Selling houses is a flashback to dating on

[photopress:heart.jpg,thumb,alignright]Yes, that’s right, I too have used in the past and it’s actually how my partner, Michael, and I met. This weekend I was reminded of the dating experience online as I perused houses in the Greenlake area with some clients. First, we looked at houses in a price range of over $1 Million. The house they’ve written an offer on is gorgeous but the photos of it were horrible. It was exactly like how Michael and I met because he had a horrible photo – so I almost didn’t meet him – and it ended up that when we really did meet it was love at first sight. It was the same way with this couple, I almost didn’t show them the house because I was afraid it was going to be lacking in the aesthetics department based on the lame exterior photos – there were none of the interior. Thank goodness I took a chance and used it as a comparative for another expensive home and they ended up falling in love.

[photopress:IMG_1075.JPG,thumb,alignleft][photopress:master_bedroom.jpg,thumb,alignright]As I’ve been in the real estate biz only a few years I imagined that all agents who work with higher priced properties might actually take the time to provide exceptional skills when it comes to marketing a home. Well, apparently this isn’t the case. Do sellers just not think to ask to see what their house will look like online? The post that came in a few days ago about putting in good photos on real estate listings really strikes a chord with me. Which photo would you rather have for your home? The one that limits the scope of the room to be seen and is kind of dark and depressing? Or go for the warm, inviting photo that gives some sense of the actual space?

I’d post the photos of this house here but since we’re under negotiation right now, I can’t. Let’s just say my client’s digital photo did a lot better than the one the agent took. I have to say that, like Michael, I’m glad someone put in a bad photo this time because otherwise a love match (for me and then my clients) wouldn’t have been made.

9 thoughts on “Selling houses is a flashback to dating on

  1. The better-looking photo also looks like it is very misleading, it appears to have been stretched horizontally. Such stretching and/or use of special “lying lenses” occurs a lot. It leads me to a distrust of realtors.

  2. hh has a point. I don’t use “lying lenses” 🙂 though have been urged to do so. But I do ad light as it is easier than bringing in more lamps. I figure the new owner can have more lamps, so that is not a “stretch”. What do you think hh?

  3. Adding more light is certainly not so misleading. (It could still lead to a feeling of disappointment upon viewing the reality. But then reality is often like that.)

    I do wish realtors posting photos on the mls pages would figure out how to do it without stretching them. Maybe this should be on the licensing exam!

  4. hh,

    There is a lot of confusion among agents on the ethics involved, and not just stretching. Some think they can use “paint” software to eliminate things like wires. I once took out a dumpster, because it WAS going to be gone before the house was sold, but was there at the time it was listed. I just took a new photo after the dumpster left, but I needed a shot in the mls before then.

    Sometimes the “stretch” has something to do with a virtual tour. They use “slices” from the virtual tour and all the rooms look kind of convex and concave.

  5. If you were to actually be in that room you would understand that the room is actually quite large. The initial digital photo doesn’t provide correct scale and also has the potential to mislead the viewer. This photo was done specifically to get all elements of the room included. Don’t take one set of photos as “the rule” on all photos. Other photos in the series of shots used for this one home give excellent representation and unless you’ve been in this house you really can’t say exactly whether or not it is representative or accurate. What the photo does convey is the depth and width of the room that a photo from a less technical camera cannot provide. Also, the main point of the photo is to provide better photos than what is out there traditionally.

  6. I once used Photoshop to take out a neighbors house, add a blue sky and eliminate a fire hydrant from the front of the house. I’m probably one of the few around here allowed to admit this because I don’t sell real estate! LOL!

    Personally, I don’t see a problem with “stretching” of photos at all, especially if it allows more “room” to fit into a photo. Maybe I’m just jaded, but I never would expect a house to look exactly like it does in the photos… Layouts change… Lighting changes… Although as Matt pointed out the other day, it is possible to overstate a view.

  7. Pingback: Photos, stretching, and dating·Eugene Oregon Real Estate Blog

  8. I have seen all type of “Helped” photos some weren’t even taken from the property listed. I have seen photos where the agent got on top of the roof to take a “View” shot. As a seller you want your home marketed to get the most bodies through it. As a buyer you may not have chosen to view a home without the use of “Helped” photos. Once you got in the home and found it had many wonderful features that outweighed the “Helped” photos you would be pleasantly surprised. Or you may just hate the house and are mad you got “Helped” into looking at it. Marketing has been all about helped “Helped” photos for years. A real airbrush was used for years prior to software airbrush.

  9. Hi Reba,
    I couldn’t agree more! The process of buying houses is a lot like dating! By the way, having a few photos was a great addition to your blog.

    I also wanted to suggest a future real estate-related topic for a blog: redesign. I’m the producer and host of a new web TV talk show and we just interviewed a terrific Seattle redesigner, Eduardo Mendoza ( on our show. You can see him in action here this week: A lot of realtors use services like his to sell homes but more and more homeowners are using it, too. Thanks for a great article! -Whitney Keyes

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