Time to raise OLS photo-upload limit

Update: On March 11, 2015, OLS raised its photo upload limit to 25 photos per listing.


A study sponsored by Redfin1 a few years ago concluded that 92% of homebuyers use the Internet as part of their homebuying search, so agents are on the lookout for opportunities to increase exposure to their listings online. It follows that having more photos online would bring greater attention to a listing.

For years the Olympic Listing Service (OLS) has limited the number of images that can be uploaded to just 17 photos for a given listing. There is a technical reason why the OLS established that limit: In years past, to view photos on a local computer, OLS users had to download photos to their computers to view them. Internet download speeds were much slower than they are today, so downloading photos was time consuming, particularly for larger image files.

Today’s broadband Internet and modern browsers make online viewing easy by allowing users to view photos directly on their MLS without having to download them.

We believe the time is ripe for OLS to raise its 17 photo limit. With more photos of a given property online, OLS members will have more opportunities to market their listings. We encourage you to contact the OLS2 and request that it consider raising its photo limit to 25.

But with a higher upload limit comes responsibility to market properly. Being able to upload 25 photos to the OLS doesn’t mean you should always upload 25 photos. Often a property would be effectively marketed with fewer photos, such as in listing a one-bedroom condo. The purpose of listing photos is to draw prospective buyers into a property, not create a ‘photopedia' that documents every distracting detail. Viewers already suffer from information overload, so providing just the right photos—and right number of photos—makes it easy for buyers to fall in love with a property.


1 Unger, T. (2013). Look Sharp: Professional Listing Photos Sell For More Money. Redfin Research Center Secial Reports. Retrieved from

2 Olympic Listing Service (OLS). Sequim Association of Realtors, PO Box 1210, Sequim WA 98382. Retrieved from

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