dark, blurry and just plain horrible

By Louise Sukle
Editor & Publisher
Woman Newspapers

I have a guilty pleasure; I love to prowl vacation rental and real estate websites. Or rather, I’m addicted to their hilariously bad photographs and it's frankly amazing how many there are.

Have you ever come across a picture in a listing that made you do a double-take? Spotting cringe-worthy photos has become a sort of sport for me.
Nothing says “welcome to my home” like a room full of creepy dolls. Or a gloomy house crowded with taxidermy. And why so many pictures of dark hallways and basement stairways?

I especially love the shots that show the toilet but nothing of the bathroom it’s sitting in. Or the close-up shot of the “high-end” dishwasher and no other kitchen photo.

How about the ones that take several photos of the exterior and none of the interior? What does that tell you? Either the owner doesn’t want the antique chandelier showing up on the internet (OK, I get that) or the place needs a total rehab (more likely.)

These websites are supposed to have beautiful photos of their listings, right? After all, photos pull us in for a closer look. Common sense says don’t take pictures of a grimy bathtub or a sink stacked with filthy dishes.

Blurry and sideways photos aside, couldn’t the owner at least hide some of their junk in a closet? Just to take the picture? Guess not.
It’s true, professionally staged photos can mislead us sometimes, but now and then, a brutally accurate photo can actually spare us a trip. A bumbling owner or broker can reveal a deal-breaking flaw: Toilet sitting inside the shower stall? Ummm, I'll pass, thanks.

This serves as reminder that not all homes are created equal. Whether it's bewildering house designs, nightmarish pets, or outlandish decor, one question remains: Is it really a good idea to flaunt it?