– Crystal Vagnier – Select Group – Writer/Editor
It’s important that Realtors® understand the act of securing the copyrights of their listing photos. It’s not an easy topic to digest as multiple parties will insist they own the real estate images: real estate listing websites, MLSs, the listing agent, the broker, real estate photographers, and homeowners.
Many websites and MLS’s will include in their Terms of Service’s fine print regarding the copyright of photography uploaded. If an agent or broker pays a photographer for their services, many photographers will have an agreement or contract stating that they own the rights to their images. Some photographers will grant clients a limited license to use the images up to a certain time frame, for example, up to a year for marketing purposes. It is important to always read the fine print to see who actually owns the images before a lawsuit takes place.
Depending on what your needs are, it is beneficial for a Realtor® to work with a photographer who is willing to release sole rights over a property’s images. When paying for images, research to insure you own unlimited rights. Don’t use a photographer that will not release the rights to the photo’s for any and all marketing purposes. It will save you time and money along the way.