For homebuyers, scouring through online listings is much like a dating service. Just like an online dating service, you plug in your criteria and search away. Then you look through pictures and read descriptions to choose which “winners” there might be. Today, potential homebuyers do the same thing online, so it’s important to remember to choose your pictures and descriptions wisely. For sellers it’s important to have good pictures that make the homebuyers eager to come see your place. So today we’ll look at what you should do and some examples of how this wasn’t done.
I know I can’t directly link the pictures here at risk of breaking some sort of copyright law, but it’s worth the click to see the picture to learn the lesson.
Make Sure The Carpet Matches The Drapes. Stop thinking that…and I don’t mean it literally either! But honestly, be sure that what the description claims matches the pictures! One of my friend’s bought their home and was told it had “stunning ocean views”. Of course, a slight glimmer of the ocean could be seen standing atop the master toilet, looking slightly to the left. If you’re going to market yourself as a long and lean redhead you don’t want to have a picture of yourself with a double chin and blonde hair. In the same way, be careful what you claim and display.
The offender: 22112 Bianco, Laguna Hills
The description of the home is sparse but includes the details, “Newer windows and nicely landscaped”. By nice, did you mean to include that old tire, cardboard box, and bag of garbage? (click here)
Additionally, showing a cute fountain in the backyard would seem like a good idea to highlight the “nice landscaping”. However, showing a dried up fountain with dead, overgrown shrubbery…not so much. (click here)
Highlight Your Best Assets. If you’re an impatient person who can’t make it more than 1/2 mile down the 5 without cutting someone off you shouldn’t market yourself as patient and easy going. If your best side is your left side, you certainly won’t post a close up of your right side. In the same way, be sure to highlight the best features of your home in the pictures you post.
The offender: 22301 Modina, Laguna Hills
This home uses 2 of the 9 pictures to highlight a mess of a backyard. It looks like a makeshift campsite back there! There are almost too many things to mention here. But first, moving the two bags of garbage to the side would have been great start. There’s a quasi-wall and a even a desk outside for those who want to be inspired by nature while they work. An extra door, some extra wood…I hope you weren’t planning on entertaining back there! (click here)
Get Rid of Extra Baggage. Baggage – we’ve all got it. But most online daters would probably strive clear of anyone who posts their entire life history on their page. Don’t talk about how your mother lost you at the grocery store when you were three and now have severe abandonment and anxiety issues to this day from it. Save it for another more appropriate place (like a therapist’s office). In the same way, don’t clutter your pictures. It only signifies to the potential buyer that your home is short on storage (or that you are too lazy to use the storage).
The offender: 22301 Modina, Laguna Hills
Apparently there was no shortage of couch cushions and pillows that day. Maybe there was a sleepover, maybe they came from the quasi-room addition in the back. Needless to say, they could have and should have been moved for a quick snap of the picture. (click here)
Additionally the bathroom is victim as well. While I applaud your efforts to keep your cleaning products handy (though I question their use due to the spotty, dirty mirror), storing them on the back of the toilet tells your seller there is no storage for them which is a big no no. (click here)
And lastly, I’m pretty sure that the blue bucket is the interior to a toddler potty training seat. Placing that in your picture on the sink is as bad as advertising that you don’t shower and have really bad hygeine on your dating website. Big no no…just don’t do it. (click here)