Least Informative Listing Photo Ever?

4009 NE 160th St Lake Forest Park, WA 98155I know I just ran the monthly installment of Real Actual Listing Photos a few days ago, but this one was so good I just couldn’t wait a month to post it.

At right is the one and only listing photo for 4009 NE 160th St in Lake Forest Park, on the market for two weeks now with an asking price of $700k.

This has to be the least informative listing photo ever. It shows you exactly one thing about this house, that only matters for about half an hour each year.

Also, couldn’t they have at least gone outside to take the picture to they didn’t get a distracting reflection of their living room off the glass? I mean seriously, come on.


About 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.

30 comments:

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Nic says:

    Also, http://www.redfin.com/WA/Renton/1910-Kirkland-Ave-NE-98056/home/412692 is a good one…4 pictures, all from the road outside the house, not much given. It use to be just 1 picture (the 1st one) but they added 3 more….one of which is alright…(#4).

  3. 3
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Nic @ 1 – And zero bedrooms, to boot. You know, it just isn’t worth the commission to actually go to a few websites (zillow, redfin, realtor.com) and validate the listing details.

    Beds: 0
    Baths: 1

    I do like the agent remarks though: “Don’t judge from this.”

    Maybe, though “Matthew 7:1″ would be more highbrow.

  4. 4
    softwarengineer says:

    Tim, Not to Worry

    The place blew up in the firework show.

  5. 5

    RE: ChrisM @ 3 – I saw a listing earlier this year which technically was zero bedrooms, because there was no closet. It was listed as a one bedroom.

  6. 6
    Suitably Skeptical says:

    I surmise from the listing photo that I must be buying a teardown…but even then, how about something to interest me in the property.
    The Kenmore fireworks show is no prize, really.

  7. 7
    Pegasus says:

    Looks like a full service real estate agent working hard to collect the fees. I wonder if the occupants and the listing agent are zombies? That would explain the lack of light in the photo.

  8. 8

    I’m showing 14 other pictures for that listing, but on Redfin only the one.

  9. 9
    Pegasus says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    I’m showing 14 other pictures for that listing, but on Redfin only the one.

    It must be a Redfin conspiracy against 6 percent commission real estate agents.

  10. 10
    ChrisM says:

    Check out the seventh photo:
    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Carnation/8328-Carnation-Duvall-Rd-NE-98014/home/40041259

    Actually, there aren’t any interior shots at all!

  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – Weird, the MLS must not have flipped the right bit in their feed when the other pics were added. I’ll ping someone to look into it.

  12. 12
    tomtom says:

    I respectfully disagree. The photo is an accurate visual representation of the trajectory of the buyer’s nest egg if they purchase the house at list price.

  13. 13
    Scotsman says:

    RE: tomtom @ 12

    I thought they looked like little bits of “Pink Pony.”

  14. 14
    Jonness says:

    I’m going to guess it sells below its 2003 price more than two years from now. I want a free A&W baby burger if I’m correct. :)

    I’m curious, does it cost more to list a home on the MLS if you include more photos? I typically see REO’s with only one photo, and I wonder whether it’s laziness or cost.

  15. 15
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 3
    But just look at the annual taxes!! Annual Taxes: $2,144,800,153

  16. 16
    Deezil says:

    If you want better pictures, maybe you have to pay your listing agent 10% commission instead of 3%.

  17. 17
    BillE says:

    I really don’t understand the lack of pictures even though I see it all the time. It only takes a couple of minutes to take a few photos around a property.

  18. 18

    By Jonness @ 14:

    I’m curious, does it cost more to list a home on the MLS if you include more photos? I typically see REO’s with only one photo, and I wonder whether it’s laziness or cost.

    Laziness. There is no cost to the agent.

  19. 19

    By BillE @ 17:

    I really don’t understand the lack of pictures even though I see it all the time. It only takes a couple of minutes to take a few photos around a property.

    Some times you could have a situation where the party doesn’t really want to sell, but has to list it (e.g. a court order). Or perhaps a person in foreclosure wants a few extra months in the house, and lists it so the trustee will continue the sale dates. Not every listing comes with a motivated seller.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 13

    Where’s the “like” button? Love that!

