Now, say it with me in your best Ovaltine commercial voice: More pictures of homes for sale, please!

Yesterday, I received a request we’re all too familiar with here at The Hill Group. A prospective home buyer asked me to find out why a certain home for sale in Mesa, AZ didn’t have any pictures of it available online.

Trying to give the listing agent – the person the sellers hired to market and sell their home – I thought, at first, maybe the agent had just put the home on the Multiple Listing System (MLS) a few moments ago and was still in the process of updating the listing. Maybe she had 36 beautiful photos of this home, and was uploading them from her camera at that very moment!

How foolish of me…

To my, and more importantly our out-of-state client’s, disappointment, the listing agent did not have any pictures of the home to upload to the MLS or email to us. In fact, I noticed the home had already been on the market for NINE DAYS by that time, and after a lengthy conversation with the listing agent, I learned she didn’t have any plans to post any photos of the home online anytime soon, either. She did, however, make a very brilliant suggestion. She pointed out to me that the home has been on the market before, and since the home still looks – and I’m quoting here – “about the same” I should find the last listing of the home in the MLS (which I can do) and email the pictures from that listing to our client.

First of all, I took that agent’s brilliant suggestion, and I emailed all of the photos I could find from the home’s previous listings to our client. After all, if it’s going to help our clients further their home search, I’m going to do it. Secondly, can you guess what was wrong with those photos and why our client is not interested in the home any longer?

Our client said the pictures look like they were taken in the 1990s and that the home looks very dated (dated cabinetry, dated appliances, dated paint on the walls, the works). Maybe if we had seen more recent photos of the home, we would have learned that the sellers have re-finished all of the cabinetry or replaced the kitchen appliances since those last photos were taken. Maybe, but we’ll never know.

The next day, our out-of-state client, the prospective home buyer, told us to take this home off of her list. She reminded us she’s planning to fly here next month and she doesn’t have time to look at every home for sale in Mesa, AZ, especially if she can’t look at a few pictures of the property ahead of time. I don’t blame her, either. She already has 10 – 15 great homes on her list of favorites, and I know she’d be happy in at least several of them!

Home Sellers: Don’t let this happen to you!

If you are thinking of selling your home, make sure you know what your listing is going to look like on the MLS before your home goes on the market. And then, once it is on the market, don’t let a single day go by without AT LEAST several pictures of your home being posted online. Your listing’s fate rests on it!