Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

42 responses to “Real Actual Listing Photos: Kendra Todd Edition”

  1. Timmcb

    “Wait, is “close to hospitals” really a major feature people look for in a home? Yikes.”

    If you work at one of them than yes it is a feature people look for. When my wife and I were looking that was a part deciding the location; she works in health care. Another reason might be if you have a chronic condition which requires regular care or are elderly and concerned about emergency response and accessibility.

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  2. Scotsman

    Yup, those are snarky comments!

    Why so much pulled up carpet? Are those pet stains, or evidence of a recent murder? It’s too bad we can’t tell what they smell like. The poor quality of the photos just astounds me.

    When I first went into business a mentor told me that “merchandise well presented is more than half way sold.” More people need to understand that.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Timmcb @ 1 – Close to hospitals is a factor for people in their 60s or older, or for people with critical health conditions.

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  4. GrizzlyBear

    RE: Scotsman @ 2

    I’m no Donald Trump fan, but I once heard him say “Anyone who doesn’t wash their car before trying to sell it is a loser.” He hit the nail on the head. Whether it’s cars, houses, boats, etc., it needs to be presentable to bring a buyer.

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  5. David S

    RE: Timmcb @ 1- Kary L. Krismer @ 3 – Dang you are no fun,,, :)

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  6. Timmcb

    RE: David S @ 5

    I suppose if you’re advertising for a condo in Belltown being close to a hospital could be good after you get beat up outside one of the bars walking home, or Rainier Valley after getting mugged. (Better??) But the link was to a condo in Bellevue so it didn’t seem appropriate. BTW I trash talk the two because my brother’s in a condo in Belltown and my uncle’s in the CD. No offense to those who call them home.

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  7. David S

    RE: Timmcb @ 6 – WAY better! :)

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  8. Alex

    Beyond the daily dose of schadenfreude…

    Is there a word for kicking someone when they are down?


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  9. softwarengineer

    Hey, A Little Elbow Grease and New Floors and Paint

    And these Charmers would be “Clean Safeway Chickens”….unless like Scotsman eluded, the pet odors and/or mildew is impossible to cover up.

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  10. Alex

    RE: The Tim @ 10

    Each of these photos tells a story of someone losing their home, hopes and dreams. The listing photos are sad, not funny.

    Since the properties are bank owned, the banks just want to get rid of them, and aren’t going to spend any $$ to make them sell faster. What is the point in even making fun of these photos? The listing agent doesn’t care, they don’t really try to sell the property, they just list them in bulk.

    I didn’t get that you were trying to make fun of Kendra. I don’t even know who she is.

    I thought you were taking a swipe at bank owned properties in general & those who bought during the bubble.

    BTW, earnest bad listing photos can be really funny!

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  11. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Alex @ 11 – Alex, it can be depressing looking at bank owned homes, especially where it’s apparent an older person lived there, or that there were kids living in filth. The bank owned homes often tell a story, and none of them are good.

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  12. David Losh

    RE: The Tim @ 10

    Those are also bank owned.

    What’s interesting is she doesn’t do anything, has poor taste, and is taking other Keller Williams agents down with her. She’ll move along to something else.

    She is a perfect example of people who enter the Real Estate business for those big time commissions then slink away.

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  13. Alex

    By The Tim @ 12:

    By Alex @ 11:
    I guess you missed these two paragraphs from the top of the post?

    Totally – Saw “detrimental listings” & someone’s name. Skimmed the intro – too many words, blah blah blah. Skipped to the photos, and looked forward to enjoying some earnestly bad and funny photos.

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  14. Kary L. Krismer

    This would probably be a good time to once again point out that when you have a listing that is not in good shape, the last thing you want is photos that make it appear the listing is in good shape.

    To the extent those listing photos show some poor listing conditions, blame the bank for not fixing the place up, not the agent.

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  15. Drone

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16 – Good point Kary. I agree that misleading advertising is much worse than bad advertising.

    As a side note, what is the deal with word “charmer”? Seems like I’ve seen a lot of listing lately that begin with “Ballard Charmer”, “Wallingford Charmer”, etc. Typically these homes have nothing even remotely charming about them, aside from the fact that they’re extremely small… but then again, maybe I’m just a cynic :)

    Is there some sort of secret RE Agent vague-description-word book? Maybe they publish them in annual editions with new revised words to keep the market fresh… I’ve seen far fewer “cozy” listings lately. Hey Tim, feel like putting together a multi-year graph showing word usage trends?

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  16. ray pepper

    Tim, does she know she is getting this much air time on The Bubble? Somebody tell her!! I used to like The Apprentice but after she won that season, the show went down the crapper and I haven’t watched since. Except the Joan River segment when she blasted Poker Players. Loved that one!! I always thought she was kinda hott too…Hmmm…. wonder if she likes bald headed Agents who give back 75%, eat at Claim Jumper, and CRAVES movies like Kick Ass?

