Thursday, July 26, 2012

Real Estate Pictures Lie…Or The Magic of Digital Photography

Yesterday, my Realtor took me to three houses, two of which I picked out from pictures online, a third he picked in error. I was expecting to see what I saw in the pictures, so I was telling him "wait till you see the inside of this house! This is what I am looking for…blah. blah, blah." After all, pictures don’t lie, right? Wrong.

We went into the first house and my jaw dropped. The pictures showed a lovely house, all light walls, a nice eat-in kitchen that actually looked like it was in move-in condition. Nope. The place was pretty dirty with white dingy carpet throughout. Maybe I am too fussy I thought to myself? Maybe there is no such thing as move-in condition? 

He takes me to the second house on my list of prospects. Immediately I am leery, because I now know that pictures lie. Right in front of the house is a huge tree that is leaning like the Tower of Pisa, but at least it’s leaning away from the house. It’s on the property line shared with the neighbor and the Realtor starts explaining that to remove it I would usually share the cost with the neighbor. Now is this the way I want to start my peaceful life? Negotiating with an unknown neighbor about tree removal? Not! But we go inside to explore what I saw in the pictures. It’s the same house alright, but the kitchen, which looked modern and spotless, was grossly dirty. Look, I am by no means the best housekeeper on the planet, so if my kitchen is cleaner than another kitchen, we have a problem. The house was cluttered and actually had more stuff than mine in it. I can’t complain about that. But, it’s not really in move-in condition and certainly not as nice as it looked in the pictures. I wonder if they can airbrush the dirt out of the real estate pictures?

The third house he took me too wasn’t on my list because it was on the outer edge of the neighborhood, but he mistakenly thought he had gotten the address from my list. Ok fine, I’m a good sport and I’ll go see it. It’s not bad, but not what I envision to be move-in either. If I were 30 years old and wanted to do some cleaning, work and fixing, maybe these houses would be okay. I just don’t feel like renovating a house at my age, that’s all. I may have to go looking at higher priced houses to get what I am looking for. Who knows?

Tonight we are supposed to be getting a visit from potential buyers for our house. I hope they were out looking at the same houses I was. I tell you, my house is starting to look better with every house I see. Too bad the neighborhood is not up to my need for peace and quiet. I hope these people fall in love with my house and make a decent offer. I hope my pictures look like what they are going to see. They should, they were just taken. If they make an offer in the ballpark I’m taking it. Hopefully, then I can get serious and make some offers of my own soon. Wishful thinking, I know. 

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