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12 hysterically funny photo mistakes to avoid when listing your home

No one says you have to hire Ansel Adams to photograph your home if you decide to forgo the assistance of an established real estate professional and try striking out on your own.

But much like in modern dating, photos are arguably a homeowner’s best lure to attract buyers when listing their home. And nothing douses a spark of interest faster than bad — and worse, comically bad — listing photos.

Bad light, or no lighting at all, untidiness, and a ridiculous amount of colorful nicknacks are just a few of the photo mishaps that’d make us swipe left on these 12 home listings. Consider this round-up a handy reference guide should you ever decide to attempt to list your home on your own. Because as the old saying goes— forewarned is forearmed.

1. Feng... what?

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

Our first tragic listing comes out of Casper, WY. This five-bedroom, three-bath home sits on a picturesque hilltop overlooking 35 acres — on a quiet, little street named “Poison Spider Road.” We’re not sure if it’s a fair parallel, but it’s kind of like getting a hit on your Bumble profile from “Black Widow_39.” Unfortunate nomenclature aside, this listing derails quickly on its own thanks to the homeowner’s poor use of either the panoramic setting on their photo device or an unintelligent lens choice. Honestly, it’s hard to tell exactly which caused the misfire.

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

The listing hits rock bottom in the basement, ironically enough, where a nausea-inducing mix of patterns was enough to almost remind us what we had for breakfast… yesterday. We’ll swipe left on this gem (not that we’re afraid of poisoned spiders or anything…).

2. Wash, fold and no-put-away

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

This “beautifully cared for log sided home with wrap around porch” is located in Buffalo, WY. It boasts over 1,200 square feet of pure country living space, three-bedrooms and one-bathroom. And, a kitchen full of more nicknacks than a dollar store. It’s truly distracting and hard on the retinas, as each object vies for your eyes’ attention.

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

The log cabin also comes with a laundry room, but there is apparently no “fold and put away service” available — hence, the piles and piles of fresh-out-of-the-wash clothes. Swipe left, and fire the maid.

3. High anxiety, or don’t try this at home

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

We head to Powell, WY for our next listing, a “darling starter home or rental.” The 900-square-foot, three-bedroom home leans more on the quaint than the darling side, but it’s ideally priced to sell at $125,000. The homeowner went to great lengths to photograph the home, being sure to highlight the new roof by taking a photo while standing on said roof. While this makes us all kinds of nervous, we’re more relieved that they didn’t go to the same lengths to show off the new plumbing.

4. So near, and yet…

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

This listing out of Clarksburg, WV (no relation) features a recently renovated three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath with a “huge” yard and a “huge” deck. The home’s main bathroom was recently redone, and the first floor boasts brand-new flooring. As an added bonus, all of the appliances can be yours, if the price is right — $141,500, the full asking price. We’d certainly be tempted to swipe right on this one, but a messy bed in the master bedroom was too great a disappointment for us to bear. We regretfully must swipe left.

5. More show, less tell

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

This Lancaster, OH listing is very much a mixed bag. On the one hand, the home is a well-maintained custom-build from the 1930s, and sits on an acre of land. It has four-bedrooms, and three-bathrooms and over 2,000 square feet of space. Did we mention it also has an eight-person outdoor hot tub? So yeah, it has that going for it as well.

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

But blurry photos, less than ideal photo cropping, and worst of all, not showing the coveted hot tub makes this listing a definite swipe left. Way to build up the excitement, and totally let us down, Lancaster.

6. Somebody call the Geek Squad, STAT!

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

The homeowner of this Westerville, OH home decided they only needed one photo to sell their 1,900-square-foot, four-bedroom and two-and-a-half-bath home. And that photo turned out to be a screenshot from a mobile device — complete with the volume adjustment bar completely visible at the top of the screenshot. And while we get that even though tech has become a lot more “user friendly” in recent years, some users are still bewildered as to how to send a GIF or an emoji. That said, help is readily available both online and off, which makes it hard to overlook the low-tech photo.

