Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog

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Why Are Realtors in the Biz... if this is What They Do?

Yesterday I received a call from a desperate home seller looking to home staging as marketing solution that would help finally sell his $499,000 town home which has been on the market for months and months now. The buyer was quite frank about the fact that when compared to similar units for sale in the development, his townhouse was the most expensive. But he justified the price difference saying it was because his property had been extensivley remodeled with new finishes, fixtures and updates.

Intrigued... I wanted to take a "sneak peak" as I was talking to the seller on the phone. So I asked the him for the name of his Realtor and the name of the company he sold for. Having never heard of the company, I did a Google search to find their site. To my surprise NOTHING came up. The listing real estate company had NO website. Ok, that is a bit odd, but no big deal... the seller happened to know his MLS#. So off to realtor.com I went.

At realtor.com I punched in the MLS#... and WA-LA! As is typical, the listing popped up with an exterior shot of his property! (Shown right/below) But to my surprise and dismay that was all there was to look at. Just ONE picture featured to "show" the ENTIRE property! JUST ONE?!!! If you ask me there is no excuse for this and is nothing less then a marketing crime. Why a crime? Well, with approximately 80 to 85% of homes buyers FIRST pre-shopping properties via the Internet... what would you say having only one listing picture for the buying public to preview is?

Curious to take a look at his competition... I dug a bit deeper on realtor.com. I then found 2 comparable properties within the exact same development. (SEE clipped ads shown in the larger graphic along with larger original ad) One property listed for $84,000 less then the property the caller owned and the other  listed for $89,000 less. Now I know there could be and probably are good reasons why these comparable properties are cheaper... but that is NOT what I want to discuss here.

I was glad to see that each Realtor, of these 2 cheaper properties, invested the time and money to tap into one of the most basic yet effective marketing tools available to home sellers today. Each used MULTIPLE photos, of homes that they are marketing, to help build and reinforce buyer interest. Each of these cheaper competing properties had nine pictures to look at and review. Considering the seller, who I was talking to, had a property that offered more, in terms of remodeling and updates, would it not be helpful to capture and display those differences to potential buyers?

We all know that this industry is rapidly changing one. Each day there seems to be some new gadget or service (like home staging) that comes out to help a Realtor market and sell their listings. While it can be daunting to keep up with all the changes, some things, including some technology, can be easily and inexpensively integrated into the basic sales and marketing services that a Realtor provides to their clients. A perfect example of a new "basic" is the use of digital cameras and photography. Because photography is now so easy and accessable it has changed the industry. What a buyer sees of a property no longer needs to start when they physically tour a property for the first time. (Watch my CURB APPEAL SHOW)

I am not saying this it the SOLE reason why this property has not sold... as there could be a zillion others. But if a Realtor chooses not to provide even the most basic of these new services, in my opinion, they have just committed a crime.

Me

 

Comment balloon 136 commentsCraig Schiller • March 11 2008 10:49AM

Comments

Craig, to answer your question...I have no clue.  I constantly see hideous pictures (or don't see any) used as marketing tools. And what happens...you get phone calls like the home owner who called you, or the listing expires.  You're right...there oughta be a law!
Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 12 years ago

Lazy agent.  Time for this seller to say, "NEXT!"

Be of service! The rewards will come!

Posted by Matt Crow, www.mattcrow.com 630-728-6051 (Huntley Realty) over 12 years ago

HI Craig,

I personally used Realtor.com for a few years with their premium service. After a year and no success they came back to me ans wanted to charge me double as well as more money because I had too many listings. Personally I do not care for their premium service...all you get is the ability to add additional photos. One thing I will do is do my own virtual tours or slide shows and pay a separate fee through Remax so I can add the photo's at my leisure and not get caught in their expensive contracts. Why should I when I can add up to 15 photos for $30 instead of paying at least $500 for a service that has never been effective for me. I did like their service but when they say that the more listings I add the more money it costs me....doen't make sense. I agree the agents need more than one photo but not at their large expense...some companies are charged up to $1000.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 12 years ago
Sounds like this seller picked a poor agent who works for a poor company.  Tough call.  How do you tell the seller his agent is a bum without violating any ethics laws?
Posted by Gary McAdams (GMAC Schwartz Property Sales) over 12 years ago

Craig, this is a great post! Dead On Topic!  I see signs of it all around me, in my neighborhood and market area. But to some extent I don't agree with you or Antoinette. Sure, I do agree that any agent should have multiple photos of any property they list, That Is Common Sense! (Maybe it should be a law! Our Board has a rule of a minimum of 6 photos per listing.

But, let these agents keep up the good work! Ooops! Bad if not poor representation for their sellers.  Why? Because they become yours mine and Antoinettes targets as the listing expires!  Because we are ready willing and able to market a property to its fullest potential.

Posted by Martin Dorgan (Prudential Indiana Realty) over 12 years ago
I couldn't agree with you more regarding the photos.  Worse than no photos are badly done photos that make a place look dark and don't show it to an advantage.  Both are symptoms of lazy or bad agents that don't know better.  Each time I come across this (daily) I want to weep for the homeowner who doesn't realize they've listed their most valuable asset with a clown.
Posted by Teri Deane, Realtor, ABR, CRS, SFR - The Deane Team (RE/MAX 100) over 12 years ago
Great points, BUT, I bet you can't sell it at $499,900, either.  It's all about the price.
Posted by Michael (Mike) Elliott (Nottingham Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago

CS,

You`re right on the money as usual.

Posted by Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission. (Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. ) over 12 years ago
Not only do the photos help consumers preview the house, they help the appraisers in the local area.
Posted by Sandra Workman, BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 12 years ago

5 years ago this might have been fine when the market was booming, heck some people didn't bother even cleaning their house before they listed it.

Well as we all know times have changed. Realtors and FSBO's need all the help they can get now to market their listings so people will just get in the car to drive over for a walk through.

Home Staging is a great marketing tool, we are here to help make sure the examples you shown does not happen any more. Times have changed, and if you don't change with them you will have homes that continue to be on the market not getting sold.

People are now very aware of Home Stagers and the benefits we bring, Soon you will see these folks looking for a Realtor who offers some sort of Staging assistance to make sure the are getting the best marketing available for them.

