Remember how, during the peak of the bubble, everybody knew you needed to hire a “staging service” before you advertised the place for sale?
For two to four grand, the staging service would bring over a few classy lighting fixtures and subtle but eye-catching throw pillows and generally fix up the place to make it appear as if rich folks had lived there.
Supposedly the services could add $20,000 to the price of a home.
Well, here’s the post-crisis version of “staging,” compliments the brilliant Southern Caifornia real estate blog Doctor Housing Bubble. It noticed a trend popping up in listings that were being nominated for its Real Homes of Genius distinction: garbage can photography!
In what is probably both a sign of the times and shrewd reverse-psychology marketing ploy, real estate agents seem to be accessorizing new listings with as much junk and trash possible.
After hypothesizing that the agents were merely being lazy, one agent wrote the blog that fear, too, was played a role: “I’m not getting out of my car to take a picture in this neighbourhood.”
But we think the presence of garbage outside of a house at least indicates that it has been cleared out from the inside of the house. It also gives off a “fixer-upper” vibe — you’re getting a good deal if you’re just willing to clear out all this trash. Perhaps it is also subtly meant to alert buyers that if the house listed has literally hit dead bottom. After all, if an 85% price drop in two years isn’t a bottom…
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