Homeowners put a lot of time — and money — into selling their home, including remodel costs, professional staging, and just basic cleaning and maintenance.
However, even the best laid plans can be undermined by simple (and utterly avoidable) mistakes.
These 10 homeowners ruthlessly sabotaged their own home listings with shoddy photography, poor (and questionable) staging, and ignoring spell check. That last one is almost unforgivable.
1. There’s wide, then there’s really wide
We head over to Macon, GA for our first listing — a “beautiful” five-bedroom, four-bath that also features two master suites with “jetted tubes” in each. Darn, we were hoping for a lovely five-bedroom home with jetted tubs. So close. To add insult to injury, the homeowner used a crazy telescoping lens to photograph the home, causing impossible curves and angles. It would have almost been better if the homeowner had photographed the home in the dark, like homeowner #8 below.
2. Return to sender
Even the King of Rock and Roll can’t salvage this Danville, PA listing. The seller is highly motivated (not to mention enthusiastic) and has even reduced the price rather substantially. However, the home hasn’t hooked any buyers. A casual perusal of the listing reveals several possible reasons why. First, the halls of the home are decked out like we’re in the middle of the twelve days of Christmas (more like the twelve pains). When it comes to holiday decorating, go Griswold or go home. Second, the owner shot several photos in extreme low light. Poor gold lame Elvis is barely visible in the background. If the King can’t brighten a room, nothing can. Return to sender, baby.
3. “When Wild Turkeys Attack”
We have to admit, we kind of love this Mesick, MI listing. Billed as a “hunter’s paradise,” the listing features 70-plus acres of wildlife and “deciduous and coniferous cover throughout” — that sounds positively gnarly and we’re definitely “game.” But the photo of an angry-looking flock of wild turkeys both won over our hearts and made us wonder what became of the owner after they snapped the photo. When we look at the photo, we can practically hear the voice of the farmer in Chicken Run saying,“Look, they’re organizing.” Run from this listing. Run for your life.
4. We’ll have a dresser with a side of dressing, please
We head over to Traverse City, MI for our next listing, a rustic three-bedroom home with an attached one-bedroom apartment. The homes feature an abundance of bright and shiny wood and mostly neutral tones. In fact, either would sit well on the plot of land currently inhabited by the wild turkeys in listing #3. But, we seriously had to question the owner’s parenting skills when our hungry eyes feasted a gaze upon the photo of a child’s bedroom — complete with a small bed, colorful slippers, a teenie tiny drum set and a vast assortment of salad dressing on the dresser. We hear there’s nothing like a little nip of balsamic vinegarette to ensure a solid night’s sleep.
5. Lime green goes with practically everything (said no one ever)
This colorful listing comes out of Mitchell, SD and features a 1,700-square-foot, four-bedroom home on two corner lots. The owner boasts that the home also includes designer shades throughout. One only wishes they included a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the putrid shade of green they painted the walls — and by walls, we do mean nearly all of the walls in the home. While we can really go gaga for some guacamole on occasion, we prefer our house not resemble a giant bowl of the stuff. But even if green’s your thing, the homeowner couldn’t be bothered to crop out the obvious upper body of some random guy standing in the living room (possibly shielding their eyes).
6. No one will notice
This four-bedroom Lebanon, KY home was just reduced after having a “facelift” and some “remodeling.” While we’re not exactly sure what was remodeled, we can say with a great deal of certainty that the house was definitely painted — a hiding-in-plain-sight paint can ruins an otherwise acceptable photo of the living area. But we did wonder what color the walls were before the facelift. We hear green guac is lovely color.
7. Show, don’t tell
Next, we head to Columbia, KY. This listing is only for discerning buyers for whom “only the best will do.” Okay, color us intrigued. The 34 acres sound like they could be quite picturesque — “beautiful pasture, mature woods, everlasting springs, new fence, and about 2,000 feet of secondary road frontage.” We say “sounds” because the homeowner supplied photos that look like they were taken by Mister Magoo — that is, they are blurry beyond recognition. And who knows, there could be another flock of angry turkeys organizing our destruction and we’d be blind to it. No thanks. Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again.
8. Spelling counts
The owner of this New River, AZ home really went the extra mile to sell us on the beauty of their home and its surrounding property. There are several photos showing the home taken from different distances as you approach the drive. Yes, seriously, because not every home looks the same when you’re two miles away. But what really drew us to this listing was its innocuous and pity title — “gorgous!” Next time, just say it’s “nice,” less chance of messing that up. It’s also hard to see if the home lives up to its title since the homeowner photographed the home practically in the dark. But, at least we’ve a clear idea of what the house looks like as you pull up the driveway.
9. Who’s a good boy?
Our next to last listing comes out of Powell, OH and “has it all.” It features a 4,200-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bath home that has been “impeccably” maintained by the homeowner. Judging from the plethora of photos attached to the listing, it does indeed seem to have it all, including what can perhaps best be described as your very own positive affirmation wall. Three tall mirrors stand opposite a cozy-enough looking black leather loveseat with the phrases “can’t stop” and “won’t stop” prominently framed on the wall beside the mirrors. We can hardly wait to plop down on the loveseat and stare lovingly into the mirrors and ask repeatedly, “Who’s a good boy?”
10. But, what’s in the bag?!
We head over to Orrville, OH for our final listing — a “beautiful” two-bedroom bungalow on an acre of land. And apparently, a newer roof and new appliances make this an “overall wonderful home.” It’s not bad, “wonderful” may be overselling it just a bit, but we’re frankly dying to ask the seller what’s in the bag — a bright orange bag is clearly visible inside the oven. We’ve seen more than enough scary movies to know not to look inside, but the curiosity is killing us. But don’t worry, we won’t lose our heads over it.