More MLS Musings!

What do you enjoy more?

a) The bizarre MLS photos
b) The often-more-bizarre MLS captions

Today, I have a mix of both for you, as we see not only what agents will write on behalf of their well-paying clients who are selling the largest asset they’ll ever own, but also how they’ll advertise the asset for sale on the open market.

As usual, it ain’t pretty, folks…

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You get 463 characters to make your mark on MLS.

463 characters in the “Client Remarks,” and I can tell you that when I’m listing a property, I write, edit, re-write, and edit this section, over, and over.

So why in the world would somebody use up those precious characters, and start the listing, giving the first impression, with something as stupid as this:


I know not every Realtor is a wordsmith, but surely something better than “you won’t hate this place” can be dreamed up, no?

Here’s an oxymoron for you if I’ve ever seen one:


“Great 80’s reno.”

Isn’t that somewhat contradictory?

I mean, I loved the 80’s.  It was my childhood, it was the birth of synth-pop, aka “the greatest music ever made,” and it’s nostalgic.

But nobody wants to have 80’s decor in their house.

To suggest a home has a “great 80’s reno” is like offering to include the “super-cool knob-and-tube wiring” for free.

Every seller of a property on MLS is free to include, or exclude, any chattels and/or fixtures on the premises.

Personally, I think that to exclude items only serves to cheapen the property in the eyes of the seller, and/or potentially demotivate them when it comes to their offer price.

I’ve seen all kinds of exclusions, but this is a new one for me:


Do you think the seat has sentimental value?

Or maybe it’s a seat by the street artist Hansky, like this one of James Franco that I bought at auction for $27,000:


Define “unprecedented.”

Okay, here’s what has:

never done or known before

So maybe, just maybe, the person selling this run-of-the-mill condo is exaggerating?


This one made me laugh, have a look:


Did you see?

“This is a flip, not an assignment.”

It’s a case of tomato, tommato, except it’s not.

If you’re looking to “assign” your agreement of purchase and sale, as an “assignor,” to an “assignee,” you can call it whatever you want – it’s a goddam assignment!

Surely whoever uploaded this photo can do better, no?


And surely the agent might have checked on his/her listing and said, “Geez, that photo looks really small, I should probably change that.”

Same story for this house, which could probably be shown to prospective buyers in a better light:


The “Square Footage Source” is a free-form field on MLS, so agents can put whatever they want.

Usually it’s “MPAC” or “Builder’s Plan.”

But this is a new one:


If you were selling a condo that overlooks the Gardiner Expressway, and is on the 4th floor, like – right above one of the busiest stretches of road in Toronto, would you actually take a photo of the highway and put it in the MLS listing?


I wouldn’t, but that’s just me.

But what I definitely wouldn’t do, is use the photo as the FEATURE!

Photo #1 of 20.

As in, the one everybody sees when they click on the listing:


Staging is so hot these days!

Stage everything!

Stage the life you could be having if you lived in this condo.

Stage the meal you could be eating if you lived here!

Tonight, we’re having his-and-hers roast chicken, mashed potatoes, red peppers, and gnocci, but “she” drank all your Diet Coke, sorry!


For those who don’t have outdoor space…….or a dining table…..or a coffee table….

….we can stage the breakfast bar…

….with take-out Chinese food (?)


And last but, my God, certainly not least, let me tell you about why I’m wrong on something, for a change.

I always complain about MLS listings with no photos.

Every house or condo should have photos on MLS, I don’t care what it looks like,

Well folks, I think I found the exception to the rule.

Here’s a house filled to the brim with garbage, and the photos, as a result, are literally of piles of garbage!




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  1. Laurie says:

    The toilet seat was actually part of the contract when I bought my first condo – the seller had hand-painted it with a leopard print and she wanted to take it with her. My view on it was, I’m gonna replace it anyway so feel free to take it. That’s a weird story to tell at parties. (Also the fact that it took me over a year to realize she’d also sponge painted animal faces all over the powder room walls to continue with the theme…)

  2. Joel says:

    Is there a chance that agents use a terrible lead photo so that more buyers will come as they think they are going to get a deal? I always see sideways pictures and iphone pictures and think that it has to dissuade some buyers, but it might actually attract more offers on a mediocre house than a good listing.

    I find it hard to believe someone would pay an agent 5% to list their house using terrible photos without having been explained some sort of strategy ahead of time.

  3. Libertarian says:

    I know nothing about the art world, so is that toilet seat by Hanksy an actual thing? I’ve heard of Banksy. And the fact that you paid $27,000 for it? Is one or both of those things sarcasm because this is a MLS Musings story?

    About the photo of the Gardiner – perhaps it’s because it’s the 401, not the Gardiner, that the listing agent thought it was okay to lead with it. Perhaps the 401 is quieter. Perhaps the view is more mesmerizing because the 401 has more lanes. Maybe that’s the best view you can get in North York.

  4. Alexander says:

    I loved one on Cobb Street in Aurora with a ladder, boots and painting protection still in the kitchen – clearly renovation is still going on and why somebody is taking pictures of it is beyond my comprehension.

  5. downtown says:

    You missed the part about chopsticks sticking upright in rice is a major no-no in many parts of Asia. Way to turn off potential buyers.

  6. Anna says:

    Kind of buried the lead on the exclusions one – I want to know more about that excluded ‘dining room Elf’!

    (really, though, if you are going to take the toilet seat with you, why not swap it for a standard one and not have to worry about it excluding it?)

  7. jeff316 says:

    The best part of the take out boxes is that they’re not even real ones, they’re the decorative ones sold at Michael’s