Home Selling in 20110>Question Details

Jagdip, Home Buyer in Springfield, VA

is it legal to use old listing pictures of my home from previous seller to list my home for sale?

Asked by Jagdip, Springfield, VA Fri Jul 29, 2011

I have copied pictures from listing when i bought my home and house was empty. I like those pictures and want to use them for listing my home again. I assume that prospective buyers will like to see pictures of empty home than home with my stuff in it because they will be getting the empty home eventually.

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17
Those pictures have copyrights on them, unless you get expressed permission for the agent and also the MLS service, using those pictures would be a violation of copyright and subject to the fines involved with copyright.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Using someone else's photos could be problematic, in that they technically own the photos - typically it's not a real issue, but it could be if they were professionally taken. Also, an empty home sends out signals, often not good signals - one is EXPECTATION (that it is vacant and thus you may be anxious to sell quickly, inviting lower offers); the other is that a STAGED home shows much better than a vacant home, assuming it really is occupied, they will be expecting one thing and seeing another. It's actually much better to be occupied and nicely decorated or staged (but not overstuffed) than to be vacant. Realtors know this as well. It's helps people proportion their "stuff" in the same space.

Conversely, the buyer on a short time line may think it's ready to move in and expect to settle quick... there are all kinds of issues related to photographs - but honestly, get a good quality hi-resolution digital camera (not a cell phone camera) and take lots of angles and shots with variable lighting and pick from the best of the lot, andr e-post them. If you are not comfortable shooting them, ask around, surely you have a friend or family member who is a good amateur photographer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
The pictures belong to who took them, if they were from a previous listing agent they could be copy righted to them. You can ask permission to use them if you really like them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Yes, you cannot use them without permission. If you can contact the old seller or listing agent, they might give you permission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
its better to leave your furniture there when you sell your home. its warmer looking, shows nicer. pictures are much nicer with furniture. suzanne pinto future home realty 727-967-9571. please call when your ready to list.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Buyers need to see your home with "stuff" just not too much. Your agent should help you with staging your home or de-cluttering. Most important, your agent should know how to take great shots of the property to make it stand out to buyers. The right agent will have no problem selling your home so leave it to them to do their job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Its definitley not Ethical, that much is for sure! One thing you want to be is honest with the Photos, when your Buyers come out to Preview the Home! They will definitley see the Truth for themselves NO Matter What! So, you want the Photos to be as honest of a representation as possible! After all there is the perfect Buyer out there for your Home, and who is to say they wont love it just the way it is?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Photos of a house probably don't get copyright protection. Such photos are meant to be reproduced and distributed freely. They are produced with the intention of helping sell the house. That is why you are using the pics. For more info see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Basic_copyright_issues
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
I WOULD SAY EXTERIOR OF HOME SHOULD BE CURRENT AND INTERIOR SHOTS IF NOTHING HAS CHANGED IS LEGAL. BUT PLEASE CONSULT AN ATTORNEY TO BE SURE. I'M A REALTOR NOT AN ATTORNEY.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
I dont believe its a problem as long as nothing has changed. However using new pictures is always best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
You have received a lot of great advice. My advice would be to you, is to take your own pictures, this way the would be buyers will know exactly what they are going to see. Many buyers prefer furnished homes it will help them to decide if there personal belongs will fit. When rooms are empty they appear to look much smaller than what they really are, so keep that in mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
There is nothing to prevent you from using older photographs to market your home. However, if the pictures are the same images loaded by MRIS you may be notified by the Washington D.C. regional listing service that you have violated copyright law by using the property of the Multiple Listing Service without prior consent. However, if you are attempting to FSBO your house we do not think MRIS will engage you over copyright issues. This seems to only be a problem for licensed agents with MRIS membership who attempt to use previous pictures. We believe individual rooms should be furnished when showcasing your home on the internet through pictures. This gives the viewer reference points for depth perception and the function of individual rooms. It would be a good idea to use the photos of empty rooms on a side-by-side comparison to the same furnished rooms in blog entries, brochures, & real estate websites which allow 60+ photos for each listing. Good luck. Feel free to call us for assistance if you are without the services of a Realtor.

Dwayne & Maryanne Moyers
Managing Broker
Avery-Hess Realtors (Lake Ridge Office)
Top 2% of Realtors Nationwide
http://www.NotYourTypicalRealtor.com
(540) 379-7359 (Maryanne)
(540) 446-6284 (Dwayne)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
I doubt that copyright will be an issue for YOUR home.

I would prefer to show it correctly.

If you are saying that you've got too much firniture and clutter;
take acre of both.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Jagdip,

Mr. Carney is exactly right.

Great pictures will help get people in the door, but how you actually present your home when the buyer walks through it will be the deciding factor. Take the time to prepare your property, and take current pictures.

As for furniture... almost all model homes are furnished and staged properly... there is a good reason for that..$$$

Do it right, or don't do it at all! I know a few great agents in your area, let me know if you would like their contact info.

Hope this helps,

Randy P.
Web Reference: http://www.trust2move.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Jag,
I can udnerstand your wish to be efficient and get your home on the market. There are many areas to save money when it comes to selling your home BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM!

Start packing and clearing as much floor space and counter top as possible. You will be surprised how much assistance area real estate agents will offer. The images you provide will dictate the manner in which your property will be discussed and remembered. You want this working to your advantage, your to your detriment. Take new pictures!

Annette Lawrence
ReMax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor FL
727. 420. 4041
Web Reference: http://www.MyDunedin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
It's unlikely you're breaking the law, but it would make far more sense to use current pictures.
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
First of all, if you happened to copy the pictures from a website, they are probably covered by a copywrite and you would have to get permission from the site to use them. Just because they are on the web doesn't mean thatjust anyone can use them.

If you happened to have been given the digital files from the seller, you should be able to use them IF they provide a true representation of the home as it is now. As an example, if when you bought the house it was surrounded by tall trees and you cut them down and planted a lawn, they are not a true representation. This is applicable in the house if you have made structural changes, not maintained the items in the pictures such a windows, wood floors, etc

Having shown homes where the interior was significantly different from the photos viewed online, I can tell you that buyers will not take it kindly if they think someone has tryed to pull a fast one, not that you necessarily are. The best way to proceed is take photos of the home as it currently is and remove any extra clutter that might be a distraction to potential buyers.

I hope that helps you and please let me know if I can be of any additional service.

AJ Heidmann
Cell 703-474-1260 ~ Office 703-717-6324 ~ Fax 703-839-8283
AJ@AJHeidmann.com
http://www.AJHeidmann.com
McEnearney Associates, Inc.
Licensed in Virginia
Web Reference: http://www.AJHeidmann.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
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