Saturday, October 21, 2017

Listing Photo Tip

Photos, arguably, are one of the most important aspects of real estate listings.  They are what potential buyers and buyers agents use initially to decide whether a property is worth spending further time to consider or whether they will just move on to the next property on the search results list.

Many listing agents understand this and demonstrate how important photos are by hiring a professional photographer.  But then they spoil the benefit of quality photos by making one small mistake.  They take a vertically oriented photo (taller than wide) and use it as the main/first photo in the listing.  Here's what happens when that photo is displayed on the MLS and other property search engines.  In going through new listings today I ran across several examples.  Here's one:

First, here is what the photo is supposed to look like:

Here's how it appears on the MLS:

The proportions of the photo are altered so that it is stretched to fit the predetermined size and layout the MLS imposes so the proportions of the property are incorrect -- looks like a wide, squat house.

Here's how it appears on

The proportions are OK but, in order to fit the photo into their predetermined layout they have cropped the top and bottom.

Here's how it appears on Trulia:

Trulia also crops the photo but to an even greater extent.

Tip:  if you don't want the main photo of your listing to be mangled by search engines (over which you have no control), always use a horizontally oriented photo (wider than tall).  You may not avoid all the distortions introduced by the search engines but you'll make a better first impression.

(I've blurred out identifying information in these photos because the point here is to provide helpful information, not to embarrass the listing agent.  This property happens to be a multi-million dollar listing by an experienced and well-respected local agent but this problem can happen to anyone.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Listings Heading Down

As we speculated two weeks ago, we seem to have passed the peak of new listings for the year.  Total new listings for the past two weeks is down compared to the previous two weeks (340 vs 403).  Most of the decrease was in condos (189 vs 241) with single family homes remaining steady (151 vs 162).

Compared to the same period a year ago total for the past two weeks is down (340 vs 370).

There is every reason to believe we'll follow the same track for the rest of this year as we did in the previous two years.

With new listings down, the percentage of new listings going into contract in the same two week period has ticked up both for single family homes and condos compared to the previous two weeks and the same period a year ago.

Price reductions have increased for condos compared to the previous period (49 vs 34) but about the same during the same period a year ago (49 vs 46).  Price reductions for single family homes remained essentially the same compared to the previous period (18 vs 17) but are down compared to a year ago (18 vs 25).

If this year is similar to 2016 condo buyers may see a significant number of price reductions during the next two weeks.