I don't even bother with looking at the photos any more. There's not that much inventory to keep up on here, and if it's in a price range where I have buyers or sellers, I'll just go to check it out.
Here's a secret tip for buyers: the worse it looks on line, the fewer competitors, and the better opportunity to make a sweet deal. Think about it - everyone wants the beauty contest winner . . . but if all a house really needs is to be cleaned out?
The owners 'don't see' the stuff. IT's the way they live. In their mind, "it's not that bad."
As an agent you have three options.
1. Dear buyer, "I can't sell a pig pen." that results in "You're fired." (a valid option)
2. Take the pics and let the offers fall where they may.
3. Put on the rubber gloves and go to work. Pack boxes with floor clutter and stack on top of the hoarder boxes in the garage. Wash the dishes. Stuff the underwear into the washer, make beds and close those dresser drawers and let us not overlook that bathroom vanity. I've done it. This results in a buyer visiting four weeks later saying, "It sure didn't look like this in the pictures!! Why are real estate people so deceptive?"
Of course, we should understand, there will be no way to satisfy everyone. I recently sold a modest pool home in Clearwater that had everything new.... in 1973, (seriously, the owners used, "just replaced" about 17 times) Although my photographer put lip stick on this house, the real issue was the needed 'Hazard' sign required warning of the 40 years of accumulated nicotine. Even I couldn't stand to be in the house. It was always my last appoint for obvious reasons. Every response was about the nicotine. The respiratory impaired buyer didn't see a real problem.
Although there seems to be a tendency to blame the real estate professional, it may not be appropriate in all situations. Now, as a highly paid professional, who pays thousands and thousands of dollars to append letters to your name, promotes your brand, and parades the evidence of your success, are you going to do what needs to be done, or justifiably accept that you are being hired to help sell what the owner has and in the condition that it is in? Do you impose our standard on the home seller? Do we push them aside, clean and polish, take the pics and know that in three weeks the evidence will be gone. As you can see, it's an economic decision....for the agent.
There should be no argument that every agent prefers to help sell the "Prom Queen" house. Some agents have a business model that I call 'no touchy.' The owner is required to do everything even take pics of their own house. That is what is so great about real estate, There are a gazillion business models and the home buyer or seller has a gazillion choices. Unless you know what the consumer deliberately elected regarding what is best for them, we must refrain from throwing each other under the bus.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence. Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Ask the Seller before taking photos to clean the house, make the beds, do a little picking up, mow the lawn, schedule a garbage pick up, replace missing bulbs, etc, little things go a long way and these are cost effective even on lower income neighborhoods.
It is our duty as Realtors to work in the best interest of our Client, rushing to list a property and not advising the Seller how to properly and more effectively market their asset its a shame to our profession.
Take with you and MLS of a home with perfect photos and one of a home in completely abandon and show them to the seller, then ask "which you think will get more people to see it, sell faster and for the most money?"....they will gladly clean up before you return.
La Rosa Realty of Kissimmee
Elaine Villafane, PA, MS
Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals
Professional photos are a must and clients should expect nothing less. They are surprisingly inexpensive if you shop around and develop a good relationship with a photographer. In today's online, visual marketplace, you are not in the game with out them.
Great question and I hope it makes some out there step up their game.
Rusty A. Payton, Broker
1225 W Morse
Chicago, Illinois 60626
Tara May Webster Realtor
Your Neighborhood Realty Inc