Real NEastate: Should I look at a home that doesn’t have pictures in the listing?

Q: I went to see a home for sale in Somerton that didn’t have any pictures online. When we got there, I realized why. The place was a mess! There’s no way I would buy a home that is in major disarray because, to me, that means the owner doesn’t take good care of it. And I definitely don’t want a home that isn’t well maintained. Is there a way to figure out which homes for sale without pictures are worth seeing? Or are all the homes for sale without pictures a filthy mess?

A: It’s good that you even want to see the homes without pictures, because many homebuyers will skip right over the ones without a least a dozen pictures, and they might miss out on a really great home. I don’t know if there is a way to figure out which ones without pictures will be dirty but there might be a good explanation why there might not be any pictures.

A few reasons a listing might not include pictures on the internet:

  1. The house is in poor showing condition.
  2. The seller won’t allow pictures online for security or other reasons.
  3. The home recently went on the market and pictures haven’t even been taken yet.
  4. The seller’s agent either hasn’t gotten around to pictures or just doesn’t take any.

I sometimes don’t post interior pictures of homes that I do not think show well so I can give them the best shot to draw a buyer with some vision. I’ve seen homes with awful pictures that looked like they were taken with a bad camera phone, but the home showed beautifully. I’ve also shown homes for sale that are knock-out gorgeous and couldn’t believe that the agent didn’t post pictures.

Maybe you should avoid anything that notes in the description that it “needs TLC,” but other than that, you’ve got to go see it in person to find out if it’s the right home for you. And, if you could overlook the mess, you might find a bargain that’s a diamond in the rough.

My unsolicited advice to sellers who want to obtain top dollar for their home is to make sure their home is clean and orderly, and to hire an experienced agent who either takes good pictures with a camera, or outsources the photography job.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columnshere.


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