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  17. Lurker

    RE: Drone @ 17
    (stolen from:

    charming: run-down

    cozy: cramped

    summer breezes: house is drafty, may have windows missing or holes in roof

    lovingly decorated: all the carpets are magenta, and there is loud wallpaper in every room

    perfect starter home: you’ll want to move out as soon as you can afford better

    sunny: no trees or shade of any kind

    low-maintenance yard: lawn is paved over

    modern kitchen: kitchen done in the Modern style, circa 1960

    1 and a half baths: the second bathroom has partially-installed fixtures, or there may be a toilet in the basement

    partially finished basement: basement features water-stained shag carpet

    homey: house has funky smells, possible from cat urine

    Ready to move in!: home has been abandoned

    easy access to freeway: next to an on-ramp

    excellent cell phone reception: under a cell phone tower

    close to amenities: across from a liquor and/or convenience store

    friendly, mature neighborhood: may be near a strip club or adult bookstore

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  18. Feedback

    Congratulations to Kendra! She built a market (persons buying houses imprudently) and she’s leveraged it into a secondary market (rational persons buying bank-owned houses prudently). She even gets loads of free advertising. Hooray!

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  19. ARDELL

    RE: Drone @ 17

    I just uploaded a “charming” Queen Anne home :)

    The full poetic phrase would be ‘with the charm of yesteryear”. If you google the full phrase, that might shed some light on it for you.

    Generally people who love and respect true pieces of history appreciate a home built near the turn of the century that has much of its original appearance. The kitchen, plumbing, electrical and heating systems can be updated to today’s standards, but certain original built ins, doors, hardware and even windows continue to reflect the “charm” introduced by the original ” craftsman” who built it. Here in Seattle they are referred to as “craftsman homes” for that reason.

    I am from Philadelphia originally, where “charming” older homes are as highly valued as they are by some people here in Seattle. Rarely does anyone enjoy seeing these torn down and replaced by new homes. Not all “old” houses are “charming” and agents are often asked by home buyers for a home “with charm”.

    I don’t think agents invented the term.

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  20. Macro Investor

    What’s up with all the listings that claim “territorial” view, when there isn’t a view within a 10 mile drive?

    And what’s so special about “original” flooring or doors? Doesn’t that just suggest old and run down?

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  21. pfft

    you guys are way off. if I was buying that house I’d love those pictures. if I were a realtor I’d clean the place up a bit. I can bring down the price for what are largely cosmetic fixes. that’s how you get a bargain. I’d be more interested in what I can’t see.

    what I do see is some painting needs to be done. I see(possibly) hardwood floors preserved under crappy carpet. worst case it might need sanding.

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  22. Kary L. Krismer

    By Macro Investor @ 22:And what’s so special about “original” flooring or doors? Doesn’t that just suggest old and run down?

    Depends on the era. Original from 1980s, not so hot, unless it was upper end stuff in the first place.

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  23. Jonness

    By ray pepper @ 18:

    .Hmmm…. wonder if she likes bald headed Agents who give back 75%, eat at Claim Jumper, and CRAVES movies like Kick Ass?

    She’d love you Ray, but not as much as Mrs. Pepper. :)

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  24. ray pepper

    RE: Jonness @ 25

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh… I smell what your cookin!…Dang!

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  25. ray pepper

    Hmmm…What about this Tim?

    “Todd is currently being sued for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in Florida. The damages Kendra must pay are currently being mediated…”

    I love this:

    “In her book (chapter 9, “A formula for making your first million”), Kendra wrote “If you follow the system Charles and I have laid out, you should be well on your way to making your first million within as little as two years” (page 211). All five of the properties listed in that chapter are now in foreclosure or have been foreclosed.[15][16][17][18][19]“

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  26. David S

    “Unimaginable value in this unique estate!! Traverse the gravel road up to an unbelievable home that has more to offer then any property, at this price, in the entire Puget Sound Region,,”

    You get that everyone? The ENTIRE Puget Sound Region!

    I hope I don’t end up bidding against any of us on this one with escalation clauses. I probably shouldn’t have let the cat out of the bag on this great deal.

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  27. Guest

    RE: Alex @ 11
    Hey there Chuckles! – I mean, Alex!

    I think Kendra is a character from the real estate boom years. I went back to the Archives and did a little research for you to help get you up to speed.

    Kendra made a lot of money selling soap in the years 2000 – 2007, by convincing people that her soap was magic soap, and if they used it, they would be rich and have lots of friends. Her soap was called “the emperor’s new soap.”

    One of Kendra’s advertising slogans for her soap was “Bubbles are for Bathtubs.”

    Almost everyone became desperate to get some of Kendra’s soap, because who doesn’t want to get rich and have lots of friends?

    Soon, prices rose out of sight, and there wasn’t enough soap to go around.

    Fortunately!, One day in 2005 a young man named The Tim appeared with his own brand of soap. I’ve never been able to ask his mother why she named her son The, but that is a story for another time.

