Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Who should pay...

When putting together the 2012 latest buyer’s guide to digital cameras for Realtor magazine online I had an intersting conversation with Lee Jinks, Realtor and associate executive for the Greater McAllen(TX) Association of Realtors.
Whatever the cateogry, I seek out real estate professionals to interview who are knoweldgebale and passionate about that topic. For evidence of Lee’s expertise andskill behind the lens, take a look at his ActiveRain blogYou may also find some useful insights and tips there on making listings look their best.
He believes better photos start with a passion for photography, and the dedication to master the craft. If you don’t possess that, you might be better off hiring a professional photographer to convey all the appeal of a home.

That’s common sense advice; there are always times you and clients are best served hiring the pro. 
Where Lee breaks with the prevailing view, however, is in who should cover that cost.“Here's how I would love to change the industry,” he explained in an email to me. 
“When a home needs to be prepared for the market, the agent will suggest necessary improvements and the seller will complete them based on their importance and theseller's budget..... It would make sense that the seller would pay to have the home professionally photographed if they feel that would help sell the home.....”
He contends sellers should be willing to make a marketing investment which will directly benefit them(and spare the agent that expense), and then retain ownership of those photos, should they later decide to switch agents. 
While I see the sense of what he’s advocating, I’m skeptical this could ever become common practice where agents are agressivly competing for listings.If anyone has had much success convincing sellers to cover the costs of professional photo or video tours, everyone could benefit from hearing how and why you’ve made that work.