BB

Posted by Brian Bloom, All in One Staging Inc. - Home Staging Consultant, Redesign Expert (www.AllinOneStaging.com 1-630-292-2710) over 12 years ago
Nice post. Bottom line is ther are good and bad in all professions.
Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 12 years ago
This is another of my pet peeves - along with crummy photos that don't highlight a house's features!  Julie
Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 12 years ago
Craig....it is really hard to believe....that agents will do this...one photo. Amazing to say the least. I guess one photo is better than no photo. I had listing presentation with a client who decided to go with another Realtor and 6 weeks later she still did not have a photo of the property up. It makes me sad....because these Realtors or Agents are hurting the market and their clients. Good job on the post!
Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) over 12 years ago
All I can say is that when my husband and I were searching for our house, we started by hitting the open houses on weekends to get a sense of what we were looking for before we engaged an agent to take us around.  I would go on the MLS website in our area and look at all of the homes that were holding open houses that weekend that were in our price range and in areas that we were interested in living in.  Since there was usually only a two hour time period to see these homes while on open house, I would go on Mapquest and do up a route so that we could see as many homes as possible in that 2 hour window.   When looking at the photos, if there was only one of the outside of the property, it was scratched off our list.  We didn't even bother going to see it.  I don't know about other people, but to me, if there are no photos of the inside shown, I get the impression that it must be in pretty rough shape.  This could be part of the reason why this house is just sitting there.   
Posted by Charlene Storozuk, Home Stager - Burlington Ontario (Dezigner Digz) over 12 years ago
Craig, I was recently talking to one of the Realtors we work with here in Indy and his thought is that the web is even progressing more to the point where people find their homes first, then second they find a Realtor or use one that they see associated with the MLS listings they look at.  When we started staging, we provided all of our after shots to the the listing Agent.  Several years ago we started supplying an additional set to the home owner with a gentle reminder that these photos need to be on any web advertising as well as the MLS.  It was not a common thing but we actually had a couple of home we staged that the old photos were never replaced with the Afters. 
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 12 years ago

Superb post!

Someone comments that: "it's all about the price".  This blogger is headed in the right direction, however, it's not so much the price, it's the 'value'.  

As a former retailer, I can attest that at all price points (whether it be couture fashion, or discount bedding) the market seeks out, and rewards the 'best value'.   The 'value' in home staging, isn't that we make a house 'pretty'.   We make a house 'sold'!

Even in this difficult market, homes are selling.   Homes are receiving bids and contracts within the first day of listing.  Homes are being sold at list price, and above list price. The reason for this, is that the home's presentation creates a sense of urgency within the buyers.   They perceive a great value for the dollars that they'll invest in the property.  If we dig a little deeper into the transaction we'll probably find a Realtor with a strong home staging ability, or a qualified staging professional, unlocking the hidden equity, and revealilng the 'value' of the property.

Thom Scanlon ASP/IAHSP/RESA

Houston Home Staging

Posted by Alicia Barrington, Houston Home Staging Presents Alicia Barrington (THE ORIGINAL HOUSTON HOME STAGING) over 12 years ago

Hi, Craig - haven't seen you for awhile.

Are you aware that in order to have multiple photos on R.com, an agent must pay at minimum $300-500? As Neal mentions, the fee goes up from there based on the number of listings an agent has in a year's time. It goes to over $1000 for more than 11 listings. 20 listings can cost around $2000. That's a bunch of money to pay for questionable results when there are so many other sites that are free.

Many agents just aren't paying those fees anymore to R.com. That doesn't mean that the above agent hasn't posted many photos on numerous other FREE sites.

I've been paying R.com for the upgraded Showcase Listing for years, and can count on one hand the number of listings that have sold because of it. It's definitely not worth the money, but sellers expect it and that's the only reason I keep paying.

Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) over 12 years ago

Craig, it's one of my pet peeves too, but I have to admit that I wasn't aware of the extra cost to the realtors for the photos.  Good information.  I am doing a photo seminar for my realtor assoc. on May 1st and now I'm going to have to add that in to the discussion.  Like Gary I'm always dismayed when I stage a house and the afters aren't there to replace the original photos, but perhaps that costs extra too?  I supply my agents with my photos, so I will check listings to see if replacements have happened and I send gentle reminders to the agents...sometimes it just gets slipped by. 

I appreciate hearing the Realtors point-of-view here on the rain.  Thanks.

 

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago
The seller obviously has high hopes. The agent probably knows it is overpriced and will not sell. Was this a fee for MLS entry broker? There is no excuse - evenan overpriced property deserves to be marketed some!
Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Too many sellers pick the most famous franchise they can find, call in and get the first agent on floor duty.  If they settle for pot luck, that's what they get.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 12 years ago

Craig-

After reading this, I decided to check on a lsting I staged 4 weeks ago. I have been wondering about it, because it's a beautiful home, and the staging turned out so well. I went to the Realtor's own website, a site that he has advertized on the top of his sign in front of the home. There is only the outside picture of the home. I, then decided to check the listing in MLS, and the photos there have never been updated...all the rooms are empty! These sellers have only agreed to keep the property staged for two months. I feel like they just wasted the first month. I just emailed them and sent them the photos I took. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I just don't get it!!!!

Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) over 12 years ago
Craig - I could not agree more with you on this topic.  I am constantly frustrated when I see this happen here in Austin.  In fact, I would take it even further and state that most buyers have no interest in even seeing the properties that only have one picture, because they assume that the agent is hiding the ugly interior of the home.
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 12 years ago

Thanks for a great post, Craig

 

My background is in photography and we teach our franchise owners the importance of visual communication. We take great care in photographing each of our staged homes and always give our Realtors copies to post on the MLS and other sites. Often we hear that showings increased simply because they were attracted to the photo.

Thomas Scott

Showhomes 

Posted by Home Staging (Showhomes) over 12 years ago

I wouldn't be surprised if the seller's current agent agreed to a lower commission, too.  It seems, at least in our marketplace, that you get what you pay for.  Junky photos, few or no pictures, no exposure - it all goes hand in hand.  If sellers could just understand that quality begets quality and that they need to spend time researching the potential agents before they list....

Posted by Greg Steffens (Mountain Country Realty) over 12 years ago
I am amazed by the pictures that are posted. There is one I can remember and it was the  default photo for the MLS - and it had a car parked in front of it so it obscured the property . . .
Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 12 years ago
Hello Greg, there is even a more basic problem I think.  Why would you exert any effort at all if your not going to at least do the minimum you need to make a sale possible?  I just don't understand.  By the way, I grew up in Fontana (Being in that area, you probably understand, that is not bragging), I would wake up every morning looking at Arrowhead.
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 12 years ago

I don't know if the agent was lazy or not.

Perhaps the seller is unrealistic about the price and the agent has tried to get them to lower it but they won't? Perhaps they didn't want to throw out alot of money if the seller wouldn't price it right.

I personally don't see the reward in paying hundreds and thousands of dollars just to add pictures on realtor.com. I looked into it, questioned many of agents who use it and they all agreed it wasn't worth it. I don't want to offend anyone, but I'm not going to throw away money on advertising unless it works, not even to appease someone.

