The ease of access to listings online means consumers can view homes they cannot afford. They have access to the interior of luxury homes they wouldn’t otherwise see. With relatively little time invested one flips through volumes of high quality digital photos of professionally designed and decorated homes. Luxurious finishings are viewed repeatedly. It’s fun to look. It’s an education. And it doesn’t cost a thing. So one explores some more and looks again and again.
But looking too much at something just out of reach has consequences. While still impressive, the special becomes more familiar. Friends compare notes and opinions. Onlookers become extremely discriminating. Purchaser’s expectations rise at all levels.
It’s not how it used to be. An agent identified homes that might be of interest and brought clients to a showing of homes they could afford. It was all new and exciting, unique and precious. Purchasers walked in the front door and fell in love with something special about the house. Then they worked on it and made it their own over time.
Now purchasers pick and choose which homes they will visit based on photographs and even refuse to see certain homes based on photos or online maps. Then they walk in the front door of a selected few that photograph well to see if the houses measure up to expectations – that they formed online.
Purchasers should flip through the photos, but also kick the tires and visits houses – even those that don’t look great online. After all, we don’t live in photos. We can’t be uploaded into the picture perfect showing. Your favorite chair and your children’s sneakers live with you and your family, in your home. They aren’t photo-shopped, deleted or auto-saved elsewhere. It’s doesn’t matter that they don’t photograph well. You and how you live in it are what makes the house a home and that’s where the utility, warmth and enduring value resides.
Remember to give the current owner a break if the house doesn’t look like an interior designer home when you arrive.
It may be not picture perfect because they are enjoying living in it!