Real Actual Listing Photos: Door Clichés

If you like this series, treat yourself to a heaping helping of bizarre listing photos throughout the month, from all across the country at Looney Listing.

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.

This month’s theme is door clichés. As I flip through local listings, there are many common themes I come across in the composition of listing photos. This post focuses on a couple of overused door themes.

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

819 33rd Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112“Ultra-luxe … Travertine lavish … Juliet balcny … Décor espresso … Den watches Seattle.”

The “looking through partially open double doors” shot seems to be especially popular on high-end listings. The same is apparently true for over-the-top listing descriptions.

9020 NE 28th St, Clyde Hill, WA 98004“All the spaces you need: 5 ensuites, 5.5 baths, bonus, family room, den, formal spaces, media, wine room, & grand Top-Chef kitchen.”

While the “open door” shot is often a shot of the front door, sometimes it’s inside, to emphasize that this is a house fancy enough to have double doors on the inside.
P.S. – (“Ensuites” is what stuffy rich people call their bedrooms, apparently)

3624 92nd Ave NE, Yarrow Point, WA 98004“Traditional sophistication is alive & well in this home. Magnificent, timeless design is felt throughout the house, creating endless options for new owners to make this classically built property a home.”

Even fancier more sophisticated: double doors into your bathroom.

6728 Earl Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117“This adorable charmer with street presence to spare features gas forced air, two bedrooms and a bath on each floor…”

Get on the porch and shoot your photo at an angle of 45° or less with the front door, and you’ve got the other common door cliché: “the front door angle shot.” Here’s a classic example.

9112 25 Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115“A truly magical little oasis, that is peaceful, private, sensible and accessible.”

This is probably the most extreme example I’ve found. I guess the smaller your angle with the front door, the more edgy you are. Heh, “edgy.”

611 E Howell St, Seattle, WA 98122“Investment opportunity in primo location.”

This listing proves that you don’t even really need to have a porch to pull off the front door angle shot. Just angle yourself up and go.

Let me know if you have an idea for a future “Real Actual Listing Photos” theme, and be sure to check out Looney Listing for listing photo amusement throughout the month.

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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
    ARDELL says:

    A lot of home buyers use which way the front door is facing (usually North or East or Northeast are good) when looking for a home. That is why it is important, especially when the front door does not face the same direction as the driveway to the garage, to show in the photos which way the front door is facing.

    Generally talking about vastu here, but there are other considerations depending on the culture and beliefs of the buyer.

  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 1 – I don’t think you can tell what direction the door is facing with either of these types of shots…

  3. 3

    How about shots of open pocket doors?

    Our house has seven pocket doors, three just in the master bathroom! They are dark wood, which at night makes it easy to run into them if they were left halfway closed, and that is not fun.

  4. 4
    ARDELL says:

    RE: The Tim @ 2

    Sorry…out all day staging. I can tell the direction of at least 3 of them. I think the others aren’t front doors. Of course my clients use a variety of sources online including the photos. Also the color of the door is considered auspicious in some cultures. Even though they can change the door color, they like to see it the auspicious color in the listing photos.

    People are impressed by many different things. It is interesting to watch home buyers look at listings on line. “no, no, no, no. no …maybe” LOL! It’s amazing how fast they can come to a no answer and how very different they are in the reasons why they say no or yes.

    It’s an old real estate agent superstition as well that a house won’t sell if there is no view of the front door in at least one of the photos. Something about it not being “welcoming”.

  5. 5
    Scotsman says:

    “Ensuite” is improperly used (and misspelled) in the second listing. It should be written as ‘ five bedrooms en suite’ suggesting that each bedroom has an attached bath. The realtor is too clever by half and ends up essentially double counting the baths.

    “: so as to form a suite : connected ; also: so as to make a matching set “

  6. 6
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 4

    “I can tell the direction of at least 3 of them. I think the others aren’t front doors. ”

    Well ok.

  7. 7
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 4

    One of the stagers we worked with said having a photo of the front door made people feel familiar with the property. She also was very much intersted in making the approach to the house look as good as possible.