 

Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) over 12 years ago
Whats sad is that with digital cameras, it cost us nothing to take pictures. You can take a hundred and choose the best ones, then delete the rest. I see some pics so bad I'm pretty sure they used their camera phone to take them. I saw an interior shot once that actually had people sitting on the furniture holding beer!
Posted by Michael Creel (InActive Agent) over 12 years ago
Craig - ironic timing on this post.  Our member newsletter (sent to other stagers) went out today and the topic was photography.  Our member newsletter is designed to help build agent newsletter and so their topic articles were about the importance of marketing through photography.  It is just sooo important!  If there are no interior photos, the assumption many make is that the home's interior isn't worth seeing!
Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 12 years ago
Good post. In defense of some of those homes. Pictures should not be taken in some properties because the house is disastrous.
Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic (www.mrbrownsellsgr.com) over 12 years ago

Hi Craig...As always you hit the nail on the head.

Buyers always are asking "why do some listing do not have any pictures, especially when they are first listed?"

The answer... the Realtor is inexperienced, cheap or lazy.

I personally make sure i have my photos(20 plus) ready when I post a New listing on MLS and my web Sites www.fredcarver.com and www.victoriahomesandproperties.com  People Want to see Photos!! The More the Better. it just good marketing(make sure you add the address in the photos before uploading, Google Juice works!)

Cheers, have a great day!

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 12 years ago
This just baffles me, too.  I preview all homes on the MLS first, as do about 80% of buyers (I'm told).  Photos (good ones) tell me a lot about the home.  If there are not any photos, I'm not interested.
Posted by Marla Hofstee, Design by Marla- Home Staging, Burbank & Los Angeles, CA (Design by Marla) over 12 years ago
Photos are so important and such an easy way to promote the property.  I hate it when people take pictures of the bathroom without first putting the toilet seat down.  Yuck! 
Posted by Christina Moock, REALTOR - Cutler Real Estate (Cutler Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Good photos make all the difference in the world!  Some properties are more challenging than others to get good pics but hey I have moved stuff from one side to the other and back to pictures.  Get the pictures or get a new job!

Posted by Kathy Fisher Sells Lexington TN homes! 731.845.3413 (Five Star Real Estate Services) over 12 years ago
In the Tucson MLS we went to a max of 25 pictures on the listing. You would be surprised how many agents still show only 3 or 4. That tells me they are either lazy or the house is not worth seeing.
Posted by Richard Lecinski (Long Realty Company) over 12 years ago
Oh Craig, this is such a relevant issue for me personally and as a home stager. I feel bad photos are even  worse than no photos. Case in point. My husband and I decided to sell our summer home. As a stager, I  started from scratch. When I was done it was equivalent to a model home not to mention spotless. I then took pics and sent them to my realtor. However, she decided she wanted to take a day trip to the resort island where our summer home is and take her own pics. OK. I was not there when she took the photos.  Above our barn is an apartment where my teenage daughters and friends stay in the summer. I hadn't yet staged that area but I had plans for that part of the property but the house came first. A few days after her visit, my realtor let me know that my house was now listed on their site w/ pics. I was so excited to see my home. My jaw literally dropped when I saw them. There were two pictures of our beautifully staged home. One inside and one out. THE REST(9) WERE OF MY KIDS MESSY TEENAGE HANGOUT W/BEACH TOWELS,DIRTY CLOTHES AND DVD'S STREWN ABOUT.   A scene I wouldn't want anybody, let alone prospective buyers to see!!! I tactfully and gracefully told her to remove them and she did. AlthoughI felt like firing her on the spot.  The sad part is I was under contract w/her for the next 6 months. Now. you might be saying, why did you hire her in the first place? I didn't. That's another story w/ a post  as long as this one.  Needless to say, she didn't sell my house.
Posted by Robby Zettler (Metropolitan Home Design & Real Estate Staging) over 12 years ago
As a percentage of time and commission, taking pictures is one of the simplest and most effective things that we can do.  I give my sellers a Clean and Declutter Kit (basically boxes and cleaning supplies) at the time of the contract and tell them I'll be back the next day to take pictures.  Since I provide all of the supplies they have no excuse not to at least do enough to get decent photos.  If the home is staged at a later time, it only takes a few minutes to update the photos.
Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) over 12 years ago

Some of the things I've seen here are very interesting. First off, you are all absolutely right! This is just sheer laziness and inexcusable! If you can take on picture, you can take 10 more! Heck, you're already at the property... it doesn't take much longer to take a few more photos. 

There are several things wrong with this picture besides the lack of photos on a listing and providing less than the cheaper competition. If an entire company doesn't care to market themselves in one of the most beneficial ways possible (online through a website), then how can they expect home sellers to want to work with them? From the standpoint of a seller, I'd be thinking, "If you're not willing to market yourselves, how are you going to market my home?" Then, I feel the lazy agent is allowed to be so because of the lack of concern on the part of the company. Why penalize an agent when the company itself isn't bothering to go above and beyond? 

I am absolutely appalled by the attitudes and mentality of some Realtors. They are lazy and do the bare minimum for their sellers, yet they expect high commissions and glowing testimonials! Many are so set in their ways or stuck in the past that they consider anything to do with new technology "the devil." I even had one Realtor recently accuse my of trying to replace Realtors with the survey we're conducting and services we're offering. Virtual tours, no matter how successful, will never be able to do the job of a Realtor (and no where have we mentioned anything like this). Perhaps a bit off topic, but it shows you the mentality of many Realtors. Many are unwilling to change or embrace new ideas and technology, even at the expense of their clients. Many feel that because they are Realtors, they always know what's best and so their tried-and-true methods will beat out anything else. The bottom line is that Realtors like the one described here need to wake up and realize that they are not the only Realtors out there, that sellers & buyers have ample choices and will move on if they are not satisfied. Sellers need to stand up and make sure these Realtors understand this. They are working for YOU, after all. Let them know that it is a privilege for them to be in charge of your listing, and failure to promote your property in the best ways possible will result in the termination of your working relationship!

On a side note (and again, slightly off-topic but still relevant), it seems that Realtors put so much on Realtor.com in terms of exposure. Why is that? I have heard (and someone mentioned here) that the fees for featured listings or premium services are outrageous and don't really offer much more exposure than the regular listings. There are literally TONS of other options for marketing listings online (many of which are FREE or very low-cost and generally more effective than Realtor.com by itself), so why do Realtors insist on sticking to it so religiously? I'm asking because as a provider of virtual tours, our company works to distribute our video-based tours across several websites on the Web. This has been proven to help the virtual tours and listings show up more frequently (and higher) in search results on Google and other sites. However, I recently had a client tell us that she didn't care about the other venues we distribute to (and that I'd wasted time doing so), she only cared about the virtual tour showing up on the MLS and Realtor.com. Why is that, when the service doesn't seem to offer many benefits in terms of exposure? Why stick to that and only that, when she can see that our other efforts have helped her listings and tours to show up in organic search results?

