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PRIVACY 101: How to get photos of your home off Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com

People had more free time on their hands in 2020 when lockdowns and quarantines were in place. Home projects saw a rise as people spent time in their homes and found room for improvement.

Are you thinking of selling your home? Hopefully, you’ve used some of your time to spruce it up. If not, it’s never too late. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, and even minor changes can add considerable value to your sell price later. Tap or click here for five tips on boosting your home’s value.

If you’re not trying to sell your home, there’s no reason to leave interior photos and other details on various real estate sites like Realtor, Zillow and Redfin. This information raises privacy concerns and makes your home a target for criminals.

Public information

When selling your home, sellers want potential buyers to have all the information they need including photos, floor plans, furnishings, appliances and more. But if you just bought a home, you might not want all that information to be readily available to the public.

Does anyone need to know about your Persian rug or stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator? Do they need to see every entry point for each room? This information puts you at risk from criminals who can put together strategies based on your floorplans. And there is an issue of privacy.

You might assume your real estate agent or seller would remove your home’s info from real estate sites after you’ve made a deal, but that’s typically not the case.

Related5 private details about you and your home anyone can find online

A listing network

When selling your home, you likely want as much exposure as you can. A wider audience means more potential offers and hopefully more money in your pocket from the sale.

When your home is put up for sale, the broker uploads your home’s information (photos, floorplans, and more) to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). An MLS is where houses and pictures are posted.

This group then distributes the details to online real estate sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin and more. Brokers and agents who subscribe to that MLS (for a membership fee) can access all the information.

Real estate agents can also use the information to post their listings on social media and other online outlets.

Removing yourself from an MLS

Only licensed agents and brokers can access an MLS and make changes, such as removal. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, ask your listing agent to close out the listing on the MLS. This may not necessarily get everything removed right away, but it’s a start.

Just because your home’s information is removed from the MLS doesn’t mean it’s not available elsewhere. You may still find it on publicly accessible real estate sites.

Once again, you can ask your listing agent to remove your photos and other home information from websites they have access to.

If your agent is dragging their feet, you can take matters into your own hands and remove the information yourself from each site, for which you’ll need to create accounts.

You may have to claim ownership of the home before making any changes. This opens up tools to track the value of your home and gives helpful information on pricing, including the value of nearby homes, purchase history and personalized recommendations.

Claiming your home is also the first step in removing information and photos. Here’s how to do it on a few of the most popular sites.

Zillow

Go to zillow.com/sellerlanding/claimyourhome and type in your address to find your home. Then you must verify that you are the legal owner by selecting your name from the drop-down list.

Once you’ve claimed ownership, you can start removing photos from Zillow:

  • Log into your Zillow profile at zillow.com.
  • On your home’s property page, select Edit photos from the More dropdown menu.
  • Click on a photo, then click Remove Photo.
  • Click Save Changes when you’re done.

Go to zillow.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new to submit a ticket for help.

Realtor.com

Go to realtor.com/myhome, type in your address and click Claim Your Home on your home’s profile page.

  • Log into your Realtor.com profile at realtor.com.
  • Go to your owner dashboard under the My Home tab.
  • Click the Remove Photos button.

Contact support at support.realtor.com/s/contactsupport if you need assistance.

Redfin

After creating an account and claiming your home, you can make changes from your Owner Dashboard:

  • Log into redfin.com.
  • Go to your Owner Dashboard using the drop-down menu under your name in the top-right corner of the page.
  • Click on your home.
  • Click Manage Photos, then Hide listing photos.
  • Click Yes, Hide Photos when it pops up.

You may also like: How to get notified automatically the second a home hits the market

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