    There wasn’t a lot of interest in burning up photos of the outside, but definately the front porch, or entry was important for her.

  8. 8

    RE: Scotsman @ 5
    “The Realtor is too clever by half.”
    I like that. Of the following, which one does not fit?
    Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Galileo, Madame Curie, and a Realtor?

  9. 9
    Mitch says:

    Not sure why you chose this topic. The photos are high quality and pretty well composed. I think they served the sellers interest, so this may simply reflect an insiders cynicism.

  10. 10
    mike says:

    By ARDELL @ 4:

    It’s an old real estate agent superstition as well that a house won’t sell if there is no view of the front door in at least one of the photos. Something about it not being “welcoming”.

    Aside from the 47.3% of buyers that don’t want a welcoming front door unless guests have already passed through the security gate. ;)

    Dumb old political jokes aside, I’m pretty darn impressed that builders are putting up $3.4M spec homes, even in Clyde Hill. Housing has recovered!

  11. 11
    softwarengineer says:

    Actually Tim

    The first photo of the flimsy glass security front doors is right after the burglars just pushed them open with a mild nudge and made out with all the gold jewelry upstairs before the cops arrived….

  12. 12

    RE: softwarengineer @ 11 – Buyers appreciate that view from the door up to the inside because it lets them know how visible they will be to the perp while they are waiting in their perch overlooking the doorway. Ideally the agent will also include a picture from the upper area down to the doorway so that the buyer can assess the kill zone, whether it would be better to use an assault rifle, shotgun or pistol, and the likely cost of repairs for any missed shots.

    When it comes time to list my own house, I will not include the picture from the inside down, because most buyers are right handed and in my house a right handed shooter cannot shield their body as well as a left handed shooter. I’m just hoping that when a prospective buyer comes to see the house and notices that situation that they will have already decided that the house is one to die for.

  13. 13

    I don’t know how many consumer sites allow this, but agents can search for french doors, so it must be popular, right?

    Unfortunately, as far as I know you can’t search for where the french door might be located, or how many of them there might be.

  14. 14

    Software engineer, that doesn’t happen in those neighborhoods right?

    What’s with all the red front doors? Photo 4 says “Look at our Red Front Door”

    Photo 6 says “We Have a Red Front Door AND ALSO RED Marble Columns.”

    Cue SNL skit

    Soon people will be painting the window frames red to one-up the competition.

  15. 15

    RE: Jillayne Schlicke @ 14
    Feng Shui likes red front doors, considers them auspicious.
    …But what’s the big deal? How hard is it to paint a door? You can’t buy a house with a green door and paint it red?

  16. 16
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 15

    Funny, many of the foreclosures that were actually put on market and sold in my ‘hood had their front doors painted red.

  17. 17
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    Kary, Kary, Kary……EVERYONE knows that the correct choice is a pump action 12 gauge with double ought buck. Scares the dung out of the perp when you rack a round and it doesn’t over penetrate. That way if you have a one story (like me) and you somehow miss, you won’t have to worry about blowing holes through your neighbor (like a 8 shot 30-06 barrage fired from, say, an M-1 Garand, might do). ;-)

  18. 18
    Julie Lyda says:

    Regarding Feng Shui. The front door should only be red if it is facing south, otherwise, that is “bad feng shui” :)

    North facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: blue, black, white Material: wooden

    North East facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: orange, purple, yellow, terra cotta

    East facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: green, blue, turquoise Material: wooden

    South East facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: green, turquoise, blue Material: wooden

    South facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: red, pink, purple Material: wooden

    South West facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: pink, peach, apricot, orange, yellow

    West facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: yellow, white, gold, magenta, silver

    North West facing door:
    Feng Shui door color: magenta, gold, silver, white, yellow


  19. 19

    RE: Julie Lyda @ 18 – I think Zillow has all of that in their valuation algorithms.

  20. 20
    redmondjp says:

    RE: No Name Guy @ 17 – No, no, you don’t use 00 for indoor work, especially if there are any other family members present inside. #4 is a good compromise that lessens lethality on the opposide side of two sheets of plasterboard.

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