Don't disappoint the buyer too much with great photos.

Real Estate Broker/Owner CA#01772851 HI#RB21268

Yes, I understand that the seller and his listing agent want to get as much traffic as possible to the home for sale but, come on, there is nothing more damaging than a buyer who is really disappointed when he/she gets to a home.

During the past few days I've had the pleasure to view homes with several buyers, one who was looking for top of the line homes, to another who is looking at the low end.

The "damage" done in a few cases, was that the buyers had no interest in looking at other properties in a certain neighborhood.

So what went wrong with many of the homes?

1. Top of the list was a lot of deferred maintenance that was not apparent in the photos or the MLS text.

2. Second was where the seller had bought low fairly recently, did a lot of remodeling, but the outcome came way short. What's the sentence, "buying a pig with lipstick"?

3. Location: you just can't get away from being in an inferior location with a home that looks dynamite.

4. Pricing, where the sellers were trying to get as much for their homes in an inferior neighborhood as those in a more desirable one.

How do you convey the differences in photographs?

You really can't.

It is the job of the listing agent to put the home's best foot forward. And, you, the buyers agent, can't talk about stuff  like the neighbors or the neighborhood; buyers have to find this out by themselves.

So what to do if you are buyer's agent?

Show the buyers what they want to see and let them make up their own minds.

However, before showing them the homes, counsel them about price in various neighborhoods on what has actually sold. Also, commute, schools, closeness to services.

 During the showing? Here are some lines that I had to use because they are true:

1. "That is a two million dollar view right there" - and that, besides the LOCATION, made it so much more expensive than its neighbors.

2. "No one can ever build on that meadow right in front of the home for sale" - and that's why it's more expensive.

3. "The water rights still need to be established" to a home that was way under priced.

4. "No short term rentals are allowed in this area" and that is why you need to reconsider your options.

5. "Lots of deferred maintenance on this property, although the views are dynamite."

6. "No views whatsoever of the ocean even though it's only a block or so from the ocean as the crow flies" at a home that showed the aerial of the closeness of the ocean but when we got inside it was right up against neighbors from 3 sides and not a view of anything to be found.

And I can go on and on...

If you are looking for your DREAM HOME and are confused by all the wonderful photos on the Internet, call me.  They are often not what they seem to be.



Posted by

Hella Rothwell at Carmel Beach during Concours WeekCarmel-by-the-Sea Beach and Pebble Beach Golf Course California

Whether buying or selling oceanfront, oceanview, commercial or any type of real estate in Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel Valley and Big Sur, I can help you. Call me and let's meet in my Carmel-by-the-Sea office in Su Vecino Court on Dolores between 5th & 6th.

Or we can just chat on the phone to discuss your real estate needs.

Are you out of the area? No problem, I often never even meet my clients. The whole transaction is handled long distance.

As an independent real estate broker licensed in California and Hawaii, I can represent you with residential real estate, commercial properties & investment opportunities.

For more information &


Member: National Association of REALTORS, California Association of REALTORS, Hawaii Association of REALTORS, Del Norte Association of REALTORS, Honolulu Board of REALTORS. Also MLS Listings in California.


Hella Mitschke Rothwell (R)

Real Estate Broker/Owner/Realtor®
Licensed in California #01772851 & Hawaii #RB-21268

Tel. 831-626-4000 

Fax 1-877-822-9332

ROTHWELL REALTY INC.: Su Vecino Court, Lincoln & Dolores between 5th & 6th, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921


MAILING: P.O. Box 4554, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921


Hella Rothwell's Facebook Page       Hella Rothwell's YouTube videos      REALTOR LOGO      Equal Housing Logo


Disclaimer: Hella Rothwell does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Buying
Northern California Real Estate Professionals

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Hella, too often I see this one "a lot of deferred maintenance."

Jun 11, 2018 11:14 AM #1
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey Hella: Where have you been hiding lately? I can relate to this:

3. Location: you just can't get away from being in an inferior location with a home that looks dynamite.

I call those white elephants. Nobody talks about how awful the neighborhood is but the house is overimproved.

Jun 11, 2018 11:57 AM #2
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I've been using a professional photographer for years & he does a marvelous job finding the best aspects of the location he's filming. I tried my hand early on in my career but decided it was best to leave this job to a pro.

Jun 11, 2018 12:42 PM #3
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I have shown the same house to three different buyers over the last few weeks. It's a flipped home that looks so much nicer on the Internet than it does in person. Eventually a buyer will come see it based on the photos, and will overlook the shoddy work and purchase it. But there are definitely disappointed buyers who thought they were going to be seeing something better than what they saw.

Jun 12, 2018 04:25 AM #4
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Hella

There's plenty of wise advice here. Buyers DO rely on photos, rightly or wrongly, and might make assumptions based on what they see, or don't. Buyers do need to understand that photos, beautiful or not, are just photos, and the reality in person may be different.


Jun 14, 2018 08:28 PM #5
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

As listing agents, it is our job to present the positive aspects of a house. Our sellers would not settle for less. We hire professional photographers whose job is the provide quality photos to invite buyers to visit the house. The photos are part of the advertising for the house. They should not be deceptive but they should be attractive. It is difficult for a buyer to form a full, well-advised opinion about a house without seeing the house. Agents for the buyers are expected to do their best job in aiding the buyers to evaluate the house.

Jul 18, 2018 04:20 PM #6
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®

Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea
How can I help you with Carmel, California real estate?
Spam prevention