How Not To Sell Your House

by derek on January 4, 2008 · 17 comments

The housing market has not exactly been booming in recent times, as anyone with their house currently on the market will likely confirm.
When the housing market is saturated with homes that are not selling and prices may be declining, you need to do what you can to make your house stand out and draw more attention. I’m sure you would agree.
So why is it that so many online home listings include zero additional pictures of the property?
While I am not sure how many home sales are generated from sites such as or individual real estate agent websites, I am amazed at how many home listings that I see online that only contain one picture – usually of crappy quality – and a brief description.
With the reach of the Interweb, you never know where someone may come from to purchase your home so it would make sense to make your online listing as appealing as possible.
Load your listing with high quality pictures, showing both the inside and outside of the home. This might cost more to include a bunch of pictures but when I am searching the real estate listings, I typically skip right over the listings that do not include any additional pictures.
If I were to be selling my home, I would likely take it a step further and create a dedicated website intended to feature my home and give the potential buyer more than enough information to help encourage them to buy my home.
I certainly would not be using an online listing with one grainy picture showing the side of my garage. I’d love to hear the thoughts of the people that put four completely black pictures of their home online. 🙂
Don’t skimp on your online listings!
The reason that I bring this topic up today is because I arrived home from work tonight and told my wife that I am ready to move out of the state, preferably to somewhere with a nice low cost of living. Both my wife and I go through this from time to time and one of these times we may actually follow through and find somewhere we really want to move.
One thing I can guarantee though is that we will not be buying a home where the online listing only includes one crummy picture!

Stay In The Loop!

Subscribe to the Derek Semmler dot com feed via RSS or Email to receive notifications when new posts are published. Follow the WordPress ninja on Twitter too!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Leo January 5, 2008 at 1:36 am

It’s strange how the housing market is still very hot in Vancouver. Many people were afraid the American mortgage crisis would begin to affect Canadian housing prices but it has had little, if any, effect so far.
My folks just sold their home for $60k above asking price and my little one bedroom condo is now worth just over $300k.


????? (Jason) January 5, 2008 at 7:09 pm

The housing market in Vancouver is just stupid. Thank God I moved away from there to Japan where houses are actually reasonably priced 😕
Seriously, though, I loved Vancouver while I was there. It’s just the cost of houses, food, insurance and everything else that’s associated with living in that city drove me away. Oh, and the garbage strikes that happen every two to three years … that’s not cool, either.
That said, I think the dedicated website is a great idea for anyone who wants to sell their home. A quick site like with a Joomla back-end and lots of high quality pictures and information about the neighbourhood would be a huge selling feature. I wonder why city sites like don’t sell subdomains so people can do this. would be both easy to remember, and incredibly useful 🙂


Nicole Price January 5, 2008 at 7:11 am

Another mistake people often make is to not include sufficient details. It is a complete turn off to read ads with a few lines thrown in and without information that actually matters.


Home Recording Studio January 5, 2008 at 8:02 am

Would it not be better to simply let a good professional realtor handle it. Agreed that you will pay a commission but, they will get you top price and quick results.
I am not trying to take away the importance of good photographs of your property but, doing it by oneself may be wrong in the long run.


Alan Johnson January 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Personally, I’d suggest hiring a photographer with great recommendations for the job and, if you want to publish a website as well, a professional designer. It won’t cost a fortune and the results will definitely be worth it.
Alan Johnson


Furniture Stores January 6, 2008 at 6:19 am

Some good points there, but how come a post about real estate? Are you looking to move?


Alan Johnson January 7, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Since this website is also about making money online, there’s no reason why making the most out of your offline opportunities shouldn’t be covered as well 🙂
Alan Johnson


Futon-Matt January 7, 2008 at 8:51 am

Great tips, usually quality listings bring in quality buyers.


Ling January 7, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Nothing like a pro realtor to hype up the value of your house. But you can help out with a nice review and great pics. first impressions do matter.


derek January 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm

@Leo :: If a 1BR condo is going for over $300k, it looks like Vancouver is off my list of places to relocate.
@Jason :: That is a great idea to have city sites offer subdomains.
@Nicole :: Absolutely, it is like some people view the listing as if people were buying a used piece of furniture rather than an expensive home.
@HRS :: I didn’t mean to imply selling your home on your own, as many of the listings have a professional realtor listed – which only makes it worse in my opinion.
@Alan :: I agree that the costs can be minimal while the potential payoff can be quite handsome.
@FS :: As I mentioned at the end of the post, every now and then my wife and I get the itch to move out of the state. We have both lived here our entire lives and would like to explore other parts of the country. While I doubt we will move any time soon, we like to look from time to time and one of these days we may pull the trigger.
@Matt :: Preparation before the sale can go a long way towards bringing in quality buyers.
@Ling :: Exactly, when we browse online we tend to skip right over any home that doesn’t have additional photos. When we looked at homes near the Smoky Mountains, we had to rely on the online photos and a local realtor for guidance before we had arrived.


Furniture Stores January 8, 2008 at 4:21 am

I have just shifted house myself and relocated to another city, so i do not recommend shifiting house to anyone at this time. It is truly amazing what all paraphernalia one collects even if one lives in a house only for a few years. Paking and unpacking has to be the most exhausting job ever!


Alan Johnson January 8, 2008 at 5:20 am

Ling, having some great pics is definitely important since, if you don’t, people may think that you are trying to hide something and will lose interest.
Alan Johnson


Andrew Reynolds January 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Your idea can be considered if you want to sell your house.
And if you want to make the deal personally. Also aside from that, you can also hire a realtor who will take for that.


Wi January 9, 2008 at 10:03 am

I’m also amazed at the amount of slacking off, when it comes to selling a property. I hate it when looking at the ads there’s only one picture or only pictures of the surrounding area. It makes me wonder what’s wrong with the property and I just move on to next one.


Alan Johnson January 9, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Exactly, a person who does not have a professional approach when it comes to selling a property, he/she ends up not being taken seriously.
Alan Johnson


Trent April 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm

i hear you! what is really basic in ‘selling’ is to make your ‘product’ standout from the rest… its making a lasting first impression… its something that makes prospective buyers go, i love this house! it’s perfect for starting a family… how many of us got tricked with ordering food that is not as tasty as it looked like on the menu? i did, but the point is presenting your product in a ‘good light’ plays a huge role on ‘how to sell your house!’


pauletet April 27, 2008 at 2:34 am

I agree with the idea that one must put nice pics if he really wants his property to be sold. The buyer wouldnt know that its pretty and first impression really lasts.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: