EIGHT REASONS TO NEVER JUDGE A HOME BY ITS LISTING PHOTOS
You’ve probably heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. You’ve likely also been told not to judge a book by its cover. So, when you’re looking to buy a home, should you accept what a picture shows and judge a home by its listing photos?
The answer is a resounding “no,” but it also is two-fold. You should neither dismiss nor fall in love with a home based on its listing photos! The reality is that listing photos are to give you a first glimpse into a home, to entice you to go see it in person. Our advice? Let a home’s listing photos draw you in, but don’t let them get you carried away – in either direction.
Here are eight reasons to give a home with not-so-great listing photos a chance to win you over:
1. A seller may want to show you every corner of their house. Literally, like every corner. If a seller’s listing photos seem to include a bunch of empty corner shots, consider that they may just be trying to show you how much extra space a home has. Don’t just rule a home out because you can’t see enough of it.
2. A seller really seems to love their home’s features. Like a ceiling fan. An armoire. Their double ovens. Believe it or not, a seller may be so excited about the way they’ve furnished their home that they think it may excite you, too! It’s simply not a deal-breaker if you’re interested in a home.
3. A seller forgot to open the drapes. Natural light plays a big role in taking great listing photos. So, if you see some photos that look a bit dark or dreary, don’t assume the house has no potential. If it’s got what you’re looking for, give it a shot and go see it for yourself!
4. A seller seems really proud of their breaker panel. These poorly-informed sellers may merely be trying to show you that everything is in working condition. While it may not be the beauty shot you were hoping for as you’re scanning through homes online, a glimpse at the breaker panel is no reason to rule out a great home.
5. The sellers are finding the home-sale process to be a blur. And, their photos prove it. OK, it may seem rather easy to take a clear photo, or at the very least, omit one or two that may not come out so clear. But, if a seller didn’t get a great shot of their spacious family room or extra walk-in closet, they may still feel compelled to show the spaces, blurry or not! If you like everything else you saw about a home, go see it.
6. The seller didn’t get the memo about painting with neutral colors. So, you can see a wall-papered accent wall or a bright yellow kitchen in listing photos. Try to look beyond the colors – no matter how in-your-face they may seem. Remember, it doesn’t take much to apply a coat of paint. If the walls underneath are what you’re looking for, give the home a chance!
7. A seller turned their dining room is a child’s playroom. These days, many rooms are multi-purpose anyway! Just because a seller doesn’t have their home properly staged for their listing photos does not mean that you can’t use your own vision to decorate – once you buy the home. However, if you don’t give a home a chance because you can’t get over pile of children’s toys in a formal dining area, you may miss out a home that could be perfect for you!
8. You really want to see yourself in the home, but all you see is them. And, we’re not even talking about the personal items or family pictures they forgot to remove before taking their photos. You actually can see the photographer (or homeowner) in the bathroom mirror of a listing photo. Of course, that’s not ideal photography, but it is not a reason to turn away from a home.
While some of these examples may seem a bit extreme, the fact of the matter is that not everyone is a photographer and not everyone knows how to take picture-perfect listing photos. So, buyers, if you’re looking for a home and you find one that has everything on your needs and wants lists, but just doesn’t have great listing photos, give it a chance! And, sellers, if you need a little help with your listing photos, contact a professional!