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When Listing Your Home, Pictures Make a Big Difference!

Chris Kolmar

Chief Armchair Economist

164 articles, 139 comments


We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words – but I was curious about exactly how important a role photos play when it comes to home-buying.

So I ran a little experiment:  looked at homes sold from the REIL MLS (San Jose Bay Area Market).  All of them were listed for sale in March and April of 2010, and they were all grouped by zip code. The “average” home listed for sale in this particular area at this particular time had 3 bedrooms & 2 baths, cost $662,000, and was built in 1971, so I created a theoretical home that matched that description and tested the effect of adding more photos.

Overall, I found that going from 0 photos to 9 photos (9 is the max number of photos allowed by the MLS) would reduce the number of Days on the Market (DoM) from about 57 days to about 49 days –  about a 14% decrease. Each photo added to a listing reduces the days on market by about .88 days. Take a look at this snazzy graph below:

As a way of checking my work, I also looked at sold houses listed in March and April of 2010 in the MRMLS (Los Angeles Area Market).

Again, they were all grouped by zip code and I used a theoretical “average” home listed in this area at this period. In this case, it had 3 bedrooms & 2 baths, cost $298,000, and was built in 1978.

I don’t know if is the MRMLS places a limit to the number of photos, but the max I found was 27.

In this particular area,going from 0 photos to 27 photos would reduce the DoM from about 92 days to about 82 days, or about 11%. Each photo reduces the days on market by about .37 days. You can see the break-down on the graph below:


So, here’s the moral of the story: a picture IS worth a lot, and each photo you add gives your listing a tangible advantage over a similar home that skimped on the eye-candy. So make sure to sit down with your real estate agent to select photos that show off your property’s best angles – and select LOTS of them!


Looking for a new home? Movoto’s got you covered. With millions of listings, plenty of property information, and established agents all over the country, we make finding your future home simple. And when you’re ready to take a break from browsing homes, you can always come back here to learn more about your favorite cities.

posted on: May 20, 2011
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