Thoughts are appreciated! I hope the seller from this post has the sense to move on to a new Realtor. It's important for sellers to do as much research as possible on the company and particular agent they're interested in listing with in order to be sure they're going to be given the maximum attention. There are ample sites out these days that allow you to write reviews of Reators and companies, rate then and refer them etc. Sellers need to learn to make more use of such sites, for their own sake. I feel bad for this seller, but the entire situation could have been potentially avoided had more research been done. I would personally never work with a company that didn't have a website, and I would be sure to look at some of their past listings (or if possible, see if I could get in touch with past clients) to see what kinds of things were done to market those homes (and how satisfied the past clients are with their services). The Internet is a vast tool for research, folks just have to remember to use it!

 

Ina Stanley
Virtual Sidekick, LLC.

 

Posted by Ina Stanley, 360 Vitual Tours & More! (Virtual Sidekick, LLC.) over 12 years ago
Hmmm....sounds like this lazy agent thinks that the MLS is going to sell it for him. BIG mistake! And no website? Just a guess, but I bet the listing agent is enjoying the Senior Breakfast at IHOP as I write this.
Posted by Kim Dean, Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner (www.GoSimplyTexas.com) over 12 years ago

Craig, I think you're mistaken.  This homeowner isn't selling his house, just the garage door.  I wonder if there's a remote? Hmm...can't tell by the photo.


Posted by Audrey Hoffman, VoteAudrey (VoteAudrey blog) over 12 years ago
Never mind the photos, not having a website in this day and age is pretty much inexcusible.
Posted by Paula Hartwick (Royal LePage Gale Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Wow Craig!  That's was a great blog and a very good point. I agree with Charlene - when I don't see very many photos on a listing or worst yet, non at all, I assume it's a rat hole and move on.  Unless I ride by a listing and look at the home first, I would NEVER take a client to a home that had no pictures posted.  I also agree with Gary that even an overpriced listing deserves to be marketed.  I just came back from a RE/MAX Convention and attended many of the classes that were offered.  Unless you haven't been paying attention the last several years, then you all know that internet is one of the most effective ways to showcase your listings and without the pictures, you are DEAD IN THE WATER!  It is generally very easy for me to pick up an expired listing when I pull up the MLS and don't see any pictures, bad pictures or very few pictures.  I don't know about the rest of the world, but in our market, there are many sellers that really need to sell because of death or other family issues.  How sad for these poor people to not have their homes - their biggest asset - marketed well. 

Laura Shirley 

 

Posted by Laura Shirley, Highlands County Real Estate (RE/MAX Realty Plus II) over 12 years ago
It drives me nuts when I see only 1 picture in the MLS.  We can put up to 15!  Other sites may be a different story with their fees etc but some agents aren't even doing the basics.  I wish there was a universal rating system so all the business would go to the hardworking Realtors..because we deserve it!
Posted by Matt Clark, Cincinnati Real Estate (RE/MAX Results) over 12 years ago
You are so accurate in your assessment of why this property is not moving.  I hope he fires the other agent rapidly!  Sellers need to wake up and expect more....even if the listing agent is a relative or friend!
Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

Craig, ALL of my listings have multiple photos and video tours BUT if you only looked on REALTOR.com you would find 1 exterior photo. You have to pay Realtor.com big bucks to be able to include photos on your listings. It's not something I'm willing to do. Not because of the costs but because I strongly dislike Realtor.com and refuse to give them my money.

Now having said that of the listing broker does not have multiple photos on his own site, the MLS and any other sites he uses then, yes, he is doing the seller a disservice.

BUT......bottom line is the price. The price will sell anything in any condition, at any time and in any area.  

Staging, multiple pics etc are all add ons that may or may not affect the value of the property. These may certainly make the property more attractive but it's the price that will sell it. The appraiser doesn't give a hoot about staging. Sorry.....but it's true.

Now having said that a staged property may very well help the property to be chosen over another one once the buyer sees it. The key to selling any property is to get buyers through the door and that is achieved by pricing.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago
This is one of my own pet peeves...I've written about the importance of multiple photos etc myself.   As many has said, it's not just photos but staging, pricing, online marketing...this listing agent is why we Realtors get a bad reputation!
Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago

This is one area where the NAR CoE can actually hurt consumers.  We can't tell the consumer what a crock the marketing is...  

I know, I know.  I've written about this before, and get the "wild west" comments... but the wild west had fewer murders per capita than Washington, DC.   

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 12 years ago

Nice driveway...........I give that agent 2 years max.

Tina in Virginia

Posted by Tina Merritt, Virginia Real Estate (Nest Realty) over 12 years ago
Craig, It boils down to Pricing,(overpriced listings DO NOT sell) Product (houses that smell, or aren't SHOW READY or STAGED don't sell)  and Promotion,(if it doesn't have proper exposure with photos on multiple websites)   PERIOD!!!!!! 
Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 12 years ago
It is remarkable that the sellers often do not seem to notice that their house is not marketed like the others.
Posted by Carolyn Gjerde-Tu-Davis, Ca Real Estate (Lyon Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Homes have to show well on the internet.  One exterior picture is a passover and a thought that there must be something wrong with the inside.  Sounds like a discount listing agent to me.  Unfornunately, home sellers don't realize until their house has been on the market forever and not sold that there is even a problem.  It helps me get more listings when I do have to go up against another agent that does such a poor job.
Posted by Maria Holland, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CDPE, SFR (RE/Max Homes & Estates, ABR,GRI, CDPE, SFR) over 12 years ago

This is a shame.  After I stage a property for a homeowner, I always email the new photos to the homeowner AND the Realtor (if there is one).  I keep an eye on the MLS to see the new photos, and will keep phoning the Realtor if they are not updated.  It is just another service that I provide to the homeowner to help market the property.

Kathy

Posted by Kathy Riggle, Houston Home Staging (STAGING SMART N SOLD) over 12 years ago
Hi Craig,  Just makes my blood boil too !   I don't know the reasons why he listed with this guy but he isn't getting his moneys' worth.  Makes us all look bad !
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 12 years ago

 Hi Craig, that's so funny and sad at the same time. especially "I punched in the MLS#... the listing popped up with an exterior shot of his property... that was all there was to look at. Just ONE picture featured to "show" the ENTIRE property"...

 I know it's sometimes difficult to be objective about our own work but this seems obvious. We don't live on the roof or in the driveway so without inside pics, you aren't really showing me the home, meaning the part I'll live in. Duh!

Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) over 12 years ago
Craig, great post! and I have no idea why they are in the business, but I do wish that they would either shape up or ship out!  There is no excuse for that type of marketing, yet I see it all the time!  Thanks for the post and allowing several of us to vent!
Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 12 years ago
Great post! I often wonder not only the motivation of the agent and company...but also of the seller who choses them.
Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) over 12 years ago

Hi!  I just happened upon your blog and wanted to let you know I LOVE the name of your company.  Very clever!  I'm sure I'm not the first to say so.  Sounds like you do a lot of sharing.  I'm new to AR but looking forward to what I can get and what I can bring to it.

Patty

Posted by Patty McPherson, Orderly Manor (Orderly Manor Organizing & Redesign/Staging Services) over 12 years ago
Good post.  I agree that it is baffling to see only one mediocre photo on the MLS.  Who has time to go to each listing and see what the treasure is inside.  Very few... if they are good at what they do.  Photos are very important and they don't have to be professional.  I have taken some great shots with my little point and shoot digital camera.  If an agent isn't doing this for their client, they are certainly doing them a HUGE disservice.  I believe in going above and beyond and one photo doesn't even get you off of the ground. 
Posted by Ashley Berg, Seattlenulls Green Real Estate Agent (Realty Executives BRIO) over 12 years ago
I agree, it's pretty bad not to have more than one photo in a listing(I'm speaking of the local MLS, not Realtor.com, which is a waste of $$).  But i suppose it's better than having NO photos.  Thankfully our MLS is rolling out automatic fines for agents who can't even get it together to take a shot of the outside of the home. 
Posted by Lisa Bosques over 12 years ago
Craig, we have seen the same type of thing in our market also. In preparation for a talk I was asked to give recently for a MLS breakfast I searched the listings in one area. I had one goal in mind. I wanted to see the listings which were over $500,000 in that particular area. I found only 10. The interesting part -- only one had more than one photo. Of the other nine there were a few without even the exterior shot. One must wonder if a house is listed for a half a million dollars why the owner of that home would have difficulty finding a real estate agent who owns a camera -- or the ability to hire someone who owns a camera. :) Another good post Craig, thanks! 
Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 12 years ago
Craig~ I sooooo hear what you are talking about! I see it everyday, and shudder to think what some possible buyers might think. Buyers want photos, and they want good ones, and staging is what makes the photo in my humble opinion:)
Posted by Laura Monroe, Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media (Inman News ) over 12 years ago

The part of your post that struck me most was the seller's justification for the high price of his townhouse. Upgraded -this and special-that may increase the value of a house but not by $80,000 to $90,000! 

Homeowners generally have an inflated idea about the value of their house, as if the the value of their house reflects on the importance of the owners! They forget that they reaped years of enjoyment in that house, they were able to have extra luxuries their neighbors didn't, but those luxuries can't change the square footage, the number of bedrooms or baths. 

If those same owners walked into the same house but it belonged to a different family, suddenly they would see the value for what it is. But ego and self-importance are all-too often wrapped up in price. Price has nothing to do with the worthiness of the person who lives in the house. Price is the amount a stranger is will to pay to live in the house.  


Posted by Judy Chapman (Referral Network of Illinois LLC) over 12 years ago

Craig,
 Thanks for a great post! I greatly appreciate your opinion for it is both educated as well as not from annother agent who is trying to prove better. I agree with You completely on both the pricing as well as & equally important the lack of marketing. There is constant discussion about websites for firms which can run from such a minimal monthly fee all the up to quite expensive as well as the options for cameras, pictures & tours, all depending on the quality & professionalism in which we choose to present the home to purchasers. Either way, having a website & taking & providing multiple pictures as well as a virtual tour I see as an absolute MUST for all agents & more importantly, things a seller should DEMAND from their agent & if they are not a service provided, GET A DIFFERENT AGENT!

Posted by Josh Ross (RE/MAX PROS) over 12 years ago

Craig - I also agree with many above...Great Post.  Pictures are sooo important, but I also think that price is right up there too as being important.  If those other properties are in the same neighborhood this seller may have over-improved for the neighborhood.

Posted by Jessica Bigger, Freelance Real Estate Business Writer (Bigger Communications) over 12 years ago
Craig - Thank you for the post.  I could never understand no photos or photos that are terrible used for the listing. Now with the changing market, agents have to be more on the ball, especially when so many people are using the web as the means to preview homes.
Posted by Ellie Viray, Realtor, GRI (Deasy Penner Podley) over 12 years ago

Hi Craig!

I have a client who's property didn't get any offers and was on the market for 10 months. I got print outs of the past listings (4 listings over 10 months...3 different Realtors) as well as their current competition listings. When I showed them the information (and the way it was presented) by the past 3 Realtors they were shocked...there was no dining room listed (unless you dug further to where you would expect to see a second feature of the living room).

This was a condo/town in an exclusive area. Someone looking for a house would not be interested...but the Realtors (2 of them...one copied the other word for word!) wrote about it feeling 'like a real house'.

Basically what I'm saying is, show them how they have been represented compared to the competition and make a recommendation (as I did) for an agent you know will represent them as they deserve.

Good luck!

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) over 12 years ago
Photos are such an easy thing to do... there is no excuse for one photo.  I don't get it... I try to take as many as I can and then use the best shots. 
Posted by Kim Carpenter, Lake Winnipesaukee REALTOR -Lake Winnipesaukee Real Estate, NH (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago
Just wanted to add I agree whole heartedly with Judy Chapman. When I read the owner saying their place was worth 90G's more because of upgrades...I'm thinking they are so inflatted!
Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) over 12 years ago

Here's a duzy to add to this post for you, Craig.

This was only 1 of 2 pics listed for the 3 + 2 shack in the background. The other was the same photo from farther away and had the Realtors phone number, so I couldn't include it, but you get the idea - unbelievable!

Posted by Connie Tebyani, Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County (Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro) over 12 years ago
It just shows that not every agents take their job serious and multiple photos help sell homes.
Posted by Brian Kreick (Willinger Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Craig,

A lack of photos just amazes me.  Why in the world wouldn't an agent take tons of photos? 

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) over 12 years ago
Craig- I usually like to take about 10 photos for a single family and a little less for condos depending on the size. But one photo just doesn't cut it. Its laziness!
Posted by Jeannette Neerpat, e-Pro Coral Springs/Parkland Real Estate (CondoDomain.com) over 12 years ago

Craig, I agree with you, but is it possible the seller requested no interier photos? I have heard of this before, although judging by the 1 exterier photo, I doubt that's the case.

