by Cynthia Black, © Cynthia Black. Source: HomeStaging by Cynthia, Inc. in KCMO.

Photos: Good, bad, too few? Too many?

My questions for home buyers:

  1. Did you tour homes with NO or very few Internet photos?
  2. Do you prefer photos or virtual tours?
  3. Close-ups: useful or annoying?”

Q. Did you tour homes with NO or very few Internet photos?

  • A.  When there are no photos, I tend to believe that there is something to hide.
  • A.  I passed over any listing without a picture of the exterior at least. Interior photos were helpful; I actually decided to look at the house I ended up buying because I was impressed by the picture of the finished garage.
  • A.  I didn’t tour homes that lacked listing photos.
  • A.  We’ll make our house-hunting trip in a couple of weeks, but we’ve looked at bunches on the Internet. Some photos make me leery of touring the house: one house has half the photos of the yard and workshop and most of the rest were of the kitchen. Why are they hiding the rest of the house?
  • A.  I found it curious when a listing said “beautiful kitchen” yet didn’t show it.
  • A.  Only if I know the area, I may drive by and then decide.
  • A.  I want to see what the inside looks like before I waste my time. I’m not all that picky, but I have some “must haves”.
  • A.  We appreciated a lot of pictures–the more the better. We were hesitant to look at a place that didn’t have many pics. Lack of any kitchen pics was a definite red flag.
  • A.  An empty bedroom picture is a waste. Okay, maybe it is reassuring to know the walls aren’t neon green, but as a buyer all you see are two beige walls.

Q. Do you prefer photos or virtual tours?

  • A.  Virtual tours are too slow for me and are generally a waste of time. They don’t show anything better than what the still pix do, and they show rooms I am not interested in. I can speed over pix but not a virtual tour.
  • A.  Virtual tours don’t help much. Most of them are poorly done.
  • A.  I prefer photos, at least half a dozen to determine whether I’d like to view the home in person. Virtual tours often look distorted, particularly when a camera is set in the middle of a room.
  • A.  I prefer pictures that show proper room sizes. I HATE the wide angle crap!
  • A.  Still photos rather than the panoramas. I also check the aerial views.
  • A.  Being one of the last three people on dial-up, pics are better than video.
  • A.  Lately I’ve seen pictures of the road in front of the house…just a road, a yellow line, perhaps a car far in the distance. Why???
  • A.  I like a good picture of: the front and back of the house; pictures of the barn, workshop, pool, if any; kitchen; fireplace.
  • A.  I like lots of pictures and only view the virtual tour if I’m very interested.
  • A.  I want to see pictures even if the rooms aren’t good, like an outdated kitchen. We enjoy fixing up houses so a kitchen that needs some remodeling means a new kitchen is in my future!
  • A.  Not everyone has high speed. It used to drive me up a wall waiting for pictures to load. I would start the pics on one house, go get a cup of coffee or wash a few dishes, come back only to find half of them were either totally useless or duplicates taken at slightly different angles. It took me all morning to look at eight or ten houses.
  • A.  While I am no longer on dial-up all those extra pix are plain irritating. Give me two views of the main living areas, one of the master, a couple of the outside.

Q. Close-ups: useful or annoying?

  • A.  I don’t like close-ups without an additional full-room view.
  • A.  Close-ups? Couldn’t care less. I prefer wide, establishing shots that give me an idea of room size and sight lines. I can’t think of anything I’d need a close-up of before viewing a house if the description covered major points.
  • A.  Mostly annoying, but if the close-ups are of unique features, a distinctive built-in, or architectural details, they are helpful. Otherwise, I have wondered if the house had issues, or was so boring that all they had to show was this lame close-up.
  • A.  Many poorly done bedroom shots simply show a close-up of the bed (How novel! A bed in the bedroom!) without a feel for the rest of the room.
  • A.  The more pictures the better. Close-ups are fine.
  • A.  Close-ups can be annoying if you have a long list of potential properties to get through with limited time and they’re interspersed with photos of key rooms. Like if you really just want to see the living areas, kitchen and bedrooms and back yard and the photo tour gets to the kitchen and there are close-ups of the faucet, backsplash, appliances, floor tile and lighting when you just want to see the dining area next and you have to keep clicking, it gets irritating. It’s fine if there are a lot of photos of a home, but it’s better if they’re “big picture” types of different views of the rooms.

Additional comments:

  • A.  The homes we toured were suggested by our realtor. There was only one or two that I saw online beforehand.
  • A.  I wish, when they take pix of an empty room, they specify the room….is this the LR, DR, BR, Master???
  • A.  One thing I’d like to see is a floor plan. Sometimes photos don’t show how rooms are in relation to each other. A bad layout is a deal-breaker for me.
  • A.  My pet peeve is a listing that doesn’t give a clue as to the location of the master bedroom (up or down?).
  • A.  Photos can deceive. The single most important visual aid for me is the mapping tool [such as Google Earth]. An aerial or bird’s-eye will show me the proximity of a house to noxious elements and incurable defects, like big noisy highways, cell towers and train tracks, or being across the street from a commercial building with a big parking lot. These were automatic deal breakers for me, and I immediately disqualified these homes for consideration.

© Cynthia Black. Source: HomeStaging by Cynthia, Inc. in KCMO.