Trulia Photo and Marketing Tips Hard to Believe

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

 Sometimes I have to wonder if these surveys really took place, and if they did, where did they take place. The reality with buyers I've worked, and am currently working with don't match Trulia's survey results of homebuyers.

 If you're read the current Trulia Newsletter article about " The 4 Biggest Photo Listing Mistakes", I think you'll be surprised at their survey results.

 They claim the following items make a home most attractive to buyers: 70% said bathrooms, 63% said closets, and 56% said gourmet kitchen.

 I can't think of a single buyer that I've worked with that ever said a bathroom and/or a closet was more important to them than a decent kitchen. Occasionally I will take a photo of a large luxury master bath, and even a walk in closet now and then, but usually most are too small to get a decent photo.

 Also, I never had any trouble selling a listing that didn't include pics of bathrooms or closets. I believe the consensus on AR blog posts indicated that most agents don't take pictures of bathrooms. I can see a large walk in closet with custom shelving, etc, but a basic walk in closet?

 Are there actually buyers out there that would say: This house looks perfect, great commuting distance, great school district for kids, I can walk to metro, backs to parks, love the floor plan, but I don't want to see it because the agent didn't put any pics of the bathroom or closets in the MLS?



Jeff Pearl / REALTOR / Lic in VA

RE/MAX Distinctive / Reston VA


Homes / Land / Farms / Historic

Equal Housing Opportunity Provider




Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 09/11/2012 10:00 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
marketing photos
first time homebuyers va
buying homes leesburg va
buying homes lovettsville va

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Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Jeff, Funny obeservation!   It is very rare that I have even seen a good picture of a bathroom, even in million dollar homes.  They are usually too small to get a good angle.  pippa

Sep 12, 2012 12:29 AM #19
Shelley Gillman
Water Pointe Realty Group - Palm City, FL

While Trulia may be a good marketing tool for agents, I don't think it's a good tool for providing the most valuable information to buyers, sellers or renters.  I agree with not taking a plain jane bath or closet and putting a photo on the mls.  Especially when all you might get is a shot of the toilet. 

Sep 12, 2012 12:48 AM #20
Mark McHugh
Clearmark Real Estate llc - Warwick, RI
Realtor Rhode Island 401-641-3842

Hey Jeff, I agree, no validity in that survey. My buyer clients won't even look at a property if there is only one photo.

Sep 12, 2012 12:55 AM #21
Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns

I agree that the survey seemed a little strange. Maybe they surveyed the same focus groups that they used for Family Feud episodes. Talk about some strange survey results!

Sep 12, 2012 01:01 AM #22
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Jeff, I haven't ever had a buyer not view a listing for lack of bathroom or closet photos but I have had a buyer dismiss a home because of small closets. I am working with a couple right now. The wife needs large master closets. She has passed on some homes because the closets were too small.

Sep 12, 2012 01:15 AM #23
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I read the survey, and to me it looked like the numbers were very skewed.  I think Trulia just wants quality pictures, so it is in their self interest.

Sep 12, 2012 01:39 AM #24
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Jeff, I total agree, I haven't seen the survey but I don't get the closet thing. I think online buyers are placing much more importance on other parts of the house. 

Sep 12, 2012 03:23 AM #25
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Agreed, Jeff. Not a lot of reality in that survey (or really any). It's likely yet another example of tossing out raw results without any review. If they ask stupid questions, they'll get stupid answers (especially on the anonymous Internet)...


Sep 12, 2012 03:54 AM #26
Adam Brett
The Adam and Eric Group - Fullerton, CA
The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest

I agree with you Jeff, survey seems fishy to me too. This is something I am also going to pay close attention to going forward.

Sep 12, 2012 04:00 AM #27
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#1- Hi Lenn, I doubt the accuracy of most surveys as well. %s can be so easily manipulated. I don't think I would look to Trulia for real estate training.

#2- Hi Christine, Yes, comments should be enough in most cases. Thanks!

#3- Hi Lisa, That's what I've found as well. Maybe  large closets and storage are more important for a handful of people, but it's rare.

#4- Hi Andrew, Theer probably are places and people that don't cook much, where closets and storage would be more attractive, but I think it would be a small %.

#5- Hi Rich, Same with me. I can only think of a few baths that I thought would be ok to photgraph, but even large baths are hard to photograph.

#6-  Hi Michael, That's what I've always found. Closets and bath locations are important to some, but the kitchen , etc was always a higher priority.

#7- Hi Frank, Yes, your list sounds more like reality, and is what I hear from buyers. Closts are rarely mentioned as a must have criteria.

#8- Hi Liz and Bill, exactly. Living spaces always attract more interest from buyers when they enter a house.

Sep 12, 2012 10:10 AM #28
Monique Keith
Ahwatukee, AZ
Ahwatukeenulls Favorite Realtor, Buyers Agent with


How crazy is that survey? I always wonder how exactly surveys are put together when they have such weird results.

Sep 12, 2012 10:44 AM #29
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I am not too sure about any survey that I see that doesn't give a brief statement about the number of people surveyed.  I want to do a survey, but I not sure how I would conduct a survey on my website.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sep 12, 2012 11:14 AM #30
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#9- Hi Fernando, Yes, location is still an important factor regarless of the amount or quality of the photos.

#10- Hi Ashley, i doubt many closet or bath photos would take anyonees breath away. Thanks!

#11- Hi Than, The results were a surprise to me as well.

#12- Hi Anthea, Closets should be organized, and bathrooms clean, but photos of each aren't usually needed.

#13- Hi Anna, I agree, # of bathrooms, and the locations might be a criteria for some like an older couple that wants a main level bedroom with full bath, but I doubt the need for photos, and closets being more important than kitchen sounds weird.

#14- Hi Debbie, These surveys border on riciculous sometimes.This one doesn't sound like reality.

#15- Hi Richie, It's funny when people ignore our years of hands on experience and try to tell us how to do our jobs. The other day an owner asked me if I had her listing advertised on AARP?

#16- Hi Jania, Really nice baths is ok, but still hard to photograph sometimes. Very few closets require a photo.

Sep 12, 2012 11:22 AM #31
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
It does seem like funny survey results, doesn't it? The light in the bathroom is important to me, but I do not need to see a photo of it in the MLS; I just need to see it.
Sep 12, 2012 01:23 PM #32
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - I don't know if I've ever posted a picture of a closet.

Sep 12, 2012 03:07 PM #33
John J. Woods
Aardvark Appraisals - Palm Desert, CA


   Seriously...How much of Trulia's 'information' do you find to be 'truly' valuable anyway?


Sep 12, 2012 04:39 PM #34
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Trulia is not at the top of my list for accurate information.  I love Brian's comment, "Maybe they surveyed the same focus groups that they used for Family Feud episodes."

Sep 12, 2012 09:22 PM #35
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#17- Hi Rob, Same with me.

#18- Hi Harry, That sems to be more common with buyers searches.

#19- Hi Pippa, I agree. Bathrooms and clostes don't photograph well. Even small bedrooms are hard to get a decent pic.

#20- Hi Shelley, I think trulia is just fishing for new content, and coming up with fishy content.

#21- HI Mark, Thanks, That's how I feel as well.

#22- Hi Brian, Those are strange and questionable survey results.

#23- Hi Tammie, Closets and storage can be criteria for some, but I think that can be determined while viewing homes. Many times closets can be added or enlarged. Thanks.

#24- Hi Gary, Yours sounds like an accurate observation!

#25- Hi Adrian, I agree. Clostets aren't usually a deal breaker. No house will be a perfect match to what a buyer is looking for.

#26- Hi Bruce, So true. Seems like many surveys are just fabricated and manipulated to have something to write about.

#27- Hi Adam, Fishy results is correct. I wonder how much of this the public actually believes?

#29- Hi Monique, I don't know. It's a mystery how they come up with these results.

#30- Hi Evelyn, Surveys can be accuarte, but can also be manipulated. I think survey monkey is used a lot by companies doing surveys.


Sep 12, 2012 09:44 PM #36
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jeff- when I take Before and After photos of my stagings, I might include the Master Bath but not the closets.  

Sep 15, 2012 09:19 AM #37
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#37- Hi Kathy, That sounds more like reality. I think that is the norm with most agents. There are soem nice luxury master baths out there worth photographing. Thanks.

Sep 15, 2012 12:11 PM #38
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