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Q: Amir and Aleks, how come you recommend seeing properties each week, even if you/we think they might not suit our needs?
A: Great question, we’re glad you asked! We all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, right? Wrong (bi*ch)! Well, not wrong about knowing the phrase, but wrong in that in the Real Estate world, a picture (in our opinion) is certainly NOT worth a thousand words.
Q: How so? What do you mean?
A: Realtors are hired to sell your property. To sell your property effectively, they must market the property to a target demographic, in this case, you! So, they’re sole objective is to ensure that the marketing (photography, staging etc.) is, quite literally, picture perfect.
P.S. If your Realtor is not doing everything they can, within their control, to sell your property, they’re not doing their job and you should hire someone else.
Q: Ok – but based on your answer, doesn’t that mean that if the pictures aren’t great, the property sucks, and we shouldn’t see it?
A: Look at the “P.S.” – Realtors are SUPPOSED TO do everything in their power to sell a property, however, not all Realtors do. In fact, many properties are listed poorly. For example: not cleaned, no repairs to minor deficiencies, low-res pictures or no pictures at all and the list goes on.
So, consider 2 examples:
- A “picture perfect” home – In this case, we go in, and see the property you/your wife thought is going to be “the one”. Bam, we’re in, and it takes less than 5 seconds upon walking in through the door to realize it is NOT what the pictures made it out to be. The main floor is much smaller than the pics showed, the finishes are lack luster & lack attention to detail, the kitchen cabinets don’t seem to close properly … and the disappointment only continues as we go into the Basement (which had no pictures at all) and realize it’s 5 ft high (or low) and smells like a swamp!
- A “not so picture perfect” home – This time, we go in, despite you not wanting to have seen it initially, but we insisted. Here we go! You walk in and are presently surprised, as the home isn’t clean, but the floors, walls and trim are in great condition. The ceilings are 10 ft+ tall and the house has great bones. You realize quickly that the rest is cosmetic and this home may, in fact, suit your needs perfectly.
Look, we’re not saying that every good looking property (via pics) is trying to be deceitful – but we are saying that you can’t smell a picture, a picture doesn’t often show the little details, a picture doesn’t necessarily provide you with scale or the whole story of a home.
Similarly, the lack of pictures, or less than desirable marketing, will often have you skip over the great potentials.
Q: Aha, ok, I get it. So what do you suggest we do? What’s the best way we can go about finding “the one” for us?
A: Simple. We have your main set of requirements, right? So we naturally stay true to the “must haves” & “wants” with respect to budget. Moving forward, we should consider & walk-through properties in spite of poor marketing (if the fundamental property characteristics match our profile) – as they may pleasantly surprise us. Moreover, we shouldn’t get our hopes up or eagerly jump to see everything that looks shiny & polished, as this wastes time and gets our hopes up.
Q: Awesome! Anything else?
A: Yes – another great reason to see properties, consistently, and not simply based on MLS/Realtor.ca records, is to have a true sense of what comps have sold in the marketplace. As without seeing the places, as we’ve established, you cannot really commit to whether a property we’re considering today, would truly compare to a property that sold 1-3 months ago, that we simply vetted via MLS/Realtor.ca records. Make sense?
Hope this was helpful! Consistency is key – and don’t assume … as assuming makes … you know the drill!