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October 26, 2010


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Maybe an opportunity for a side business. Real estate photography!!

I have wanted to start this in my area for w long time now. I should probably get off my bum and make it happen.

There is another blog I read from a Realtor who makes this point nearly daily (Though it's fallen off a little recently) with a series of posts called "Horrible MLS Photo of the Day". I think he is found at . . . There are some pretty terrible pictures of homes out there.

Why people don't display their goods with decent photos is beyond me, bad pictures are worse than no pictures at all.

There is a lot of bad photography on realtor sites. I think that selection of the shots and general photo quality are the biggest problems. Common problem with realtor photos I see are: Poorly lighting, repeat shots of same thing, extreme closeups, useless angles like the corner of a room or single plant in yard, lack of images for important areas such as no photo of back yard, etc.

It makes a big difference. You look at a site online and theres a handful of crappy pictures so you really don't know if the property is any good. Lack of photos makes me assume they are not wanting to show the property cause its in bad shape. I'm really disinclined to look at such properties simply due to the bad photos and lack of photos.

I don't think a high end camera is needed to take good pictures for an MLS listing... Just some common sense when taking the pictures themselves will go a long ways!

I've always hired a professional real estate photographer for my home sales and I've been very happy with the selling prices received. On all but one of our houses we've received offers over the asking price and with three home sales over the past decade I've only been on the market a combined 8 days.

I've also splurged for nice online listing that contains an interactive floor plan (click on the floor plan and it shows a photo at that location). I know when I'm hunting for real estate myself that this is the single biggest feature that makes a house stand out from the crown on somewhere like

I live in a lesser home myself! (It USED to be worth more than 300k though...)

Anyway, photos are very key when selling things- even on ebay. I cannot stand looking at a blurry picture of what I am trying to buy.

Here in Toronto, $300k gets you a 500 sq. ft. condo!

When we decided to trade up back in 1977 we decided on a small development of custom homes, built in 1972, that was near us and also one that would allow our three children to stay in their current schools. Since resales in this development were few and far between I contacted a realtor in a Century 21 office that was near us. This particular realtor also "farmed" this development by knocking on doors and giving her card to homeowners. One day she called me at work, in Silicon Valley CA, and told me that a couple in one of the homes had just had a huge argument and had decided, on the spot, to get divorced and sell the home and that it was for sale for $107,500. We knew that she had priced it for a quick sale so I called my wife and we met with the realtor at the home within the hour. The home was exactly what we were looking for, 4br 3ba, 2800sf, on 1/3 acre in a great location at the end of a court, the price was right, and the realtor, since she was representing both the seller and the buyer, was very eager to close the deal and get both commissions so we signed the contract for a full price offer right away. The couple accepted our offer and the home was ours. Higher offers were later submitted by other prospective buyers but since ours had been accepted there was no way for the sellers to renege on the contract.
We never looked at any photographs - the home purchase was one of the best deals we have ever made. We have made many improvements over the years and it has appreciated by a factor of 10 which sounds a lot but it only works out at about 7.25% annual rate of return. The other good thing is that because California passed Prop 13 back in 1976 our property taxes are only $2,160/year.

The bottom line is: When you are selling your home don't act impulsively the way this couple did. They didn't even know what it was currently worth because prices were appreciating rapidly at that time. My next door neighbor was the first owner of his home and he only paid $60K five years earlier. We had looked at a home in the next court a few weeks before that was owned by a realtor and it was overpriced at $150K and was a corner lot with a pool that took over the whole back yard (two things we just didn't want). Later on I realized it was also probably unethical for a realtor to represent both buyer and seller.

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