More MLS Musings!

MLS Musings! | December 15, 2017

I have some big posts saved up for next week, so today seems like a great day to unload all of my remaining ridiculous MLS photos for 2017.

There’s nothing quite egregious in today’s batch of MLS photos, but I’m cleaning out my entire folder, so while there might be some doozies, mixed with a bit of “meh,” this will be the longest MLS Musings post of all time.

Then we start 2018 anew, looking for lazy and incompetent listing agents, sellers, photographers, and anybody else who is responsible for the hilarious photos that we see on MLS every day…



If there’s one facet of our lives that’s changed significantly over the last few years, it’s our television-watching habits.

Many people don’t have cable anymore, and simply hook their laptops up to their TV’s.

Many people don’t even have TV’s!  They just “Chill, and watch Netflix in bed.”

But how in the world do you watch the TV in this photo?


I guess maybe you lay down on the couch, and just stare upwards?

I find that really, really odd.

Then in the photo below, where you have what looks like a staged house, I’m still not sure what the sellers, listing agent, and/or stager were thinking with this TV placement, fifteen feet from the couch, on a wall you can’t see:


Probably the most bizarre, is the TV below.

On the floor, in a fake-fireplace mantle, with two staging chairs facing it:


At least the photographer or seller in the photos above turned off the TV when shooting.

The same can’t be said for this listing:



Not only are those photos awful – bad lighting, awkward angles, and in no way showing the condo in a positive light, but the person taking them didn’t turn off the TV!

I’m shocked.

I just don’t understand the thought process.

Am I crazy, or is it too much to ask to spend five seconds to turn off the TV?

Maybe I’m off base, since the condo is such a mess, shows poorly, and there’s no real photographer shooting the place, so you may as well put porn on the TV – the person viewing the unit on MLS isn’t going to care.

This one is kind of cool.

The owner of this loft has a huge projector-TV, and blackout curtains, so he took a photo of the space with the lights out, and the screen on:


If you didn’t immediately know what’s on the TV, and I mean within like 2 1/2 seconds, then you probably weren’t of age in the 1990’s…

How about a few kitchen shots?

Look at the knuckle-marks in the middle of this fridge:


Society is all about “equality” these days, so I think it’s unfair that this condo kitchen favours basketball players, and discriminates against horse jockeys.

How’s a little person supposed to make a microwave pizza???


Are the fridge handles installed improperly?

Or is this something “cool” that I don’t know about?


Why would you advertise, “My condo kitchen is so small that I don’t have room for any pots or pans, and I’m forced to drill holes underneath my breakfast bar and hang them in front of the legs of people sitting on stools?”

I might have, you know, just, like, removed them for the photo!


I understand “being different.”  My whole business model was based on taking the opposite approach of most Realtors.

I understand “being artistic.”  Sure, there’s always a target market there!

But I don’t understand shooting the kitchen in this condo in black-and-white.



You know I love MLS photos where you can see the photographer!

Here’s a guy using the flash with all the lights on:


Find the photographer in this one – it took me a few seconds:


What’s the protocol there?

Take your shoes off, to be polite?

Or keep your shoes on, since you’ve got bare-feet?

Last but not least, this guy probably thought, “This house is a piece of crap, so nobody is going to care if I’m in the shot.”


Continuing on the theme of “bad photographers,” couldn’t the person taking this photo of the deck simply pick up those three chairs after the big gust of wind?


If I were asked, “Is there ever a house or condo that was in such bad shape, you wouldn’t put any photos?” I might direct them towards this:


I just don’t see any value-add here.

I’d rather have no photos, save for the exterior of the home, and put a note in the listing that somehow conveys the house might be a bit, er, um, full.

Then sometimes, you do have photos, but there’s just no point in putting them on MLS.

Photos like this basically tell the market, “I’m an awful agent.  I’m lazy, and I do a terrible job on my listings, so feel free to lowball me.”


Then something like this, confuses the hell out of me.

If you don’t know how to take photos off your iPhone, and put them on your laptop, or on a USB for your administrator to put on to MLS, then why in the world would you take a screen-shot of your phone, with the photo you just took, and use that for MLS?



That photo actually appreared on an MLS listing!

It makes positively zero sense.

This agent didn’t even go to the property to take a photo!

He or she did a screen-capture of the house via “Google Street View,” and used that as the sole MLS photo:


And for the life of me, I can’t figure out which house in the photo is actually the one up for sale.

What does it say about your home when the only three photos on MLS are of your walk-in closet?


What does it say about your ground-level-condo when you actually cover up a WINDOW….

…..with a crappy piece of art?


Well, if you look close enough, you can see that the art is covering up a Dodge Ram 1500, which is literally three feet from the window.

I guess the orange-and-black pylon right outside the other window shows you that this condo looks right out at construction.

People going from apartments to condos always ask about three things: central air conditioning, dishwasher, and ensuite laundry.

I always tell them, “You’re in luck!  99% of condos will have all three of those.”

I mean, who wants to go outside, in the dead of winter, freezing cold, to do laundry?


….this condo does have laundry, but it’s in a mechanical room, on the roof!


