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My Nomination For The Funniest Real Estate Photo of 2011

Published: 18/12/2011
By: larry

Thanks to PFRE reader Chris Wood for passing along this article in the Houston Agent Magazine about a real estate so bad it has gone viral. What a way to get exposure for your listing.

Any listing agent that has ever listed a home that has an uncooperative tenant in the home while it is on the market can identify with the back story of this photo:

The tenants are being evicted, and therefore, were uncooperative in making the home look attractive to any other buyers. They refused to clean it for showings and, clearly, even refused to move when Wise and his assistant stopped by to take interior photos for the listing website; Wise said he asked the husband if he could rouse his wife from bed so they could take just one photo of the bedroom’s interior sans tenants, and while the husband allegedly told his wife to get out of bed, she refused.

Here is the listing page in case you would like to browse through the rest of the photos of this listing. I can identify with this problem since we listed a property in Issaquah, WA in 2001 with uncooperative tenants. What we learned from the experience is NEVER, EVER list a home with tenants! It's an impossible job.

5 comments on “My Nomination For The Funniest Real Estate Photo of 2011”

  1. Dang, $129/sq ft for that...and doesn't even have a garage or central heat/air with 2 window units installed through the wall. Good luck with that!

    Unfortunately, I do have similar photos on my hard drive...but they didn't have people in them.

  2. I actually did a video of a 2 family..... tenant was living on the second floor. Refused to leave because his game was on TV. So he's sitting there without a shirt, dog sprawled on his lap, 6 beer bottles on the cocktail table, watching the game - in the video!

    Sold in two weeks. Go figure...... It was everything I could do not to gag as I was shooting that unit....It was a filthy mess.

  3. I don't think this is funny. I thought last years' photo was funny, but not this. I will be honest folks - I won't shoot a house under these type of circumstances. I think that by doing so, it is a very bad reflection of us as professional photogaphers. Our photography is a reflection of us. I work very hard to set me apart from the point and shoot folks out there. If I am willing to photograph garbage, then what does that say about me and my work? I had a client who was listing a property whose owners were in a very nasty divorce situation. The spouse deliberately trashed a beautiful house so that it would not sell. I came in and cleaned the rooms (removed all the garbage and trash- in the presence of the owner) before taking the pictures. My realtor client was so appreciative, that I know I have a client for life.

  4. I shot two listings one day for the same landlord. One set of tenants had no interest in helping, although they did leave the premises while we were there. They had piled mounds of clothing on each bed and after they left for lunch, we discovered all the light bulbs in the house were gone, all of them. Clearly, the landlord-tenant relationship was not good here. They also left a car in the driveway saying it had no engine. This home was a reasonably nice house on a good lot in a decent neighborhood. The second home was a drastic difference. The tenants had gone to work, leaving the home spotless and shiny. It was a run down mess of a house on a lot near lots of commercial properties, so not as desirable, but, the tenants were great. Quite a difference in one day. Both homes were priced to sell quickly and did.

    I don't think it would have been a good idea for me to refuse to shoot the first house, even with the bad circumstances. The realtor clearly knew what was going on and any reference to me would have been positive about my willingness to work in less than perfect conditions and get the job done as requested. I do not look forward to more of these, but, suspect from time to time they will happen.

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