Posted by Mike Mitchell, REALTOR (R) (Real Living Kee Realty) over 12 years ago
I agree with you Craig. This agent is at the very least, incompetent. The seller is not being properly represented.
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 12 years ago

you're soo right.  If I was a buyer I would go right past that one, how would I know that there's a reason they're charging more for this preoperty.  People don't seem to take their careers seriously enough

Posted by Jessica Curtis (Sutton Group Right Way) over 12 years ago

Craig,

Just because there were no additional photos on realtor.com doesn't mean there weren't any taken.  Realtor.com charges for premimum services to include more than one photo.  If I had an overpriced listing, I'm not going to shell out money to have interier photos on realtor.com when I can put them on local sites and remax.com for free.  I don't think we have enough information to judge this listing agent.  He or she may be lazy and incompetent or may be making wise business decisions about an overpriced listing.

 Just a though.

 

Posted by Mary Shelsby (ReMax Realty Group) over 12 years ago
The agent probably only listed it on the mls too! No other sites, maybe not even in a paper.
Posted by Matt Yogerst, Metro Milwaukee Real Estate (RE/MAX Realty 100) over 12 years ago

Craig -

Great talking to a fellow Chicagoan!  How is business?

To be successful in today's market, you have to be a stickler for the details, have the right kind of marketing, and most importantly, the right price.

And, did I forget - EFFECTIVE STAGING.  Not necessarily professional staging, all the time, and for every property.  But an attention to detail to at a minimum get the home or condo showing ready!

How many times do we agents show pig sty properties?  And, the sellers, wonder why their "girlfriend," afraid to offend them with the wrong words, kept silent with suggestions.  Perhaps their discount commission fee didn't allow for suggestions.

Finally, we have to get rid of that guy who takes and posts bathroom pictures WITH HIS REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR!  Quality control - right?

Stop in Anytime!

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) over 12 years ago

Craig... long time no speak..... this was excellent.  I would agree, that this was a crime. You mentioned laziness...  yes, 110%... and just for the fact that digital cameras are very inexpensive.  Overall, I would be embarrassed if I was the realtor. Because you are so right... if I am shopping online first, I want to see has many pictures as possible. And yes, highlight the extras and show them by photo... highlight them...  again, great job here.

jeff belonger
Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 12 years ago

Agreed, Craig!  Many of my clients won't even look at the property if it only has one photo (and some of them NONE!)!  Lazy, lazy agents make the rest of us look bad!  As well, I feel for the Sellers who are being duped!

 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 12 years ago

Craig,

Thank you for being upset...seems more of us should be. As more and more people seem to think that being in real estate is a "get rich quick" career.  I am sick and tired of licensed people (who don't even deserve to be considered agents) half butt doing their job.  If they can't do any better or don't want to do any better....leave the sellers alone and let the professionals handle them.  I would be so mad to know I was being represented that way, and people wonder why Real Estate Agents/Co's have such a bad tag on them.  Thanks for the blog even if my blood pressure is up right now!   :)

Posted by Jessica Talley (Century 21 Hometown Realtors) over 12 years ago
Craig, in addition to a lack of listing photos, I'm sometimes genuinely surprised by how many agents don't have e-mail addresses on file and don't check them regularly.  On Active Rain, many profiles fail to indicate which areas an agent services...somthing I've discovered why trying to give a referral.  You're right about the term "new basics." 
Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Hey Craig - This is my pet peeve!! I agree its crime & inexcusable! I have personally staged several vacant properties were the agent never post ANY interior shots of the house. In fact I could pull up 2 properties this second that the builder paid in excess of 10,000 to beautifully stage them and not one photo made it the MLS. Believe me it wasn't because I didn't send either! It just blows my mind!! AND these are not inexperience agents. They have many other owner occupied properties with photos and virtual tours just not the new construction. ??????????? So one please tell me if I'm missing something.

Margaret Gehr, Re-Arrange It Interiors 

 

Posted by Margaret Gehr (Chicagoland Home Staging LLC ) over 12 years ago
The realtor isn't marketing, he's doing minimal things. We are supposed to sell the listing, yet providing a speck of a sizzle isn't going to cut it. Wonder what he really does for a living?
Posted by Johnny Huang, Insurance and Real Estate Broker over 12 years ago
It looks like someone is selling half a house.
Posted by Ryan Vivo, NRBA Realtor Solano County, Gateway Realty 707-384-5894 (Gateway Realty) over 12 years ago
As a buyer's agent, I always have worked very diligently and many long hours for buyers - the seller's agent really got lazy during the sellers' market.  They are crying about having to work! Imagine that -- and then they wonder why sellers don't see the value in their service. If I requested anything about the property e.g. the deed, tax card -- I would get a reply  "you're the buyer's agent, you go get it!"  Now that is really helping the seller! 
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 12 years ago

I have heard more than one school of thought on this.  Some agents purposely keep the pics to a minimum in an attempt for a call to action.  To get buyers to pick up the phone and call them, the "why give away the store" theory, while others figure that they better showcase everything about the house as the buyers expect it.

 

Posted by Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant (Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision) over 12 years ago
Rebecca's right...some agents think it is a "call to action".  My buyers always ask "can you email me more photos?" like I can do it. I have to explain how the listing agent didn't want to get out of his/her car and take photos inside but decided to roll down his/her car window and take a photo.
Posted by Anonymous over 12 years ago

Some agents just don't get it, and their sellers are losing out, yet they amazingly get business,

Sometimes I wish  I could alert these sellers. You are lucky one called  you.

Posted by Michael Eisenberg, Bellingham Real Estate Guy (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago
I know the seller was furious without having to see that "piece" of a photo.  The agent definitely provided a disservice to his client.  There are always examples of what not to do.
Posted by Latonia Parks, Certified Military Relocation Expert (Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV) over 12 years ago
Well, maybe the garage is the highlight of the home...Is there a big demand for top-of-the-line garages with a house attached in your area?  Who knows, maybe you are behind the curve?  
Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 12 years ago
I have so many similar or worse photos and they are the only one of the property.  We also had one -" house has----bedrooms and ____ bathrooms and garage."  This was for a lake home with a beautiful beach and a separate 3 car garage with workshop. The owners fired him after 5 months and called me.  They were most upset that he had never mentioned "staging" and they found me on the internet. 
Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 12 years ago
Craig, this is probably one of the main reasons it hasn't sold.  I cannot believe how many agents only take one picture of their listing, how lazy!!  I've seen some properties on the market for many, many days with no pictures!
Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., ABR, GRI, SRES) over 12 years ago
The lack of additional photos & website may not be the SOLE reason why this property has not sold, but it's definitely part of the problem.  Thru IDX on my site, I too have had to explain more than once that listing data and photos are submitted by the listing agent.  argggh... some agents are still living in the dark ages.  How & Why do these people ever get hired?!
Posted by Angela Clark, CRS, Realtor, Broker (Tony Clark REALTORS) over 12 years ago

I am still shocked that some agents do this; However, if it wasn't for these type of agents - I wouldn't be as busy.  In the last few weeks I have been bombarded with calls and emails about my marketing and fees.  I had been told on many occasions that I charged more than the other agents, yet when they reviewed what I had to offer (I sent them to several websites to "find me and my listings") they understood.  I have a minimum of 10 photos and I max out at 35.  My last three listings I won over without an argument because of the number of photos I had and virtual tours!!  So thanks to laziness I am in business ... but sorry to say it still looks bad for our profession.  There is a reason why we are suppose to be the professionals. 

