Punchline: Buy homes with No Additional photos= Save $15,000 on a $400,000 house.
Buyers LOVE seeing tons of photos for each listing online. I think Realtor.com said that listings with multiple photos get seen 6 times more than listings with 1 photo. The tendency for buyers is to see a photoless house and think it is garbage and skip to the next listing, when in fact it might just be a sucky listing agent or a foreclosure with an underpaid agent. (see the Arlington foreclosure Megan bought, it had no extra photos and she almost skipped it)
I’ve vented previously about Sucky Listing Agents that use free “drive-by” high school photographers to post one default photos on the MLS. Well sucky listing agents are GOOD for buyers!
Fewer photos= Fewer showings=Fewer buyers= LOWER PRICE!
Therefore, DO NOT skip photoless listings. I know it is a pain (also a pain for the buyer agent, which should be making a photo album for each viewing), but take the extra effort and potentially save $15,000.
I painstakingly reviewed 268 Sold listings in Fairfax since 5/1/07 from $400k to $500k.
24% had NO ADDITIONAL PHOTOS!
This is embarrassing! Also note that 57% of FORECLOSURES, Bank Owned, REOs etc had no extra photos.
Only 12% of agents posted the maximum 20 photos. This amazes me (FranklyRealty.com Requires All 20). Note that the local MLS just went to 30 photos, and now they are free. So if the $12 was too much for your agent, now they have no excuse.
I also found listings with more photos sold faster (duh). Here are the photos to Days on Market (DOM, not the champagne) analysis:
- 1 Photo = 70 DOM Avg
- 6 Photos =40 DOM
- 16-19 = 36 DOM
- 20 MAX= 32 DOM
The Closed NET Price as a % of the Original Price also showed a direct correlation.
I scrubbed the data to find the REAL Original price. I manually adjusted the 20% of listings that were relisted (see my best of 2006 blog on MLS DOM data fudging), and I adjusted for seller subsidy.
Listings with fewer photos sold for less.
- 1 Photo= 91.2% of Original Price
- 6 Or more= 95% of Original Price
Therefore on a $400,000 home, Photoless listing sells for 3.8% LESS.
(Now one can argue that a sucky listing agent also might suck at proper pricing, but come on, you get the point)
Bottom line for Buyer: Just like I’ve said staging gets you MORE $ for your listing, the opposite is true for buyers. Buy unstaged homes (see Don’t Buy Staged Homes) when you can and consider the poorly marketed homes to get a better deal.
Bottom line for Sellers: Duh, at the very least, make sure your agent puts a ton of photos.
Bottom line for Agents: Keep up the bad work, it makes me look better.
Share this blog post with a friend. Make sure to sign up for this blog (upper right of the page Blog.FranklyRealty.com) as next week I’ll show more of the data and how Days on the Market correlates to price. Also more on DOM-M vs DOM-P Relisting tricks.
– Written By Frank Borges LL0SA Broker FranklyRealty.com
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