When you’re scouring your MLS for properties that match your clients’ criteria, don’t automatically click past listings with no photos. Billy Domineau, a former real estate professional in Brooklyn, N.Y., who writes for real estate blog Apartment Therapy, says such listings are often legitimate but are disregarded as trash or scams.
The absence of listing photos could indicate the home is in disrepair, but it also could be a great catch for buyers who are struggling to break into homeownership, Domineau writes. “Occasionally, such ads lead you to the Holy Grail: A landlord who is great at business,” Domineau notes. “Someone who isn’t savvy enough to know that they need pictures in their ad is probably also clueless about how much money they can get for their unit. And, when you do find these diamonds in the rough, you’re likely to have less competition since so many other apartment hunters dismissed the ad almost immediately.”
Domineau once found an apartment in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Boerum Hill that was listed with no photos and a $3,250-per-month price tag. It ended up being a steal: She writes that the unit was easily worth $4,500 a month, but the owner was not well-versed in the market. Pictureless listings, she writes, tend to come from owners who accept below-market-rate prices because they either don’t know any better or want to get the unit sold or rented quickly with little hassle.