Photo Rule Change: I’m Confused About What Needs a Photo and When!

L.B. writes: I know there was a recent change to the photo rule but now I’m confused about what needs a photo and when!

ARMLS Guest Blogger Frank

Frank: Well, L.B., I’m glad you asked for clarification. Some folks criticize people who write to me asking questions. To them I say –  before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away… and you have their shoes.

Here is what you need to know to put your best foot forward with the new photo requirements Rule 8.24. Originally only Property Class 1 (Residential For Sale) required a photo. The change now includes Class 2 (Rental) and Class 8 (Seasonal Furnished Rental).

An important point to remember is how to define what an exterior photo really is, especially for apartment or loft style properties. The rule says: This exterior photo is defined as the street view of the front elevation of the dwelling which incorporates a substantial portion of the entire dwelling. For apartment style or loft properties this exterior photo must represent the exterior of the building in which the unit is located.

As for when you should attach the photo, the rule states that the photo should be attached within four (4) days from the inclusion of the property in the MLS system.

And don’t forget that a photo is not required if the Seller specifically directs it in writing.

These are the critical points you need to stay on track with the new photo requirements rule. So if you have any Class 2 or 8 listings without an exterior photo, run, don’t walk, to those properties and snap a pic for the MLS!


Archived Comments
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  1. Chris Webb via Facebook

    Did not realize owners could opt out of having a photo (good idea though).

  2. ARMLS via Facebook

    Chris Webb, yes although it must be in writing by the seller. “Unless specifically directed otherwise in writing by the seller”

  3. MartaWalsh

    Such a low standard. Amazing that people struggle to meet it.

  4. Desert Peak Realty News via Facebook

    How is this going to be enforced?

  5. ARMLS via Facebook

    Photo violations are normally identified by other Subscribers (although automated sweeping applications may be used).

  6. Desert Peak Realty News via Facebook

    That’s why I’m wondering – how can other subscribers know whether it is an actual violation or the Seller chose not to have their photo displayed? Should other subscribers be reporting them anyway?

    • ARMLS Social Media Team

      Subscribers should continue to report listings without photos. It is
      very rare that a seller gives written permission to disallow photos, our
      investigation process addresses this area.

  7. ARMLS via Facebook

    Subscribers should continue to report listings without photos. It is very rare that a seller gives written permission to disallow photos, our investigation process addresses this area.

  8. lisa

    I agree. I can’t believe that I even see listings with only one, or even no, photos or just a couple of outside photos. Most of my buyers automatically assume that if there are no inside photos, the house is a shambles and they won’t even consider going to view it. Shame on agents who cannot do a little better.

  9. Dave

    Realtors who put one photo or, worse yet, no photos of their listings are doing a monumental disservice to their clients! I fully agree with Lisa regarding listings with limited photos, or only a couple of outdoor photos. I’ve had buyers tell me that they are very suspicious regarding the interior and don’t even want to check the homes out. If I were selling a home and found my listing on the internet without photos I’d fire my realtor.

  10. disqus_2yNwvWLmge

    So many of the photos that agents are using are not of high quality and do not show a property to its best advantage.
    I have been a professional photographer for many years and have
    experience in photos of properties inside and out. If you want quality
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