Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reader shares a real estate story

I love getting reader mail. The one recently came from a Texas woman responding about bad real estate Internet photos.

Oh the horror stories we have about the on-line pictures of our father & step-mother's house. (Both went into nursing homes and died during 2005.) The 1500 sq.ft. 3/2/2 house had to be completely remodeled to the tune of $20,000+.... just to be able to get anyone to want to walk in the door!

We couldn't "stage" the home because there wasn't anything worthy of displaying. The photos of the new carpeting, flooring, painting, cabinets, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, fireplace mantel and bookcases, decking, landscaping, etc. were supposed to draw people in instead of the other homes on that street and in that neighborhood. The pictures the Realtor took were not the best to begin with and didn't focus on all of the BEST features. Some pictures of a FINISHED room included a "sawhorse" and "paint can" which shouldn't have even still be there and could have easily been moved to the GARAGE! She not only included some of the bad pictures in with the mix (unfinished rooms and incomplete landscaping) but put DUPLICATES of THOSE and NONE of a few of really good pictures -- like the big wreath I made for the refinished front door and porch!

Since the house was at least a 2 hour drive each way from where we live on the other side of Houston, we had a hard enough time getting there to check on the construction and take care of other things. We took some more digital pictures and she "misplaced" them so they were never added. The photocopied "brochure"/fact sheet outside the house didn't have any interesting pictures to entice people to call and set up an appointment -- but she didn't keep the holder stocked with the pictures anyway....she left some inside the house for people to take with them -- but people had to show up with a Realtor to get into the house FIRST.

Needless to say, we were NOT happy with the Realtor and if the house hadn't have sold right before her 6 months contract was up, we would have had to change Realtors and start all over again. She was busy with the many other Realtors she had working UNDER her and she was out of town and out of reach way too much.

What would you have done differently? Realtors - is this the norm? What would you have done differently?

Share with us. Make us wiser!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,

As a licensed broker, I see firsthand that there are people who are good at what they do and there are people that are bad at what they do. Having an agent that is detail oriented and service focused makes all the difference. Having a "volume broker" that slaps a sign in the lawn and hopes it sells itself works sometimes, but if you have a buyers market or a "challenging home" you need an advocate who is willing to put the time in to correctly market your home, hire home stagers (such as yourself), and even willing to rewrite descriptions and retake photos as necessary. It's sometimes helpful not to see how many signs an agent has out there, but how quickly their homes sell, there's usually a pattern. I'm sorry your reader had a bad experience, agents like that give all of us hardworking agents and brokers a bad name. -Stephanie Morgan