I Took The Plunge - Unflattering Photos

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX United Real Estate

A couple of Blog posts ago I put the question out there:Since home buyers love to look at photos on the Internet and many buyers eliminate homes without photos is it appropriate to put photos of homes that need lots and lots of TLC?

The trend of the comments was:  Yes, it was a good idea to put photos of the house as it exists in the marketing materials.  The concept is to keep from wasting the time of both the potential buyer and the Realtor.  Who wants to go to a house that needs a lot of work when the buyer isn't really up to it?  The thinking is that if the photos tell the story, the Seller might just get the right buyer earlier rather than later.

So, I took the plunge.  I took photos of the interior of a home that needs quite a bit of work.  I've seen worse and I've seen lots better.  I'm lucky in the sense that the Seller has agreed to price the home aggressively - well below comparable sales in the neighborhood.  This should allow puh-lenty of room for someone amenable to a FHA 203(K) type mortgage or even a CASH buyer.  The potential is there, the numbers should work.  Now, it's just a matter of whether the photos really help eliminate people who really aren't interested and saving them and their Realtors valuable time.

By the way, since the price is so attractive I actually got a couple of calls from Realtors the first day it was in the MLS even though there is over 2 feet of snow on the ground.  Since the house is empty, I toodled on out with my snow shovel to clear a path and placed the video on the Maryland Suburban Homes blog.  Just wanted to toot my own horn a bit.

Comments (11)

Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

I have alway felt that if you let the Realtor and the public know what you have it will sell if priced correctly.

Feb 15, 2010 01:25 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I saw the photos.

You made the right choice.

Better to do that, then not post the photos and have anyone with any thoughts of move-in ready be extremely disappointed.  At least they know what to expect, and anyone going to see the home you know will be serious buyers.

I bet you'll end up selling this puppy as a result....

Feb 15, 2010 01:25 AM
Mark Brian
Silver Star Real Estate LLC - Anderson, SC
Anderson SC Realtor

I have to agree that realistic photos are always the best choice. A buyer will only think you have been deceptive if you have not shown a property as it really is, even if the words you use to describe the property plainly state the facts.

Feb 15, 2010 01:33 AM
Bob Edwards
Coldwell Banker- The Real Estate Group, Inc. - Appleton, WI
Fox Cities Real Estate Hotline, SFR- Appleton, WI

I couldn't agree more with the choice to show it as it is, you never want to came across as "the agent that's trying to hide something". 

Feb 15, 2010 02:06 AM
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

Elite, Ralph, Mark and Fox -  It seems from your response, i made the right choice.  I feel encouraged.  This is the first time I ever posted unflatering photos.  I'm with you guiys, though, I hate wasting time looking at homes the buyer obviously would never buy, if they knew better, in advance.

Feb 15, 2010 02:14 AM
Gordon Lane - serving the Sacramento Region
eXp Realty - Sacramento, CA
Making selling or buying a home easy

Absolutely the right choice. If there are no photos I just assume the worst anyway!

Feb 15, 2010 04:51 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Ken you did the right thing.  Anyone who is looking for a fixer knows exactly what they are getting into.  Any buyer who is looking for the perfect house knows that this one isn't in. 

Feb 15, 2010 06:53 AM
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

Gordon - Thanks for the encouragement.

Cindy - Agents have been busy looking at it so may this unflattering photo thing has some merit....along with the price.  Unfortunately, one agent wanted to really, really low ball it.  The other one I had a nice discussion with and we'll see what happens.

Feb 15, 2010 09:10 AM
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

Ken, I think that was the right choice.  Also, thanks for shovelling the home.  I know it was tough work but it will help make showings much easier.  Good luck with it.

Feb 15, 2010 09:52 AM
Tim D. Wilson - The Horseman's Agent ™
HomeSalesLexington.com @ Rector-Hayden: Lexington, Kentucky - Lexington, KY

Hi Ken,

 Each listing is a whole new horse race, and on this one I agree with the consensus that you made the right call.  You did a professional, non-exploitive job with the photos, and that is the key.

As for the snow shoveling video... wow.  You won't have to exercise again for a month.  Even if you aren't too sore to move.

Good luck with the house!  

Search homes for sale in Lexington with equine horse farm and foreclosures at HomeSalesLexington.com/barn in Kentucky

Feb 15, 2010 12:57 PM
Valerie Sagheddu
Apostle Art Home Staging & Design - Stroudsburg, PA
~Home Staging Professional, Poconos, PA

Being a real estate investor as well as a professional stager I appreciate the honesty both ways. When we stage, the photos are fantastic and that draws people in. When we are looking to buy an investment property, I also want to see what's inside...good or bad. I find it so annoying and such a time waster when they only have an exterior shot...this means practically nothing when it comes to deciding where to spend my time looking.

Thanks for your honest approach!

Feb 16, 2010 12:59 AM