Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Old Woman is Looking for a Shoe

I’ve been thinking. Well, thinking and looking if you want to know the truth. Now if we are gonna move, we need to find something to move into. Sorry, a double-wide doesn’t do it for me. I want a home with a foundation and a roof. That’s the bare minimum.

I’ve been looking at a ton of bad MLS real estate listing photos lately and in the spirit of helpful, smart-ass advice, I offer up the following to the agents putting them on the Internet:

First off, don’t photograph your seller’s house with brush piled up from a major ice storm in front of it. I don’t care if you have to haul it away yourself. This looks bad.

Get a decent digital camera—they are pretty cheap these days––and stage the shots. Bad house photos are a big turnoff especially for this designer. Turn on the lights and make sure the sellers have already decluttered the house. If they haven’t, it’s going to hurt them. Put up lots of photos––as many as you can––but not ones of stuff the sellers are taking with them like the waterbed. Please don’t include three exterior shots and nothing of the inside. You want to get potential buyers to consider the property, not rule it out. Shots of the kitchen, bathroom, entry, and backyard are great. Avoid dark and depressing interior shots. Likewise, look at what’s outside of a window shot. I can’t think being this close to an industrial plant is good. Lose the fuzzy, out of focus shots that look like the camera lens has been coated with Vaseline for a Playmate photo shoot. Do you actually go to the Web site to see how the photos look?

Take some effort in writing the description. Throw in words like charming and classic for older homes. But please don’t call the security system a burglar alarm. Hello. Is that not a big red flag? You may love that bathroom covered with monkeys-in-palms wallpaper, but do you have to brag about it? I don’t like monkeys any more than Bill likes clowns.

And one final bit of advice: awesome is rarely awesome.


AlexD said...


Are you sure you aren't a Realtor? Those tips are perfect for any person who decides to sell their home. And yes, "burglar alarm" is on the same level as, "free shotgun with purchase of this residence".

Keep up the good post!!

Alex ~D~

Marion said...

What a great post! With your usual sensible style, you've taught me a few things...things I should have learned when I was selling my last house!

I'm in awe of the person who took the picture of the house with all the branches...it might be a very nice house, but to me it looks as if it was in a hurricane zone!

Sheila said...

Alex, I could be a realtor except I'm not very good at handholding like our fanastic realtor is. She took several really nice photos and then took some more before she was satisfied with the look.

Oh Marion, I don't know what your last house that you sold looked like but I love the photo you posted of your current home. It is so lovely that you wouldn't have a bit of trouble selling it. I could have posted some more tree damage photos but I thought I got my point across.

Sank said...

Very very funny. Touring houses is always a hoot. Well captured observations!

Sheila said...

Thanks, Sank. I'm amazed at how others live. At least I clean up my house when it's on the market.

I'm continuing to find oddities as I peruse the MLS listings. Today, I found a floorplan described as "immaculate."

Naomi said...

This was a great post Sheila. It made me smile. Maybe you should become an estate agent yourself. Great tips for anybody wanting to sell a house.

Sheila said...

You know I think I would enjoy helping people stage their homes before they go on the market. Real estate agents generally do great with telling sellers what needs to be done, but I think many people just don't have the time to do what is required to may the house shine.

Dirty Butter said...

I finally have time to start visiting all the friends who were kind enough to offer their sympathies when my Daddy died.

Oddly enough, I was looking at a site about Home Staging this morning, just out of curiosity. There are a lot of good ideas for de-cluttering a home you intend to stay in here, too!

I look forward to catching up with all your posts for the last month.

Miss Trashahassee said...


Miss T

Sheila said...

DB, I know how limited your time has been lately with all the matters of your dad's you had to handle. I know there must be a big hole in your heart right now. Bless you.

Miss T, glad to hear from you as always.