Real Actual Listing Photos: Kitchens! Skies! Glowing Orbs!

Whoops, sorry about the radio silence yesterday. Busy day snuck right up on me. To make it up to you, here’s an extra-long collection of real actual listing photos. Enough excuses though, let’s get on with it.

It’s time for another installment of Real Actual Listing Photos. Once a month (or so) I round up some of the most bizarre listing photos from around the Seattle area and post them here, with brief excerpts from the real actual listing description, and probably a bit of snarky commentary.

The idea for this series stems from the ongoing forum thread Detrimental Listing Photos, which is where you should post your nominations for next month’s Real Actual Listing Photos post.

No particular theme this month, other than the usual theme of bizarre and disturbing listing photos.

Enough explanation. Let’s get to the photos! Click the photo to view the Real Actual Listing.

18521 48th Ave W Lynnwood, WA 98037“Great room with over 1000 SF+. The great room is the size of many small ramblers by itself!”

Big enough for three big-screen TVs, just for the hell of it! And a tanning bed! And another TV! I count at least seven TVs spread throughout this house. NICE.

705 E Republican St #104 Seattle, WA 98102“This unit sits on the first floor of the very desireable Vertigo complex completely renovated in 2007”

It looks like they’re trying to induce vertigo with this bizarre, blurred & hyper-saturated listing photo.

2721 1st Ave #301 Seattle, WA 98121“This elegant sky rise with views of Elliot Bay will leave you breathless.”

Too bad the all-consuming darkness destroyed the breathless view. Hat tip to Matt Goyer on this one. I thought it needed a little something… extra, so I whipped up an alternate version.

19001 80th Ave W Edmonds, WA 98026“Awaits your vision & creativity.”

See if you can spot the extra-special touch in this kitchen. Here’s a close-up view in case you’re stumped.

181 Bergggren Dr Eatonville, WA 98373“A must see! Nicest in neighborhood.”

By “must see” they of course meant that you must see the home in person to get any idea of what it looks like since these microscopic pics (shown actual size) won’t be giving you any ideas. Oh, and good luck finding “Bergggren Drive” if you do want to go see it.

4325 W Emerson St Seattle, WA 98199“For some buyers, this and the great location next to Discovery Park may be enough to consider buying this home.”

Wow, such conviction. I’m sold. Also, I’m sure that this photo is totally representative of the view you have from this house. Also note the subtle touch of the Corvette parked right in front of the home in photo #1.

11545 Roosevelt Wy NE Seattle, WA 98125“Spacious kitchen, dining room combo.”

The kitchen is so spacious you’ll get dizzy and lose your balance just gazing upon it.

2310 N 158 St Shoreline, WA 98133“Light & bright spacious house.”

Maybe if we shoot this in black and white with all the lights turned off, nobody will notice how cluttered the kitchen is!

11026 101 Place NE Kirkland, WA 98033“Living room includes gas fireplace and built in shelving.”

Entry room includes glowing nuclear orb of death. DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO GLOWING NUCLEAR ORB OF DEATH.

14350 38th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98125“Spacious 3900 square foot contemporary home with 4 bedrooms, great water views and a large lower level rec room.”

Nothing says “this home is worth $625,000” like a leak bucket in the middle of the living room. “Great water views” indeed. Up close and personal.

611 W Leisure Way Palm Springs, CA 92262“$999K Includes the amazing furniture—1,299K includes nearly everything you see—including the amazing art!”

This one isn’t in Seattle, but it was too incredible not to share. Check out that… um… amazing table in the back-left. Yowza.

611 W Leisure Way Palm Springs, CA 92262…in case the “amazing art” and the “amazing furniture” was just too subtle.

Let me know if you have an idea for the next “Real Actual Listing Photos” theme.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    Granite Counters and Stainless Steel Appliances

    Don’t make a 40s/50s styled dinky galley kitchen spacious at all in your picture of the alleged light/bright one, hades, the kitchen doesn’t even have a window, let alone extra counter and ceiling lighting….how do you cook without a flashlight and more importantly how do you cook with almost no counter space?

    It’s a good example of why I went to newer designed homes with FAR more storage and two bathrooms too on my 2nd buy.

  2. 2
  3. 3

    Tim, I don’t mind the radio silence, and would prefer that to your getting burned out by feeling compelled to post something new everyday. But for the obvious repeat items (e.g. NWMLS stats, C-S stats), I’m not sure how you manage to come up with something new every day.

  4. 4
    EconE says:

    Somebody really likes their television. Were they trying to sell it in 2005?


    It appears that one will be “SOLD” May 6, 2011 at 10:00 am at the north entrance of the Snohomish County Courthouse.

    RE the Palm Springs listing…I think the owner hangs out at the Korova Milk Bar.

  5. 5
    LA Relo says:

    If this isn’t proof people still think homes are worth more than they are, it’s at least anecdotal evidence that some people have yet to accept we are in a buyer’s market.

    I’m not a fan of doctoring fake blue skies and artificial enlargement through fish eye lenses, but for the love of God, use a tripod.

