The adjoining photograph is the same as one that I recently came across on our local MLS. Notice the little Google Man in the bottom right corner? This agent didn’t even make the effort to take a single photograph of the house she had listed – she just copied one from Google Street View!
Seriously – What is it with real estate agents and their lack of understanding about the importance of pictures when advertising their clients’ homes?
The number one, most important, most impactful, and most controllable factor in marketing a home that is the quality of the listing photographs. If you have shopped for a home at any time during the last several years, (or even if you haven’t!), you’re aware of the critical role pictures play in attracting a buyer’s attention.
When searching online, (which is the way nearly all home buyers in 2017 go about finding home options), buyers will first enter in their required, objective criteria – (location, size, # of beds/baths, price, etc.) They then receive back a long list of homes, all of which already meet their basic, objective requirements. They will then go through the homes on that list one-by-one and decide which homes are interesting enough to merit a personal visit, and which homes they can remove from consideration.
Can you guess what it is that those buyers are so closely examining during this careful process of elimination?
If you said, “The PICTURES, Dummy!” – You’re right! The pictures, and to a much lesser extent the written descriptions, are the two essential factors that your targeted and most interested buyers will be using to decide whether your home is something they will consider, or if they can cross it off their list.
It is entirely beyond my comprehension not only as a Realtor, but as an adult human being of at least minimum intelligence, as to how it is that certain real estate agents either don’t understand this blatantly obvious fact, or simply don’t care! Every day that I’m on the MLS, I see listing pictures of homes taken after dark, overexposed camera flashes reflected in darkened windows, meaningless close-ups of ceilings or walls, darkened rooms with no lighting, and listing reports with just one picture when there should be eighteen.
I see vertical pictures displayed horizontally, rooms photographed at off-kilter angles, and pictures so blurry you can barely make out what it is that they show. I see rooms overrun with clutter, sinks overflowing with dirty dishes, upturned toilet seats, and bedroom after bedroom with unmade beds and dirty clothes on the floor. Seriously, the sheer laziness I see from some so many agents when it comes to the single most relevant piece of advertising, just drives me crazy!
And I’m not talking about cheap homes listed with the so-called “discount brokerages,” – I’m talking about the MLS photos of homes of all price ranges listed and “marketed” by the big-name, maximum-commission companies, and by real estate agents whose names you might recognize.
While I can’t explain why some agents are so neglectful when it comes to listing photos, the fact that they are, makes it necessary for you, as a home seller, to double-check their work. Always make sure that your listing has a full collection of twenty-four high-quality pictures displayed, and that each of them shows your property in the best light possible.
In the event that your house doesn’t sell quickly, and the seasons change, make sure that your agent comes back and takes new, seasonally-current, exterior pictures. Nothing makes a listing look so obviously outdated, stale, and therefore less enticing to buyers, than pictures of snow banks and bare trees on the main MLS picture of a house that’s for sale in July.
Unfortunately, most agents will take one set of pictures, then set it and forget it. Don’t let this happen to you – insist that the pictures of your house are kept fresh and up-to-date.
It’s a factual reality that the greatest number of targeted buyers for your home will see it and consider it based to a large amount on the pictures in the MLS report. If you don’t think that your agent has done a top-notch job of representing your home through the photographs, tell him to suspend the listing and try again. Remember, you’re the boss – it’s your house, your time, and your equity that’s on the line. You have every right to make sure you receive the service that you’ve been promised.
** Interestingly, the agent who used this picture advertises herself as having a series of professional realty designations. Apparently, none of these “advanced marketing designations” involved a course on how to use a camera.**