May 12th, 2016
I’ve had a situation come up and I’d love everyone’s opinion on how to handle situations where when I show up to shoot and the property is a mess!
I send a confirmation email to the Agent with all the photo shoot specifics and expectations, yet when I arrive nothing has been done. What do you do to avoid this from happening? I’m starting to thinking I need to do a signed contract that way the agent takes me seriously. What do you do?
The best way to handle these situations is to 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.” Another possible policy is to always do the shoot even if it is not ready. If you show up you bill the time. It’s ALWAYS the listing agent’s job to have the property ready for photographing at the time of the shoot. It’s one of the biggest challenges of being a listing agent is to get home sellers to do what is need to sell the property. Some agents are good at this part of the job and some are not very good at it. The underlying root of the problem is that you cannot always get home sellers or whoever is living in the home to do what’s necessary.
The worst situation is always if there is a tenant in the property because the owner and the listing agent have little or no control over tenants to get them to do anything. For this reason, my wife and I got so we would never even do a listing when there was a tenant in the property while the property was being sold.
The photo above (click here to see how bad this place was) is from a bedroom from a listing we did for a friend that had tenants in the 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 stop leaving 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. It turned out the mess didn’t even 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 black 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!