The next time you get very excited about the presentation of a property on a web site I would recommend calling the listing agent and asking one very simple question:
Was the property photographed with a wide-angle or fish-eye lens?
Being in the industry, there is hardly a moment where I’m not looking for a better place for my family to call home. Don’t get me wrong, we love our current apartment, the views and light, the building amenities, etc. It has a lot going for it so it would take something special to make us move. That something would likely be more space and a garden or terrace. You see, my 6 year old son constantly informs us that he wants to live in the country. He suggests that the "smells, colors, and air are nicer in the country." Hard to argue with that. Having said that, I’m constantly on the lookout for a townhouse or part of a townhouse that would provide the space my family is accustomed too with the added perk of some outdoor space for my son’s garden 😀 His bedroom is becoming a jungle of plants and herbs (none of which you can smoke of course).
Yesterday a property came across my desk that piqued my interest. A three bedroom townhouse garden duplex that looked quite appealing on line and boasted a whopping 2500 square feet of living space plus a south facing garden. Both my wife and I (she absolutely loves our current home and rarely gets excited about listings I send her) were intrigued and scheduled an appointment to view this property today. Can you say "DISAPPOINTING?" None of the rooms were even close to how they appeared in the photographs as the photographer obviously shot all rooms with a wide-angle or fish-eye lens. This is precisely why buyer’s distrust everything that they see on line and why they suspect that we’re lying whenever our lips are moving. The tell tale comment came from my very own wife who detected my frustration and said, "isn’t that your job as the agent to make the place look as good as you can?" More frustration set in as I reminded her that our job is indeed to assist in presenting a property in the best light possible but in a transparent fashion that manages a prospective buyer’s expectations. There is nothing more frustrating than going to see an apartment that you are excited about and it being a huge disappointment because it was misrepresented. I see this happen with my buyers all the time.
So the next time you’re all jacked up about a property you see on line, call the agent and ask them if you can actually see "that" apartment or are they going to show you something that merely resembles those gorgeous wide-angle photos their displaying on their web page? I suspect more often than not, you’re going to see the latter. Yet another stong argument for video!