Are We Making Our Clients Homes Targets for Criminals by Posting Too Many Photos?

Reblogger Grant Hickman
Real Estate Agent with Grant Hickman Real Estate Advisors

How do you feel about this?  How many photos do you post on average?  What's too many or not enough?  

You always want to show enough to bring a lead in, but not too much.  Let their imagination run wild.

Thanks to Jeff for the original!


Original content by Jeff Pearl

I saw pieces of some cop show the other night about this, and also a recent post about an agent only posting one photo was grounds for another agent to decide not to show that house due to lack of photos.

 When we post 30 photos of the exterior and interior and floor plan, we are providing criminals with tons of information that they can use to decide which homes they want to break in to. These criminals were scanning virtual tours to decide on which homes they were going to break in to. Another kind of burglar that also scans virtual tours are " Open House" thieves. They scan tours looking for valuables that they can stick in their pockets or purses while visiting and walking through Open Houses.

 Exterior photos can show locations and types of all doors and windows, sliding doors, walk outs, bushes, trees, places to hide, fences, closeness to neighbors, motion sensor lights, outdoor lights, pet doors that can be sometimes be used to crawl in, streetlights, closeness of house to street, etc.

Indoor photos can show all kind of valuables like computers and laptops, guns and rifles, antiques, sterling silver sets, vases, statues, art, tools, tv's, jewelry boxes sitting on dressers, brass fireplace equipment, a motorcycle or mower in garage, etc.

 A good burglary team can use all of that infomation and more to choose the houses they plan to break in to to make the most money for their effort and risk.

 And even worse, many times based on the bedrooms and family pictures hanging on the walls or sitting on furniture, they can figure out how many kids live there, whether they are boys or girls, their approximate ages based on toys and room decor, are they gone to school during the day, whether there is one parent or two living there, whether they both work, etc.

 I know most of us tell owners to hide their valuables and medications, but many don't do it. So when placing 30 pics in the MLS, I try to use caution and make sure there is nothing showing in the photo that would attract the attention of a burglar or an Open House theif. Some sellers just don't want 30 pics of everything they own posted on the internet for everyone to see. So I don't decide whether or not to show a house based on the amount of photos. The seller might have requested that only one photo be posted. It's up to my customers to decide whether or not they want to see it, drive by it, or ask me to preview. If they have an interest, I'm not going to eliminate it just because there is only one photo.


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Grant Hickman

Saint Charles Real Estate Pro
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