  22. 22
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Jonness @ 14

    If you hire a flat fee service like MySecretAgent .com they price by how many photos and that is listed on the website. The cost to put them IN the mls is not more for an mls member, but it could cost the seller more if they pick a “fee for service” model Listing Company. I think they have different cost plans for 1 photo, seven photos, or the 15 max photos. You’d have to check the website.

    As to REO’s, they often post only ONE photo as part of their “No warranties of ANY kind” message. One photo is mandatory and must be an exterior shot unless it’s a condo. Anything “in” a photo can be deemed “conveyance of info” and REO’s are “do your own due diligence” listings.

    I had one where the buyer wanted to know where the curtain in the photo went on an REO by closing day. The Bank does not want to be liable for anything…including the neighbor coming over and stealing the Rose Bush. Sometimes people “loot” REO’s thinking they are “fair game”.

    So NO photos means…no representations or warranties of any kind. Just because you “saw it in the house” doesn’t mean you will get it or the seller warrants you will get it. If they post a photo of “it” in the mls with the listing, it is deemed to be a sign that you will or even might be entitled to anything that was showing in a photo. So no photos is less liability in that regard.

    Banks are all about no liability AFTER closing. Done deal…no whining.

  23. 23
    ARDELL says:

    RE: BillE @ 17

    I showed a short sale listing in Kirkland a couple weeks back. One picture of the ground :). When I got there the owner didn’t want us to come in.

    The picture is saying…I’m just listing it because my short sale package REQUIRED a Listing Contract and “in mls” so I am “complying”…but I really just want to hang out here without anyone coming in to bother me.

  24. 24

    By ARDELL @ 22:

    As to REO’s, they often post only ONE photo as part of their “No warranties of ANY kind” message. One photo is mandatory and must be an exterior shot unless it’s a condo. Anything “in” a photo can be deemed “conveyance of info” and REO’s are “do your own due diligence” listings.

    Do you just make these things up? You really think that a photo of the property will create a warranty that will control over the bank’s contract language? If that were the case then the same bank with one picture would have only one picture on all it’s listings, and that one picture would still be creating a warranty.

    Also, I’m not sure what warranties you think would be created, absent perhaps Photoshop. Banks typically list the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size of house, size of lot, type of sewer connection, but you think they’re afraid of pictures?

  25. 25
    toad37 says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 23 – Hi Ardell, does an owner need to try and sell the property for a while before getting approved to try to sell it as a short sale? I was told in Texas that I needed to try and sell the property for 6 months before they would approve a short sale… the reason I ask is that I know the owner of the condo I am renting from is deeply under-water and I wonder if I could work a short sale with them. Thanks for any and all info from you or Kary, etc…

  26. 26

    RE: toad37 @ 25 – I’ve never heard that and can’t imagine what the purpose of that would be. Maybe there’s a statute in Texas that applies somehow, protecting the seller, and it’s triggered by six months of effort?

  27. 27
    toad37 says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – Hi Kary, I guess so. I’m getting the vibe that is not a rule in WA though… but, could they request a short sale to their lender with my offer without even listing the unit and givings others a shot at it? It would see to me the bank would want to see it listed to see if better offers came in.

  28. 28
    tomtom says:

    By ARDELL @ 22:

    If they post a photo of “it” in the mls with the listing, it is deemed to be a sign that you will or even might be entitled to anything that was showing in a photo.

    Good to know. If I bought that house I would be entitled to a Fireworks Show EVERY NIGHT!

  29. 29

    By toad37 @ 27:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – Hi Kary, I guess so. I’m getting the vibe that is not a rule in WA though… but, could they request a short sale to their lender with my offer without even listing the unit and givings others a shot at it? It would see to me the bank would want to see it listed to see if better offers came in.

    It probably is fair to say that the bank probably would want the property to be listed, and might be even suspicious if an offer came in really fast. But I’m not sure they would care if their own valuation of the property indicated it was a good price. This is probably handled on a case by case basis.

    I’m actually looking at a situation from the outside in on one listing, the facts of which I won’t go into, where I could see why the bank could be suspicious. I have no idea if they are or not, or what if anything the bank might do.

  30. 30
    Aaron says:

    This listing photo may have a spark but it’s definitely a dud.

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