Now maybe a few random thoughts…

How ugly is this house, and, do you value a “homogenous” look to the street?


The next time you think, “I’m fine stripping off all my clothes and just walking around my condo naked for a bit,” remember that there are a lot of people in the downtown core who have binoculars, and telescopes:


If you wanted to show amenities photos along with your listing on MLS, would you really take a photo of the “meeting room” after a dozen people attended a strategy session, and left all their crap behind?


I don’t play guitar, but if I did, it would be in my unfinished, uninsulated attic…


And last but not least, I’m into some ‘things,’ but watching my significant other shower and/or take a dump while I lay in bed, is not one of them.


Folks, it’s been a very long year in the world of real estate.

But I assure you, I’m not shutting down Toronto Realty Blog for 2017 just yet.

Thanks to all the loyal readers who send me “MLS Musings” on a regular basis, and if you’re ever browsing MLS and see something funny, please send it my way!

Coming up next week: a refresher of all that transpired in 2017, on the blog, and in the world of Toronto real estate…

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  1. Agnese

    at 9:00 am

    I wish I could read these every morning, they always make me laugh!

  2. Kyle

    at 11:13 am

    No, no, no David, that isn’t a Dodge Ram 1500…It’s a 2010 Cadillac Escalade.

  3. permabug

    at 3:53 pm

    Off topic, but I had to share this with David and his readers.

    From Toronto Life’s most recent real estate email “The Hunt”:

    “171.1% [is] Canada’s current ratio of household debt to disposable income, according to Statistics Canada. What this means is that, on average, Canadians owe about $1.71 for every spare dollar they possess.”

    Wrong! It means that, on average, Canadians owe about $1.71 for every after-tax dollar they earn in a year. Earn in a year! Not “possess”!

    Sigh, just more hysteria mongering (is that a term?) from the idiots at TorLife.

    1. Chris

      at 12:38 am

      Hmm, I think you are right; the term “possess” seems to be applied incorrectly in their explanation. It is the ratio of household credit market debt (mortgages, consumer credit, and other non-mortgage loans) to annual household disposable income (income remaining after taxes and transfers).

      However, in my opinion, you are incorrect in saying this is fear mongering. This current ratio of 171.1 is the highest it has ever been, and is consistently the main vulnerability highlighted by the Bank of Canada to our national economic outlook and stability. Many media outlets reported on this as well, although perhaps with a bit less hysteria than Toronto Life?

    2. Ralph Cramdown

      at 8:33 am

      Well, junior real estate reporter gets facts wrong, again.

      I think the “average” Canadian household has become inured to high debt loads, and the quarterly drumbeat from the media just serves to normalize it. Toronto Life sprinkles a few doomer stories in amongst the pages of conspicuous consumption. The Bank of Canada has been warning about high household debt levels since at least as far back as 2010. There is probably a lot of public confusion about the difference between average and median, given the way the distributions of household income and debt skew.

      But on the plus side, housing starts just hit a record, and that’s jobs, jobs, jobs for a year or two. There are a few countries out there with higher debt/income ratios than here, so there’s possibly room to go higher.

      I do wonder about recent opinions expressed in the mortgage press, e.g. McLister saying that wannabe homeowners will find the extra cash somewhere. What, find an extra $40k down the back of the couch? Extra DP from parents’ and/or private lenders’ HELOCs could go up year after year as long as house prices did. I don’t think the reflexivity of higher house prices leading to more lending driving higher house prices is fully appreciated.

    1. Peggy

      at 5:02 pm

      That was what I was thinking too, Max. Especially in such a small condo. To top it off, they were all burned on the bottom! Louie

  4. CB

    at 6:39 pm

    I love to buy houses like the filled to the brim “hoarder” house, but this one is going to reek of cigarette smoke. The opened package is sitting right on the table. Don’t advertise horrible smells, People!

  5. IanC

    at 9:53 pm

    Wonder if the pans hanging from the breakfast bar was the realtor’s own house. Maybe they thought it was a clever way to hang pans – which it is. It just looks like total sh*t.

    Also, I’m not opposed to google map photos, especially if it shows of the landscaping when you might be selling in Winter – just make sure it’s clear which house is being sold !

  6. Squidward

    at 6:31 am

    Is that a person ducking out of the hoarder house photo on the far left? I think I see black pants and belt, a white t-shirt, and a bit of elbow.

  7. Lui

    at 12:51 pm

    Whats with having a TV as part of the staging process anyways?.Some of the TV’s are props anyways and is non functional.The main floor condo cannot afford $50 blinds at Ikea?.Guitars,under or over expose photos and ugly paintings seems to be the norm for most condo photos it seems.At least they didn’t shoot it wide angle and stretched the photos.I been to a few open houses for some older homes and you can tell the owners did the reno themselves because if the fit and finish and cheap ass materials they used.Happy holidays David keep up the good work.

  8. Sardonic Lizard

    at 2:18 pm

    A picture is worth a thousand words. With about 48,000 realtors in the GTA, you can bet there will be a few amateurs, shysters, shills, and huxters who care nothing about the quality of their work and are only in it for the commission.

  9. Jenay

    at 12:54 am

    I’m so glad that the inenetrt allows free info like this!

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