7. You’re not scared of the dark, are you?

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

Our next listing comes out of Prospect, OH and features a nice “older home” on a corner lot. It has “a lot of beautiful natural woodwork, updated bathrooms, updated plumbing, and all appliances will go with the home.” The homeowner is selling the 1,100-square-foot, three-bedroom home for $112,000, and we’d almost be tempted to take a closer look but several of the photos are so dark we’re left shaking our heads in frustration, wondering why the homeowner didn’t just turn on a light or open the curtains. And while we sometimes like our atmosphere dark and moody, it’s not the best for photographing a home you want to sell. Unless, of course, you plan on selling to a vampire.

8. Homeowner, give us a call, k?

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

There’s a lot to love about this Conneaut, OH listing. The home is a Dutch Colonial farmhouse that has received many recent updates and looks to have been very, very well-maintained over the years. It features an eat-in kitchen, slate countertops, a double wall oven, a plethora of cabinets, a first floor laundry and even a mud room. The 1,500-square-foot, three-bedroom home is selling for $146,000, and, thanks to the excellent photos provided by the homeowner, it looks to be a great deal.

So yes, we’re going to get real nit-picky here — try not to be *too* perfect when photographing your home. A happy medium between lived-in and fresh on the market is ideal. For example, behold the home’s pantry. Come on, who has a pantry that organized aside from maybe Chef Ramsey (though we actually imagine him walking into an oversized pantry and screaming because he can’t find the allspice, more fun that way). The photo gives us pantry-envy and we’re just not happy feeling this way. Swipe left (bye sweet pantry, goodbye).

9. “It’s indescribably beautiful!”

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

It’s perpetually Christmastime in this Felicity, OH listing, and all we can say is bah, humbug! And while we’re usually excited for the yuletide merriment, the homeowner’s lazy light show is the reason for our melancholy. For starters, the listing’s main photo is a screenshot (see listing number 6 if you need a refresher on screenshots). The photo is dark, somewhat blurry, and looks to have been taken from across the street.

Also, the holiday lights are just very underwhelming. If you’re going to take a picture of your blinged-out holiday home, it better rival Clark W. Griswold’s or don’t bother. We may get a lump of coal in our stocking next year, but this listing kills our post-holiday cheer. (Bonus points if you can name the movie that’s quoted at the top of this entry!)

10. Be it ever so humble

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

They say a man’s home is his castle, and this Lake Ozark, MO home is literally a castle. It boasts nearly 6,000 square feet of pure medieval living space, four-bedrooms, five-bathrooms, a wet bar, screening room, and our favorite perk — a coffee bar. So, no doubt you’re wondering why this one made the list.

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

It can be summed up in just one sentence, graciously provided by the homeowner — “castle exterior hides a modern, stylized interior.” Wait, what? No dungeon? No coats of armor? No secret passages? And worst of all, no mead? We’re big believers in going all out with a theme, and this home leaves us feeling catfished.

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

If we wanted modern design, we wouldn’t be shopping for a castle. Adding insult to injury, the exterior photos are of a far superior quality than the interior shots, which are dark, poorly angled and badly cropped. We’ll take our Game of Thrones fantasies elsewhere, thank you much, Ozark.

11. What real estate listings would’ve looked like on the Nintendo 64

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

We’re still in Lake Ozark, MO for our next listing, a 2,800-square-foot, five-bedroom home that the homeowner declares is “a steal for the money.” Much of the home has recently been redone or updated, including the flooring, appliances, water system and the heating and cooling system. But the listing’s photos have not been brought up to date with the 21st century. They look like they were screenshots from a game of Super Mario Bros, which is confusing considering that nearly every brand of smartphone produced in the last five years (or more) is capable of taking better resolution photos than the ones seen here. We like a little retro from time to time, but not like this. Swipe left, and let’s play some Donkey Kong on the way to our final listing.

12. Peeping Tom Thumb

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

Our final listing takes us to Monterville, WV. It features a three-bedroom, one-bath home that is “country living at it's (sic) best.” We can neither agree nor disagree with the homeowner on that point because every single one of the listing’s photos were taken through what looks like a peephole. Several of the homeowner’s fingers make guest appearances in some of the accompanying photos as well.

Photo: forsalebyowner.com

This listing is a by the numbers example of what not to do when selling your home on your own. When in doubt, hire a pro. Or at the very least, a semi-professional. Otherwise your listing is apt to end up looking like you’re peeping through the keyhole into someone else’s house, which let’s face it, is just plain creepy.

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