license plate number is. He wasn't happy.
  3. Cars in garages - A garage will look far more spacious without the cars.
  4. Unmade beds - Buyers are beginning their search for their home on the Internet. Your unmade bed will hardly draw the buyers into the home.
  5. Tissue boxes, sprays, toilet bowl scrubbers in the bathrooms. 
  6. Pets - Your pets are not for sale. Your house is.
  7. Dead plants - they're simply not the most attractive thing. On top of that, it shows a sign of neglect.
  8. Names on walls - sure the room may be theirs now. However, you want buyers to envision it being their room
  9. People - They, too, are not for sale (smile).
  10. You, the picture taker in the mirror. I see this mostly in bathrooms. I get that most bathrooms are small. However, you can kneel to take the photo.
  11. Toilet seat up - If your photo must include the toilet (and sometimes, there's just no avoiding it), make sure the lid of the seat is put down.
  12. Time/Date stamp on the photo - and like Brian Kuhns says below in the comments, this is ever a good idea unless the house sells within 5 days or less.
  13. TV's on in the background - this can be extremely distracting.
  14. Magnets and clutter on fridge - Eyesores, I tell ya. Eyesores.
  15. Children's toys scattered about - This applies to the inside as well as the outside.
  16. Dirty towels in bathrooms - It literally takes less than a minute to place the towels in the laundry. 
  17. Dirty clothes - especially in the bedrooms. 
  18. Family photos - As Steve Warrene Butler points out, the MLS photos will be all over the Internet. For safety precautions, it's simply makes sense to remove them.
  19. Flash reflecting from mirrors - I too have seen photos where this has happened. It simply doesn't make for a "great" picture.
  20. Dirty dishes in sink and/or counter tops - There's nothing appealing about seeing dirty dishes. Heck, even clean dishes in the dish drain doesn't look good. Simply put - make sure all dishes are taken care of.
  21. Window glare - Seems minor. However, it can also be distracting.
  22. Gun cabinets and guns - for safety reasons, you'll not want these on display in your photos.
  23. Jewelry and jewelry cabinets - as you never know who might be searching the Internet for items such as these.
  24. Large liquor displays - Great that you like liquor. However, some people don't.
  25. High-end electronics - this one may not be as easy to NOT photograph. However, if they can be avoided, great.
  26. Nudity in artwork - may be viewed by a potential buyer as distasteful.
This top 10 things MLS photos should never include was created based on my own experience as a professional home stager in Atlanta.  As you can see, the list has now grown to 20 based on the comments.

Feel free to add to the list!
Update: The list will continue to grow based on the ever-supportive and oh-so-knowledgeable Active Rainers!

Home Staging Atlanta - Kathy Nielsen - 678 522 8392

RESA Professional Stager of the Year - Southern Region 2011

This Atlanta home stager understands what it takes to separate your home or listing from the others on the market. Armed with a massive inventory, we can add the furniture and accessories befitting the style of the home as well as the demographics of the buyer. We also provide our after pictures at no additional charge. 


Atlanta Georgia Home Stager Kathy Nielsen


Our Atlanta home staging services have helped hundreds of sellers secure a contract quickly. Visit our website at to see first-hand the solutions for selling your home, listing or flipped property. Contact us today to schedule your appointment by emailing Kathy at or by calling 678 522 8392. We've got the furniture and accessories your home needs!



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Comment balloon 1 commentLinda Just • October 30 2012 10:17AM


Hi, Linda. I'm glad you found the list valuable. Thanks for re-blogging.


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 5 years ago

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