With MLS photos, details really matter


what a difference a door makes, before


what a difference a door makes, after

There are a few crucial details that made the After picture much more appealing (not counting the angle at which the photos were taken):

  • red door

  • black shutters

  • green grass

  • possibly fresh granite gravel in the semi-circle shape

  • flowerbed filled with red flowers

  • white window rollershades all the way down

Red shows up exceptionally well on the Internet, where something like 90% of home buyers start their search. Yellow is the same. The contrast between the black shutters & white house is also eye-catching.

Usually I don’t recommend or like head-on photos of the front of a home. It tends to make the house look one-dimensional, as if it could be a movie facade. But in this case, it works, proving there’s an exception to every rule.

I'm betting the cash outlay for this seller was about $200 for the door, $120 for shutters and another $100 or $150 for the plants. Granite gravel can be pricey, as can sod. But as you can see, the results are beautiful and buyers will respond by coming to look in person.

More proof that a couple hundred of these

Image ID 377234 by Stock Exchange user ede design ($1 bill picture courtesy of Stock Exchange user Leonardini)

can frequently get you several dozen of these

Dollars seamless background. ($100 bill picture courtesy of Stock Exchange user ede design)

at closing time.

Photo credits - Joanna Siravo of Coldwell Banker and Lisa M. Juel of John Hall & Associates. Disclosure: photos were taken about 3 years apart, this wasn’t a seller doing a fix-up before listing for sale. This Realtor was not involved in the sale of the home in either time frame.

Landscaping shows personality

Your front-yard landscaping is usually the first thing people notice about your home - the first impression of your home's personality.  And there are as many different landscaping choices as their are homes - color, # of plants/trees, grass vs desert, water usage, ease of maintenance - these are just some of the things to consider when choosing your landscape design.

Even after the design is chosen, there can still be a vast difference in your home's personality based on how you maintain your plants.

Pictured below are three different homes with palm trees in the front yard.  Each one telling a different story about the home and the homeowner's personality.



"high and tight" - this palm tree looks like a giant pineapple, and helps to give the home a clean-cut, neat & tidy look.



Still neat and tidy, but with a little more traditional palm tree interpretation.


Is there a house back there?  Hmm, didn't notice.

As a homeowner, you can choose the landscaping look that suits your needs & personality.  When selling your home, however, it's important to understand that buyers notice these things.

"High & Tight" from the first photo tells buyers "We have nothing to hide and our home is in immaculate condition."

"Hidden Home" in the third photo has buyers saying "They never trim the trees; I wonder what else they never do.  Better get a really good inspection."

Your for some reason notices these things Realtor,

Chris Butterworth


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Sunshine is better

Our weather has been terrific lately - cool in the mornings and evenings, warm at lunchtime, hot in the afternoon, but still so dry it doesn't bother you at all.  I'm finding myself in a better-than-normal mood lately for no real reason..

This is one of the reasons I'm so optimistic for Phoenix's real estate recovery; people continue to move here from other parts of the country, and every family that comes here needs a place to live.  Eventually the excess inventory of homes will get soaked up and things will get back to normal.

People aren't the only ones who like the sunshine better; check out these flowers' reaction to a cloudy day vs a sunny day:

flowers on cloudy day

flowers on sunny day

Your working outside a little bit today Realtor,

Chris Butterworth


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