Treating your home purchase like online dating? Why you could be wasting your time.

Treating your home purchase like online dating? You could be wasting you time!

I know what you’re doing. I’ve seen it before. You’re sitting at work, you’ve got a few minutes, and you’re surfing the web to find “the one”. Be honest, we both know you’re looking at the pictures first, maybe you’ll skim the description and you’ll decide whether you want to explore this possibility within a minute or two. Maybe you have a friend who sends you options they like for you, and I know your realtor does. Your Realtor? Yea, your realtor, because we are talking about looking for houses here. Sound suspiciously like the way people cruise and other dating sites? It does to me.

online dating

Has anyone you know ever gone on a date with someone who’s profile they were positively a fan of, only to find out that the real thing wasn’t quite what they thought it was (In some cases not at all what they thought it was)? Well, I’ve got news for you. The same is true with houses.

As a Realtor, I often get the call from a client espousing their love for a home they found on the MLS through my website or other searches like and Trulia. They love it, it’s the one. We must see it today, and so we do. Bad news, when we get there, more often than not, we marvel at the magic of photo shop as opposed to the house itself. Online tools are great for checking houses out, but don’t declare love or hate based on that alone. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when online stalking your house.

* The pictures can be manipulated. I so often hear, “wow the rooms looked so much bigger in the pictures”, and after I push all the inappropriate jokes that came to mind out, I use words like “Wide Angle lens” and “Photoshop”. There are plenty of ways to take a great picture, and if they do a good job you only see what they want you to see. I also often see outdated pictures. Like when the realtor uses pics from before the house became a crime scene. (A bit dramatic, but seriously, some houses make you wonder). Conversely, don’t chuck a house based on pics alone. It’s a shame, but some people don’t put enough emphasis on the pictures and end up using photos that just don’t do the house justice.

* Almost everything you need to know, can’t be found in a picture. There are a whole bunch of important factors that can not come from a picture. First, because it’s my favorite, Smell. A house that became a meeting place for the stray cats of the city or one that’s been smoked in like a chimney may look great but oh my, the smell. The home’s layout will matter to you, even a virtual tour can’t give you the real feel. How about neighbors and the neighborhood in general? Sure there is google earth, but that picture isn’t from today.

Check out this Handy Dandy Graphic, from Great Colorado, use it as your guide. As always, a great realtor will advise you of these pitfalls. I like to preview homes for my clients when they think they are in love, I find it saves their time and their feelings.


Online presence is important and it’s not going away. It is key to make sure your home shows beautifully online, and I can show you how. If you are in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and surrounding areas, give me a call when you are ready to hire an agent to help you navigate your home’s online presence and get you in to something you love! Visit me at my website anytime at!

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