A rant- why can't real estate pictures be true to life?

beaglesdoitbetter1July 13, 2014

We're looking for a new FL vacation home and our last trip down was a disaster :( We looked at 14 houses and NOT ONE was anywhere even close to the real estate listing pictures.

In some cases, it looked like the pictures must have been taken 20 years ago when the house was new (the house did not look new any more!). In others, they showed the view to only one side, making it look lovely and hiding the abandoned warehouses in the background. Countless other examples of this type of thing.

I can understand wanting to put your best foot forward in the pictures. However, these houses looked like totally different houses in person vs. pictures.

Has anyone noticed this trend or is this just me? And how does this benefit anyone. As far as I can tell, they just result in the sellers getting showings from people who are probably not going to buy the house once they see what it is really like, wasting everyone's time.

Wouldn't it be better to show the house as it really is (maybe a cleaned up version, but a realistic one) so you can get people there who might actually be interested in it.

I'm frustrated b/c I hate pretty much every house on the market there right now, and this experience was just a disaster.

Anyone want to sell me a nice house in the greater Tampa/St. Pete area on an acre+ of land that isn't falling down or overlooking an abandoned warehouse, LOL?

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Actually, I find that with google maps, including 360 degree street views, virtual tours and floor plans, you get a very good feel. I remember buying our first house over fifteen yrs ago, when all we had was one faxed photo!

If so many of them were misleading, it would lead me to believe that I cannot get what I am specifying without changing my parameters. It would also make me question my agent; they should have been to enough open houses to know the drill.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:18PM
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I agree with mtn. Do your due diligence, including street view, and driving technically down and around the area. Zoom out on the area to see the surroundings, including commercial sites. Go to satellite view to see buildings close by. Maybe you are looking on the wrong coast of Florida? Heh.heh. You have so much at your finger tips. And, yeah, get a new realtor.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:33PM
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The Google street view is helpful to see what is around, I agree. It was more that the pictures that were included in the listings were SO deceptive!

Our realtor is really on-top of things and helpful, she worked w/ us to buy our last vacation house down there... These houses we're looking at are a little bit outside of her usual area. Next time we're going to have her preview them in person before we go down, she offered to do that and we'll take her up on it.

When we first got an offer on our house, we looked at four houses and would have bought three of them. Unfortunately, we wanted to wait to make sure that the deal closed before we bought and they were all gone. Maybe it is just the time of year that resulted in all the bad houses w/ deceptive pictures. It seems like the good houses go to pending w/in a day of going on the MLS which is really hard when we are out-of-town :(

I just wish the pictures would have showed the houses inside as they actually look, and basically all 14 of the houses did not do that! Maybe just a bad batch if I'm the only one having this experience...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:10AM
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If she's agreed to preview them in person, then I'm sure she would happily provide fresh photos for you. I'd ask her -- she knows you're more at a disadvantage because of distance.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:31AM
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Tampa is an odd place and many parts are not that attractive. I don't think your experience is unusual at all. When we lived there I often wondered about the nice houses next to broken down trailers or abandoned lots. If you are looking for an acre in town or near the water that really narrows your options.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Here you go...my neighbor's house in Temple Terrace. It does need updating.

note: the pool is shaped like a Mich bottle because the builder was the Budweiser distributor. Luckily when they resurfaced, they covered up the bottle graphics.

If looking for lakefront, search zip code 33556.


Here is a link that might be useful: Original price was 3 million

This post was edited by maddielee on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 9:14

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:58AM
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How funny that they posted Christmas pictures, Maddielee. I guess it must have been December when they put it on the market the first time.

I'm surprised, Beagles, that your realtor didn't preview the houses before your trip to exclude the ones that obviously didn't meet your specifications. I hope you have better luck on your next trip.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:33AM
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pammyfay she is going to send us video tours/ pictures next time before we come down. We just need to find houses we like.

Thanks maddielee. We are actually not really looking for houses on the water. We had a house on a feeder to the inter coastal last time and the boats made the dogs nuts, which was not very restful. If we found a house on a very small quiet lake we'd be OK w/ that but I'd prefer a wooded backyard view w/ privacy and nothing to bother the dogs.

Fun2BHere, this was only our third time out looking for houses w/ this realtor and the first time was before we bought our old house and it was a totally different kind of house. She didn't really know exactly what we were looking for this time so it would have been kind of hard to make a good assessment of the houses. Now she knows and it will be easier to preview houses for our next trip.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Interesting. The only thing I see is that rooms often appear bigger , which of course is what they are trying to do.
But, when I go on Trulia, or Zillow, I think I am seeing a good representation of what the house looks like.
In all our years looking at real estate (we have income properties) I have never seen a house that wasn't true to photo.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:08PM
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I guess this was just a bad batch of sellers maybe.
As an example, there was one house that basically had mold all over the front, but in the pictures of the house it looked sparkling clean. One house showed tennis courts in bright new great condition but when we got there, they were broken down and cracked. It was pretty much something like this at every place we went...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:24PM
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We are looking for an apt for my mom and it's amazing how large a teeny-tiny kitchen can become with a camera lens.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 12:39AM
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