Charleston, SC Posts


Why YOU Must Carefully Choose Your 1st Four Photos in MLS

Sounds kinda silly, but it can make a difference in the marketing of your listing/home.  It drives me nuts to see the 1st four photo all exterior shots from different angles. The first picture is usually an exterior photo.  This picture should demonstrate curb appeal to the max because if a buyer likes what they see here, they definitely want to see more.  I can speak from experience because we are in the process of purchasing and we pass over homes that don't have the "look."

Curb appeal means a lot of things and will include a well kept lawn, pressure washing the exterior, removing any debris, etc. Curb appeal can also be enhanced by pops of color.  Use hanging baskets with colorful flowers if you have a front porch, potted plants or topiaries on either side of the door, and freshened up flower beds with pinestraw and fresh flowers. Don't forget that curb appeal doesn't stop on the outside. The use of the Internet brings your curb inside.

The arrangement of these photos should be given some serious thought.  Here's why: The MLS is a showcase marketing for many other home search engines and website, namely I'm talking about, one of the #1 websites where buyers start their search. feeds the 1st four photos to their website even if you do not pay for the upgraded showcase feature. 

Buyers are attracted by certain things but you have to at least have the photos for them to even look. Following are my suggestions that should be included in your top 4 photos.

•1.      Kitchens can make or break a house. One of the number #1 features I have found a buyer have requirements on is the kitchen. This room must be clean and uncluttered with plenty of light.  Upgraded kitchen will win buyers over!

•2.      Family rooms especially when photos demonstrate they are part of an open floorplan and have features such as fireplaces, vaulted ceilings or a view. 

•3.      Bathrooms are #2 on the make or break a house features.  If you have a stunning bathroom, this should be featured.

•4.      Outdoor living spaces are an extension of a home and bring value to a buyer.  If you have a nice size deck, screen porch, gazebo, pool (if it's an asset vs liability), large private backyard or a view, this photo should make the top 4.

All other photos should follow.  The Charleston MLS allows up to 24 photos so the more, the better. If you aren't showcasing the home with multiple photos, what are you telling sellers who are researching listing agents about your marketing skills?  What other features are worthy to make the top 4 photos?


Contact Michele Reneau, Top Real Estate Agent, North Charleston, SC Relocation Expert, CRS, GRI, ABR. 843-814-6680. Michele Reneau is a Certified Staging Professional Instructor and teaches agents how to use staging to maximize their real estate business and Help Sellers Protect their Equity using Home Staging while earning the CSP Elite designation.  She is also available for speaking engagements on: How to use social networking to improve your real estate business, Why Home Staging is a Must in Today's Market, How to calculate market statistics and use them to understand and explain to sellers where the market is going using data, Discussing statistics with sellers to help them price their property to sell.  Michele is a Certified Residential Specialist with a top real estate team in Charleston, SC.  Since 2004, Michele Reneau has personally sold 174 homes while the average agent in the market sells 6 homes a year.   Featured on HGTV's House Hunters and Real Estate Executive MagazineRESA 2009 Staging Realtor of the Year Nominee. The Charleston Relocation Experts Team specializes in military relocation, first time homebuyers and creating marketing exposure to sell your home in the Charleston SC Real Estate market.  Michele can also be contacted by email at



Michele Reneau, ABR, GRI, CRS

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Comment balloon 9 commentsMichele Reneau • July 09 2009 10:54PM


Totally agree! So many reach out with the front elevation when it's the kitchen or back yard/pool shot that should be the lead!

Posted by Vickie Nagy over 8 years ago

Michele, You may a very good point.  I have a client who was upset at the 4 pictures that were on  I wonder if I change the photos now if will change their photos also?

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 8 years ago

Michele - you make a great point.  I never thought about it that way.  Ah the little tricks we learn from each other on AR.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Nevin Williams, Raleigh Mortgage Pro (Sierra Pacific Mortgage Raleigh) over 8 years ago

Yes, Great advice. I recently learned of this myself about It has changed the way I order my listing photos.

Posted by John Combs (Alan Deblat Real Estate Corp.) over 8 years ago


Great information. Never really thought about it much.. I know an agent in my office who never uses bathroom photos.

Posted by Lori Lincoln Team, Top Agent Serving Taunton,Dighton Rehoboth and mo (Top Agent Serving Dighton Taunton, Rehoboth and more!) over 8 years ago

Vicky-I agree that sometimes the 1st photo shouldn't be the exterior if there is another room that has a wow factor that could overcome a not so hot exterior.

Marchel-I think (from previous experience) that doesn't change after your initial upload into MLS.  I changed one of my listings after the fact but it hasn't reflected on  Frustrating as it has 2 views of the kitchen and I would have liked to show off another room.

Nevin-AR is full of so many learning opportunities. I love it too!

John-Glad to hear you are making the photos count.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) over 8 years ago

Lori-I think bathrooms can be dirty and it can come through a photo.  Toilet seats must be down.  Bathrooms are one of few rooms that come through a photo when its dirty. They should have a lot of light.  Master baths that have the bells and whistles are nice to feature.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) over 8 years ago

Great points Michele.  The right photos can make or break you.  I would also add that putting them up in a timely manner can be important.  I recently had a buyer skip past a listing that was automatically sent by the mls because there was only one picture.  He nearly bought another house but negotiations fell through.  I redirected him to the house that started out with only one picture but now had quite a few posted.  He loved it, made an offer and now lives in the house.  A lack of pictures in a timely manner almost spoiled the sale.

Posted by Michael Johnson, Metro Charleston SC (Carolina One Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Michael-I couldn't agree more. A great lesson in why this important part of our job must be taken care of when the listing gets input.  You only get one chance to make a 1st impression and that includes your debut on the Internet/MLS.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) over 8 years ago

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