  6. 6

    RE: LA Relo @ 5 – In some of these cases the pictures could be the result of it being a rental, but I haven’t looked to see if that’s the case with any of these. There’s always a limit to how much agents can move stuff around for pictures, but that limit is much greater when it’s not the seller’s property you want to move around.

  7. 7
    Lurker says:

    By Kris @ 2:

    Found this pile of laundry yesterday:

    From this listing:

    Almost every photo in that listing is funny!

  8. 8
    Cheap South says:

    RE: Lurker @ 7

    I have to agree. From the classy Irish flag on the wall to the broken balcony floor.

    Also, it seems that in every shot with light coming to the room, I see the image of the Virgin Mary!!

  9. 9
    Lurker says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 8

    It appears that Help-U-Sell Real Estate has partnered up with Help-U-Take-Sum-Gooder-Pictures Photography Studio.

  10. 10
    redmondjp says:

    LOVE the porcelain duck!

    Full disclosure: I have one of those mounted on my back-yard shed, one of two pieces of what’s left of my pre-marriage thrift-store duck collection. I miss those thrift-store decorating days – reuse, recycle, reduce. And reduce I did after getting married, back to the thrift-store they went!

  11. 11
    David Losh says:

    It cost a minimum of $500 to prepare, and photograph a property. Many agents spend up to, or the home owner spends up to $1000 to $2000 to get a property presentation ready.

    I personally have a $10,000 rule that we refuse to exceed, but some people pay that, and some others exceed $10,000 in preparing a property for sale. That $10,000 probably doesn’t include staging, which is another $1200 to $2400.

    All in all Real Estate agents prepare these properties so some online brokerage can show pretty pictures to build content to get eye balls. In other words, agents, and owners have to, and are shamed into spending thousands of useless dollars so a bunch of desk chair want to be buyers can have something to do.

    If you are a serious buyer you are in the car seeing properties that don’t fit what you want. You should learn something before you fall in love with a property.

    For God sakes, in todays declining market place look for people who know more about property, and less about pictures.

  12. 12
    ARDELL says:

    I’m wondering if “Under Contract” means Pending in Palm Springs. Did that last one really sell for 45% more than the 2004 sold price?

  13. 13
    query_squidier says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 3:

    Tim, I don’t mind the radio silence, and would prefer that to your getting burned out by feeling compelled to post something new everyday.

    Kary, as an almost-always-lurker, this comment of yours really calls to my mind ye olde pot & kettle. I can’t remember a post by Tim in which you didn’t have a comment. What drives this site is Tim’s very informative and analytical posts, yes, but for people like me, who like to learn and hear different points of view (including your own), the comments are where it’s at.

    I love this site. When I finally buy a house I might very well invite you all over for a house-warming party. I’ll even let you guys pay the heating bill.

  14. 14
    ray pepper says:

    I want that damn table!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. 15
    ChefJoe says:

    You zoom in on the duck rather than the full size clothes washer hanging out in the kitchen ?

  16. 16
    ChefJoe says:

    Lol… or the hole where a toilet used to be.

  17. 17
    Lurker says:

    RE: ChefJoe @ 15

    That is the dishwasher but I don’t suggest putting your good china in there.

  18. 18
    mgaboa says:

    i think everyone should read “how might warren buffett invest in real estate?” so that we don’t get into the trouble that we got into recently with the real estate crash and foreclosures. you can find it on amazon

  19. 19

    RE: query_squidier @ 13 – As to the pot/kettle comment, all I’m saying is Tim should not feel overly compelled to post something every day. If he can, that’s fine, but I don’t think he should feel overly pressured to do so.

  20. 20
    query_squidier says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 18

    Fair enough.

  21. 21

    All these fine photos beg the question, why don’t sellers ever complain that their cheap ass agent is taking the photos with a 1965 Polaroid Instamatic camera? Just by looking at other on-line listings they could tell they are getting a bum deal.

  22. 22

    RE: Conor MacEvilly @ 20 – The bigger question is why don’t agents have better cameras (if they are going to take pictures themselves)?

    As to your comment though, realize that not all sellers really want to sell. I learned that early on when I saw a $1M+ listing that only had one picture, and it was one of those drawings, not a real picture. Just by odd chance I learned later that the seller was in bankruptcy, and was being basically forced to list their house for sale. Similarly, I’ve always suspected some short sellers are only doing so to drag out the foreclosure process.

  23. 23

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21 – Fair comment and possible that the agent will sense that the seller has no interest in selling so why waste their money. I actually called a short-sale listing agent once to congratulate them on the excellent photos they had taken of the property and on the condition of the property…and it was only a $200K condo!

  24. 24

    RE: Conor MacEvilly @ 22 – It’s even possible the agent might be in on it. Perhaps the agent is a friend of the seller.

  25. 25
    Poco Ritard says:

    Wow. That Palm Springs place is filled with “panach.” Isn’t that something you serve with borscht?

  26. 26
    Leanne says:

    my thoughts exactly. very Clockwork Orange.RE: EconE @ 4

  27. 27
    ChefJoe says:

    By Lurker @ 17:

    RE: ChefJoe @ 15

    That is the dishwasher but I don’t suggest putting your good china in there.

    They’ve red-necked together a top loading dish washer ? The final spin cycle must be hell on your glassware.

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