 

Posted by Eileen Scates, CDPE, Broker (Scates Realty & Investment Properties) over 12 years ago
That picture is certainly a crime and It really makes you wonder how the REALTOR got the listing in the first place!
Posted by Paul Francis, Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes (Francis Group Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Agreed, what were they thinking?  No excuse for this sort of laziness and another mark against all realtors, real or perceived.
Posted by Susan Walters (Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI) over 12 years ago

i think many of these real estate agents got their license in a cracker jacks box.  Common sense take pictures of the home for more exposure

Posted by Stephanie Moen (Lazcano), Commercial Property Manager and Leasing Agent (Champions Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago
Craig, The old saying "a picture paints 1000 words" fits so well here! I ALWAYS use as many photos as I can. There is no excuse not to. My MLS allows 12, so take front, back, each room, the development sign, or whatever to let the buyers get invested in the property BEFORE they even step in the door. Thanks for pointing this out... GREAT post!
Posted by Diane Testa over 12 years ago
Craig, I do the same thing, if they call I pull it up and look, if I get a CMA request, I look and find it is either still active or expired or withdrawn. Photos are what the consumer wants, good photos, a web presense. 
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 12 years ago
I sell quite a bit of lots in lago vista texas and I take plenty of pictures of just grass and cedar trees.  Every bit helps to sell property! Good Luck and Best Wishes
Posted by Scott Hutchinson, Lago Vista Real Estate (REAL ESTATE) over 12 years ago
Craig...I know, for a fact, that 80-85% of all homebuyers begin their shopping process on line.  TO have just one photo is ridiculous.  I would call it Real Estate Malpractice.  You're a great leader.  thanks dude.
Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 12 years ago

I have to agree with Mary Shelsby's post. We have no idea how many pictures this agent put on their MLS listing. This agent may have 50 pics but decided not to waste their money on realtor.com on an overpriced listing! I'm amazed at how many people are calling this agent lazy when they are only seeing a small part of the picture.

 

Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) over 12 years ago
Great post.  You really need great pictures to compete with other properties.
Posted by John Topa (First Sunrise Mortgage) over 12 years ago
Think anyone would buy fish eggs and stale bread if they didn't call it Caviar with toast points and emphasize the fact that you get sour cream and capers along with it?  One way, it is bait...and worth $3, the other, a delicacy at $100.  Same stuff, different marketing.  Build value, compadres, build value!
Posted by Kent Simpson, Real Estate Is About People (Realty One Group Mountain Desert) over 12 years ago

CS-

 

Great article! It happens in Connecticut too. The special variation we have is created by real estate brokers who know that buyers require multiple pictures of a property and that realtor.com is still the #1 visited real estate site (note that remax.com is now #2), so when their weaker agents only take ONE picture of the property, the broker posts it in realtor.com 4-6 times. Now the buyer clicks on the more pictures button and sees the same sorry picture over and over again...

I have realtor.com screen prints in my listing kit to show sellers what multiple pictures should look like and what the single picture with a poor description looks like. This persistence by some realtors is why 95% of the transactions will be closed by 5% of the agents no later than 2010! 

Posted by Brent Bell, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, Hartford County (RE/MAX Premier, Realtors) over 12 years ago

You definitely need to have more than one photo. But are you sure he didn't list with one of these companies that just put homes on the mls for a flat fee? That may be why they don't even have a site of their own!

Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) over 12 years ago
I agree!! You are doing a dis-service to clients!
Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 12 years ago
Photos make a difference. What also makes a difference is the quality of the photos and the quality of the staging. I am so sorry that your potential client had such a terrible experience.
Posted by Claudia Field (Baird & Warner, Barrington) over 12 years ago
The picture doesn't even show the whole house....maybe there's a reason for that, or they're just bad photographers, I wouldn't be happy if I was the homeowner.
Posted by Cindy Bryant, "Houston Home Staging Pros" (Redesign Etc. Home Staging) over 12 years ago
I suspect the agent you has it listed knows its overpriced and decided not to spend to much time on photos or marketing, however no excuse, multiple photos is always best. Secondly having read some of the comments about realtor.com I agrre realtor.com has become a rip off they charge to much and everything these days is an upgarade that you have pay for. More competition the better.
Posted by Alan Brown, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience . (Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado) over 12 years ago
No matter how you look at this listing - It is just poor.
Posted by Mel Miller (Soleil Real Estate) over 12 years ago
I gotta assume the agent did this on purpose, for whatever reason. I also gotta assume that someone in his/her office pointed this out if not the broker and maybe some agents that may have previewed the property. If or more likely when the property expires, I'd point out the weakness in the prior marketing plan.
Posted by Peter Andres - Lic. in FL & NY GRI,SRES,CNE (REALTOR) over 12 years ago

 

Craig,

I really enjoyed the post on this topic. As a stager, bad pictures are a pet peeve of mine. My favorite is when agents come in an take pictures and other adults, children and/or pets are in the photos. (LOL) It is all about the presenation people :)

All the best,

Kristen

Posted by Kristen Simpson (Home Staging Services) over 12 years ago
Guess there are hobby Realtors out there too.  The sellers need to Interview and have a criteria?  They probably chose someone based on the list price and commission...they got what they asked for I guess.
Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com) over 12 years ago
These days, if you're paying a Realtor to market your property for you, and possibly a staging company to make it look pretty, it's a no-brainer to pay a photographer to take some decent pictures.  You're right that the first "walk-through" is likely going to be done online and your pictures are going to make or break the actual showing.  Therefore, there simply is no good excuse for poor photos.  Don't want to pay a professional photographer?  Find a friend who does it as a hobby, or learn the basics yourself.  The point is, some very basic principles about the way to frame and compose your pictures will go a LONG way to getting you interested buyers, and bad pictures will have them running for the hills.
Posted by Anonymous over 12 years ago

Hey wait!  This house was built with the Golden Nails! - It may not be the seller.  One of the first things I suggest to buyers is to look at the listing agent's name.  In my small town, we have 50 companies and about 500 licensees.  There are, however, only about 50 ASRs - Actually Sell RealEstates.  The others have little motivation to actually selling real esate, they just want to appear to be working.  Customers quickly learn that my experience will benefit them.

