A couple of weeks ago I visited Realtor.com to see if I could find any agents who said they specialized in real estate in our small town. I did not.
I'm not sure if I wrote about it before or not, but most said they “specialized” and were “experts” in all of North Idaho, plus a town or two in Washington or Montana. That’s only about 4,500 square miles, more than a dozen diverse communities, homes and lots on a few lakes and rivers, homes on acreages of various sizes, and plenty of remote property. So – sure they're experts on everything in the area.
Anyway, that was a couple of weeks ago. I looked around and left. I was asked to sign in but chose not to. I didn’t leave my contact information and ask them to send me updates.
But - Yesterday Realtor.com sent me an email listing homes for sale at “Priest Lake.” Some were up near the lake. Some were far south – in, around, and south of Priest River. However, all these areas are in the same MLS.
Then two hours later I got another email, this time with price reductions.
By then I was curious, so decided to click and have a look. The first price reduction they showed was for a home whose price was reduced in November. Huh? Why tell anyone now?
The first property description I read made me think of our friend Gwen Banta. It said residents enjoyed soaking in their hot tube. Doesn’t sound like fun to me.
Then I spotted a couple of houses in familiar locations – one of them a singlewide trailer that I had sold several years ago. So I decided to have a look.
Between the say-nothing descriptions and the awful photos, I can’t imagine why any buyer would even consider asking for a tour.
Many of the photos were dark – some so dark that you could barely make out the house, the scenery, or the interior rooms.
So they were there at dusk. Could they not come back in full daylight? Could they not use a flash inside the house?
Some of them were shots of clutter – in a pantry, in a workroom, in a bathroom, and in a kitchen.
One was a fancy headboard on a bed – not that it’s included with the house. Another couple were shots of a bed with no headboard pushed up against a bare wall.
Oh – and the ones of the trailer I once sold were taken when there was still a considerable amount of snow on the ground. Have they noticed that the snow went away about 2 or 3 months ago?
I'm still on their list...
This morning there's a new email - the announcement of a new listing. It gave one address in the email and a different one when I clicked and got to the page. The photo of a barely framed up house was the same, but the two addresses are a few miles apart.I wonder which road it's really on?
And then... it listed the nearest school: The high school here in Priest River. That would be correct, as far as it went, but why not mention the elementary and Junior High? Perhaps becuse they're a couple of miles farther down the road and they were taking "nearest" literally? Then it gave the school district - which was not correct.
But what the heck. The agent, whose license appears to be with the local branch, lives in a different community. Why should he be expected to know which school district covers the schools here? Yep - he's a local expert. Not.
Wise sellers should check to see how their agents present their homes on line.
I have to wonder if these sellers have ever gone on line to see how their homes are NOT being represented.
I also wonder if they ever look at other listings and notice that someone has instructed the sellers to do a little house cleaning before the photos.
Having known plenty of unsuccessful agents in my 19 years as one of you, I am willing to bet that these are the agents who spend a lot of time whining and feeling sorry for themselves because they aren't making any money.
And... that is as it should be.
I'd feel sorry for the sellers, but since it's so easy to go on line and see how agents present their listings, I don't.
Clutter Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Laugh or cry image courtesy of Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net