There is no doubt that the Internet has greatly enhanced the experience of hunting for a house. Trulia, Homes.com, and Zillow all put hundreds or thousands of listings at your fingertips.
However, after sorting through the mountains of listings, I have some observations:
- Some (far too many) agents phone it in. Looking at the photographs is the first symptom. Out of focus, poorly framed photos. I know I can take better pictures with my iPhone. You are going to make 3% on a $700K house, or $21K, HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER DAMMIT.
- Wide Angle Lenses. Nothing like a phat wide angle shot to make 836 sqft look like the damn Playboy Mansion.
- Complete “don’t give a shit” in preparation. No clearing of clutter. Barely make the bed, stuff stored in the middle of rooms. Yep, no effort at all to tart up the place.
- Tacky descriptions. Alum Rock seems to have replaced the “A Mountain View” as a euphemism for East San Jose. You know what else is awesome? All capital letters. The Caps-Lock key is your friend.
- Lipstick on the pig – Here is an actual snippet from a pretty much completely un-updated old house in a desirable neighborhood: “The traditional Willow Glen bathroom has a full tub and a separate stall shower with tile wainscoating.” For $734K to boot.
It does suck to be in a market where they don’t even bother to hide ceiling water damage in the photos. And that house sold for $50K over asking.
All for the privilege of bidding and losing on houses.