In some ways the Internet has been a godsend for renters and prospective homebuyers everywhere. No longer do you need to trawl through the classifieds or search the streets for ‘to lease’ or ‘for sale’ signs. A few Internet searches and you can have a shortlist of potential new homes right in your hand. However, realtors have a few tricks up their sleeves that they can use to present a house from hell as a perfect home. Don’t be fooled!
No Floor Plan, No Dimensions, But A Lot of Rhetoric
Any realtor worth his salt knows that people put a premium on space. Even if they don’t have a floor plan to post, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have put up the dimensions of the rooms to help you visualize the space.
The only reason they could have to avoid it is that they know their ‘large spacious rooms’ are anything but, and the floor plan will make that obvious.
Suspiciously Similar Descriptions
Sometimes when you are searching for homes you will find that listings from the same realtor can have strangely similar descriptions.
For example, when searching for you will find a house that sounds lovely, in a charmingly-described neighborhood. Then when searching for you find basically the same house, but in a different area, with a word-for-word the same description of the location.
A realtor who can’t be bothered to write unique descriptions for each property is probably not going to pay much attention to detail or give you the individual attention you deserve.
Strangely Absent Photos
You would rightly be suspicious of a property that had little to no pictures – after all, if it is as lovely as the description suggests, why aren’t there the photos to prove it? But that doesn’t mean that a lot of pictures is a guarantee of a good property.
First, be aware that lighting and clever camerawork can make a space appear to be much bigger than it actually is. Small or out of focus photographs can hide a multitude of sins and something as simple as avoiding photographing a particular area of wall can be a strategy to hide damage.
Second, bear in mind that the property as photographed may not be the property as it is when you go to view it. If you are renting, the fixtures, fittings and furnishings may belong to the previous tenants and, even if you are buying, the lovely summer garden in the photographs may have grown wild and unkempt over winter.
The last photo trick is deceptively simple – take lots of photos of different rooms in order to give the impression of full information but avoid taking photos of problem rooms. Always check the listed rooms against the photos given. If some of them have been left out, there is probably a reason.
About the Author:
Susan Connolly writes on all things related to buying homes, like and .
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