Crime Scene Investigation
Tip No. 1: We love "CSI" -- on TV. But we don't want to actually live at a crime scene. And if a crime did happen in your home, this is a really bad way to make light of it. The "Caution: Do Not Cross" tape on this home in Dover, Del., might as well read, "Caution: Do Not Buy!"
We didn't think we had to say this, but if you have a body-shaped stain on your floor like this home in Raleigh, N.C., we strongly suggest you (a) scrub, sand and bleach that stain into oblivion before you even think about putting the home on the market, or (b) just skip pictures of that room altogether. Though we appreciate the "full disclosure" thing ... we guess. (Hat tip to our buddies at Curbed for this oldie-but-goodie listing).
Everyone wants to leave their mark on their home -- but, please, not like this. You might think this is funny, but potential buyers will more likely think it's terrifying. (Hat tip to Hooked on Houses for this nightmare).
Tip No. 2: Thanks to cinematic masterpieces like "Paranormal Activity 3" and "The Others," most of America harbors an irrational phobia of little children and old people lurking about in empty houses. So, please, tell Grandpa to steer clear of the camera when you're taking listing photos -- because he looks like he's haunting this Prattvile, Ala., home.
Five-year-old girls can be precious -- unless they look vaguely possessed. This little girl standing limply in the middle of a doorway, staring blankly into open space, reminds us of Cole Sear in "The Sixth Sense." We suggest that she save her creepy movie poses for when you're not taking pictures to sell your house. Little girls should be the stuff of sweet dreams, not nightmares. (Courtesy of Hooked on Houses).
OK, does this not look like a still shot from "Paranormal Activity"? Not everyone thinks a toddler standing transfixed in front of an eerie, darkened window is adorable. (Although the owners of this home in Rochester Hills, Mich., apparently do. "He's such a curious boy!" they'll tell you.)
That's nice. But we think he sees dead people.
Love photo-bomb listingfails? So do we. Check out our gallery below. Some pictures are creepy, and some are just ... awkward.
Tip No. 3: Fear of snakes is common and universal. It's a fact. So don't -- like the owners of this otherwise-pretty home in Kansas City, Mo. -- alienate potential buyers by posting pictures of poisonous reptiles in your home, much less lounging on your bed.
And, by the way, don't try to hide those scary animals behind your couch. Needless to say, alligators (taxidermied or not) simply aren't the friendliest-looking creatures. You know what? Let's just make an over-arching rule that disallows any pets from being in listing photos -- unless they come with the house! (Thanks to our friends at Nichols & Associates Real Estate for this listing photo of a home in Conroe, Texas.)
Well, OK, there may be some cases where pets in listing photos are cool (if they're the types of animals that won't maul people).
See the gallery below to discover why -- in many cases -- your pets, their litter boxes and taxidermied animals just shouldn't star in your listing.
Tip No. 4: Talk about #houseporn! Homeowners: there are some things potential buyers shouldn't see -- and don't want to see. Take extra care when shooting in a room with mirrors! (Thanks to our friends at Curbed for this titillating listing).
We simply have no words for the above picture, taken at a home in Houston. (Thanks again to Nichols & Associates Real Estate for sharing this, er, winner).
We politely suggest that you do what this homeowner in Dunkirk, N.Y., did not: Tell six-pack Jack to get off the couch while you take listing photos. Actually, maybe it's best to just get him off the couch forever.
Can't get enough of our listingfails? Click on the gallery below at your own risk. The images of these two homes, unsurprisingly, don't get much prettier.
Don't let your home be a #listingfail! Take some pro advice from our home staging guides:
Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid
Home Staging Tips for Every Season
Home Staging: Hire a Pro or Do It Yourself?
Join in on the conversation! Tweet us listing fails @aolrealestate and hashtag #listingfail, and you could get a shout-out in next week's post!
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