May 12th, 2015
Manuel ask the following question:
Yesterday was my fourth bad experience taking pictures. What should I do when I go to shoot a house occupied by the owner or tenant and the house is all cluttered. I always send a checklist to the realtor that explains what to do to get the home ready for photos.
Do I have to come back another time? In that case I must charge a fee for coming and I could not do my job?
Yes, you must have a statement in your terms of service that says something like, “based on the judgement of the photographer, if the home is not ready for photographing when the photographer arrives, the shoot will be canceled and there will be a rescheduling fee of $xxx charged.” It’s the listing agent’s job to have the property ready for photographing at the time of the shoot. I would always consult with the listing agent and be sure she doesn’t just want you to shoot it as-is. Some times when there’s tenants involved that’s the only option.
I know from my experience as a listing agent that listing a property that has a tenant in it is extremely difficult because the owner and the listing agent have almost no control over the tenant to get them to do anything. For this reason my wife and I got so we would never even do a listing with a tenant in the property while the property was being sold.
The photo above is from a bedroom from a listing we did for a friend that had tenants in his property. The tenants were two bachelors. The property was a rural acre near Issaquah, WA that had bears hanging around the property. Our biggest struggle was to get the tenants to not leave loaded guns laying around the house while it was on the market. We put so much effort into this issue we didn’t even try to get them to clean the place up. I just shot it like it was. Turned out the mess didn’t matter. We got 10 offers in the first week on the market and no one was harmed in the sale of the property except a bear that one of the tenants shot. He was arrested by the Washington State Police for discharging a rifle too close to I-90. What can I say? This was a difficult listing and we were glad to get it sold! Messy rooms were the least of our concerns!