Happy Listing and Selling!

Heath Coker www.CapeGroup.com Cape Cod Real Estate

www.REindex.com REindex.com, The Site Engine(sm)

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA (http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com) over 12 years ago

I have to agree with you that you have to go all the way on realtor.com. I was very impressed to see that after I did that last week, my hits on the site were huge and they give you a nice report to send to the seller. I had in just 2 weeks 2694 views on my property. It  was cheap advertising for $200.00 on this listing.

 

Posted by Mary Thomas BH,MB,HB, PV, Estates LA+, Mary C. Thomas Your Agent around the Globe ( Remax Estates Properties) over 12 years ago

Craig,

Great post. It drives me crazy to find that a great listing will come up on our MLS and guess what? No picture! That is just plain lazy. Most agents should have access to a digital camera. At least have an office camera. All of my listings will have at least 5 pictures - more if the website (or software) allows. Some of these folks really need to put more effort into it.

Posted by Renee Busse, ABR,ePRO Dyer Co. TN Real Estate (Tennessee Realty) over 12 years ago
Mary Thomas, thank you for this additional information.  I'm going to share it during my realtor presentation in May.  I know that the subject of the cost of realtor.com will come up so this is great to know.  Exposure is certainly key! 
Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago
Informative post.
Posted by Keith Goodman (Keith Goodman ) over 12 years ago
Craig, basic marketing with good photography should be a given. But as you pointed out it is not always done rignt. The Internet and Realtors help sell homes. If your Internet stinks you've cut off half your chances already.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 12 years ago
I agree. There is no reason to not have more photos posted. I am always surprised when on the web the number of homes that have no photo or just an outside shot of the house. It is so easy and really makes a difference. Thanks.
Posted by Rob Muller, Cherokee County Real Estate (ReMax Town & Country) over 12 years ago

Craig,

I can't agree with you more.  I pulled a listing the other day, and the picture that accompanied it was the back of the house showing the propane tanks and the satellite dish.  All I could think was....how bad must the front of the house be?  How do you email that listing to a potential buyer and say....this one looks like a good deal?  LOL.  NOT.  I passed on it.

Posted by Bob Cumiskey, US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Man, you are so right.  We just see this all the time.  As a buyer, I have always found my places on line and it is so frustrating when there are terrible or one picture!
Posted by Cristal Drake, Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate (Prudential California Realty) over 12 years ago
This is just one of the reasons more Realtors need to exit the business if they are not going to do the job.
Posted by Scott Gephart, The Delta Group brokered by eXp Realty (The Delta Group brokered by eXp Realty) over 12 years ago
The example you have is of a listing on Realtor.com Unless an agent pays the very high fees to have "showcase" listings on Realtor.com they can't add the extra photos on that particular website. Is it worth it to pay Realtor.com the added fees? We did for hears, but stopped this year after never, not once in all the years we paid them, having anything to show for the added money spent. So we do take a lot of photos and we post them a lot of places, but we use marking money where it is best spent. Just our 2 cents.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 12 years ago
Shame on the listing agent, but shame on the seller too.  He should have interviewed more agents and done his due diligence.
Posted by Tatyana Sturm, Denver Realtor, GRI, Denver/ Aurora CO Relocation (Exit Realty DTC) over 12 years ago

Craig,

I've found unbelivable success focusing my marketing online.  The first step IS to have your own address on the internet.  This gives consumers the opportunity to establish a sense of connection with your services.  It is then truly up to the professional to have the ability to adequaltely market their clients (or themselves) online.  Heck, in the past two months, I've gained over forty leads alone just by implementing effective marketing campaigns...it's all about the internet my friend.

Posted by Zach Dahl, Virginia Home Loans (Ameritime Mortgage Company, LLC.) over 12 years ago
The internet will be king soon.. if its not already. I am behind the times as compared to those on the tech savy west coast but eons ahead of MANY of my fellow realtors here in the Lehigh Valley... we often tell potential clients to Google us and the competiation! It's another way to show we are out there!
Posted by Ron Fuhrer, Lehigh Valley PA Homes (Nazareth,Easton, Bethlehem - Prudential Patt, White ) over 12 years ago
Craig, I know that I lose interest in websites that don't have multiple photos, so I'm not at all surprised that our prospects react the same way.  What is wrong with these agents.  Laziness, pure laziness.
Posted by Christine Hart Howlett, Keller Williams Greater Cleveland NE (Painesville and Eastern Lake County) over 12 years ago

Sad state of affairs - what about clients doing their due deligince and requested copies of ads, photos displayed....mls data....website advertising etc......Herein Canada we have  Form A attached to all listings - listing what our responsibiities will be and the types of advertising we will do.....it becomes part of the contract and if we don't abide by it the client can cancel the listing pre term end! 

lizmoras@shaw.ca\  Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor over 12 years ago

Craig, it's listing like this that give so many agents a bad name, it's pure laziness. There is no excuse. I also abhor black and white copies as listing sheets.

Some things, apparently, never change. And while home staging is great, it won't help if there's no medium to generate interest to begin with.

Happy Sailing ... _/) Paul -- www.eNewsletterSolutions.com

Posted by Social Media, Email Marketing & Search Engine Optimization Specialist (PCS Online Solutions) over 12 years ago

Craig:

You did not say if this agency that the seller was using was a discount firm. Feng Shui, will not help sell and over priced home. Neither will a ton of photo's. When a home is over priced there is not a lot that can be done, other than to be honest with the seller.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) over 12 years ago
I called an $850,000 expired listing recently that had no photos, no room sizes, no description and no mention of whether or not the property had a lockbox listed. The seller had no clue. He told me that he was out of time and was forced to let his relo company buy him out for way less than market price. I know the area and he could have gotten $850k, but now is forced to sell for a lot less. Granted, it is partially the sellers fault for not following up and checking on their listing - going to Realtor.com to check up on the marketing, asking for copies of ads from his agent, etc. (although he really shouldn't have to as he put his trust in his agent). I think the Realtor should be sued for the loss. There is no doubt in my mind that that house could have sold at that price if he had marketed it at all. This is an agent who sells a good 30 homes a year so he should know better. I wonder if he forgot that he listed this property.
Posted by Lisa Friedman, Central New Jersey Real Estate (Alliance Realtors) over 12 years ago

It's been a couple of days since this posting.  Did you get the job?  Did you ask if the realtor was a discount or full service realtor?  Did you ask when the listing expires so that hopefully you can refer it to an agent who refers work to you?

I look forward to your before and after photos.

Posted by Virginia Tatseos (Stage-Show-Sell) over 12 years ago

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