Monday, February 4, 2013

Not Exactly A Million Dollar Idea

No matter what you think of the status of today's real estate market, there are some buyers out there who can afford and are looking for million dollar homes. One would think that high end homes would warrant an extra effort to be marketed and sold. But think again.

This afternoon I checked one ad for a one million dollar home in the San Diego area, and for a one million dollar home in the Miami area, thinking it would be interesting to compare the major selling points. After all, these are both warm weather areas on the ocean, even if 3,000 miles apart. Would they promote the interior features ahead of the exterior ones? How similar would these advertisements be?

Alas, the agents representing these totally separate properties seem to both treat these prestigious listings as if they are mobile homes. Frankly, I'm amazed that the sellers are not outraged at the poor treatment their homes are being given, especially since the commissions are going to be in the $50,000 range if these homes ever sell.

First, I randomly chose this one in San Diego via the San Diego Union Tribune web site:

Upon first impression, the photo, which has a large tree blocking some of the view, makes it difficult to tell that it is one property, so that was not a good start. But it only gets worse. The description starts with "Traditional Home For Sale". Let me get this straight. I just went to the major newspaper's web site and searched for "homes for sale" in a specific area and price range. And the listing agent tells me, ahead of anything else, that this home is "For Sale"?

If possible, it gets even worse. The "property detail" goes on to say "6 bedrooms/6 baths". Nothing wrong with that information in the property detail. Usually. However, up above the detail, next to the questionable photo, we are told his $1,100,000 listing has "5 bedrooms/5 baths".

Later, the advertisement includes "monthly fees". It includes the "H.O. fees 3144.0", and "Total Monthly Fees: 356" in that portion of the ad. The other costs shown fail to add up to 356 or 3144. That's certainly not the only thing which doesn't add up in this advertisement.

One more time. This is a million dollar property being promoted.

Next, it was off to look for a Miami area property. Via the Miami Herald web site, I randomly chose this one, based on a challenging thumbnail photo:

The headline of the ad for this $1,000,000 home says "Direct Ocean and Bay Views". And the primary photo of it is that of a fitness room. Say what?

Once I figured out the photo is a fitness room, I was curious as to whether the home is being sold by an athlete or showbiz performer who needs to stay in top shape. I'm thinking maybe he/she/they have a fitness room installed in a room with one of those views. A look at the remaining photos proved that theory wrong, as most of the remaining photos are of the amenities for the building in which this $1,000,000 unit is located. But it gets worse.

The only two actual interior photos are both of a bathroom! And, quite honestly, based on these photos, I have seen better looking bathrooms in homes valued at a lot less. And then, no other interior photos.

But it gets worse.

The description also includes "Easy to show - see broker remarks".

Based on my previous experience when I have mentioned these internal or MLS notes appearing in "public" advertising, I'm sure I'll have some agents respond by telling me that some of these publications and web sites pick up the copy from the MLS. I'm not disputing that. Comments of that sort have no business being in the MLS or anywhere else for that matter, especially for a one million dollar property. This advertisement is an embarassment to the industry.

I'll say this again. These were the only two "million dollar property" ads I looked at today. These listing agents are totally letting their selling clients down. It is clear the agents don't even check their ads. A conflicting number of bedrooms? Please!

Any truly qualified buyer that can spend a million dollars on a home has the intelligence and ability to notice the same flaws in these advertisements that I did. They will no not to bother with the careless agent handling the listing, when there are other million dollar homes available in these marketplaces. 

People still need reasons to spend a million dollars. How about it?

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