Back in the dark ages (you know, the 1980s) we used to meet our future spouses at a bar, picnic, or some other real-world locale. We used to find a home to live in by driving around with a Realtor. Now, it seems, we meet the people and places we will spend our lives with online. With a little tongue in cheek humor, let’s take a look at how online dating advice is all too applicable to listing your home for sale online.
1. Don’t lie about your measurements. If you’re 5’7″, embrace every inch of your real height and say that you’re 5’7″. Don’t add a couple of inches. It’ll be pretty obvious to your 5’8″ date that you lied when they are glancing over the top of your head. If your house is 951 square feet, don’t add some imaginary extra square feet to make your place sound bigger than it is. In the online dating world, lying about your measurements is just dumb, but in the online real estate world, it’s fraudulent (read: expensive legal judgments will result from this). Don’t go there – but it kind of makes you wonder why you can’t sue bad online dates for fraud, doesn’t it?
2. Post current, good-quality pictures. Using photos that don’t show what something really looks like, in this day and age, is just a waste of time. Those pictures set expectations, for better or worse. If the real deal is substantially different, the first date or the first look at the house just won’t end well. Unless, of course, you’re way hotter or your house is way cooler than the photos show. But who would tone down the pretty in their pictures?
3. Trying to be something you’re not just delays the rejection. If you haven’t sweated from a day of exercise since the Clinton administration, it’s probably smart to leave out the words “active,” “fit,” and “I go to the gym on a regular basis” from your dating profile. By the same logic, making your house sound like something it isn’t is a waste of everyone’s time (both buyers and sellers, not to mention your Realtor). If the house needs work, don’t say it’s in move-in condition. People who are shopping for a home in move-in condition aren’t your target market. So don’t trick them into stopping by an open house or setting up a showing, because they’ll only leave angry and tell all their friends about what a brazen faker your home is.
4. True confessions: I’ve done the online dating thing, and if I had to read one more guy’s profile saying he’s “looking for a partner in crime” and claiming that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, I was going to poke my eyes out. (What does not taking yourself too seriously even mean? Anyone?)Â Stand out. Be unique. How many real estate headlines are some variation on “Victorian classic meets modern living”? We get it. It’s a Victorian that’s been remodeled. In an age where everything is a remix, being an original really stands out.
So, what do you think? What other similarities are there between online dating and listing your home for sale online?