    Tim uses his soap to wash out the mouth of people like Kendra. Tim’s soap is called “schadenfreude naivete” – when you use Tim’s soap, you can feel smug and superior, all while forgetting your own foibles. It is the perfect antidote to Kendra’s soap.

    Tim was able to sell his soap by convincing people that, by washing with the misery of others, people can become clean of the filthy lies Kendra told gullible people. Tim’s soap at first only appealed to people who never could afford Kendra’s soap, but gradually,

    Tim’s soap gained in popularity, and by 2009 everyone wanted to a little bit of schadenfreude naivete.

    However, with so much soap going into Puget Sound, now all the fish are dying off.

    Tim had to get a real job with a large real estate brokerage company in order to be able to afford the house he’s always secretly wanted, but could never afford. It turns out, Tim gave his soap away for free, because who wants to pay someone to hear the truth?

    Kendra had to go clean out the Augean stables, in order to be able to pay her lawyers, and because she never was a very smart person to begin with, she is able to ignore the ironic position she finds herself in.

    And me? I am so stupid I used “kendra’s soap” more than once. I’m the idiot who cried wolf. Now that I really, really need to find a moderately priced home for my family, and I’ve got all my soap in a row, there aren’t any homes to be had.

    Time for me to wash up and get to work.

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  28. sleepwalker

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    This would probably be a good time to once again point out that when you have a listing that is not in good shape, the last thing you want is photos that make it appear the listing is in good shape.

    To the extent those listing photos show some poor listing conditions, blame the bank for not fixing the place up, not the agent.

    And put the toilet seat down, and wipe the grime off the walls

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  29. Poco Ritard

    Wow, those Highland condos are “perfectly situated on Queen Anne’s coveted South Slop.” I’d worry that a hill made of slop would get unstable in the rainy season.

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  30. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: sleepwalker @ 30 – Well you got me on that one. To even leave a toilet seat up in a listing is a mistake. To take a picture of a toilet seat up, I can’t imagine that.

    I once had a listing where the bank’s agent doing a BPO came in and raised all the toilet seats. It made me wonder where the bank would find such an agent.

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  31. Buford

    We need to be able to rate posts.
    Some are just too funny!

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  32. wreckingbull

    RE: pfft @ 23 – Ah yes, spoken like someone who has never restored a home. Am I correct? From my experience – where there is smoke, there is fire. If the outside looks like crap, most likely the things you can’t see are also crap. Thy mythical ‘cosmetic-only’ fixer is a rare beast indeed.

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  33. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: wreckingbull @ 34 – I would say if the exterior looks bad, there are probably a lot of problems, because the exterior protects the house from the outside world. But if it’s just the interior that looks bad, it could be just carpet and paint needed.

    I’d also point out that you could have a place that looks perfect which has serious hidden problems.

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  34. Kary L. Krismer

    Here’s a great story about the type of house you would not want to buy:

    Years of neglect, but not because of lack of funds. It reminds me of the Stimson-Green mansion in Seattle. Apparently toward the end of the lives of the Greens, they simply stopped opening the door to rooms that developed issues.

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  35. Colin

    I like Lurker’s list. I think “charmer” means old, small, and unrenovated, though Ardell’s example looks stunning.

    “Territorial view” means no “view.”

    Then there are the crazy-buyers-only words: “sweat equity,” “awaits your vision,” “as-is.”

    Ditto wreckingbull re visible condition: maintenance reflects an attitude — ongoing vigilance and effort to get out in front of problems. People who let one thing slide usually let other things slide too.

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  36. Scotsman

    RE: ray pepper @ 27

    What’s the furthest one can get from Florida that has a significant real estate market? Washington. Hmmm.

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  37. ARDELL

    RE: Colin @ 37

    The one I don’t get used 85 times recently is “oasis”. How can a house in Seattle be “an oasis”? It’s not exactly a desert here.

    The other is calling a regular, every day, condo balcony a “lanai”.

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  38. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Lurker @ 19
    ” Just needs a little TLC”= teardown. Just needs a little wrecking ball.
    ” loaded with potential”= Teardown.
    “rustic”= Teardown. Beavers and rodents may be occupying large parts of the home
    “cozy”= just barely large enough for one dwarf.

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  39. Conor MacEvilly

    Finally some good American sarcasm! In Seattle no less. Made my day.

    Good on ya Tim!

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  40. Qocutfp

    My investor client and I must have been living under rocks; we had no idea who Kendra Todd was. I think a cheap joke of what was Hefner’s ex-girlfriend’s last name was made. Yes, most banks won’t pay to fix anything but can’t the agent at least run a vacuum through the place? Or pull the battery from the beeping smoke detector? Or replace a critical lightbulb? Ever notice all the side view mirrors in pics of the front of REO listings? Ugh, don’t get me started.
    Us snarky people need to stick together. I’ll be visiting here and lovelylisting at the LOLcats conglomerate to keep me laughing through this market. Thanks, The Tim, for the entertainment!

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