MLS curb appeal, Showing a rental with tenants


Dear David,

I’ve been looking at property listings online and am wondering why some people use a picture of their kitchen or living room as the MLS photo? They’re not selling furniture, so what’s the point? – IN THE DARK

DEAR DARK: Good question, I often wonder the same thing. It has become somewhat trendy for sellers (and home flippers) to use a staged interior photo as the primary image on their listing and bury their actual home exteriors somewhere in the gallery. In my opinion, this dismisses the vital importance of curb appeal.

An attractive exterior picture gives buyers a solid sense of the physical aspects of the property. If they like the look of the outside, they’ll want to see more. On the other hand, a living room could be anywhere; it doesn’t really differentiate one property from the next. Leading with your décor on would be like signing up for a dating site and posting a picture of your shoes. As nice as they are, they’ll be less impactful than a winning smile, and may even leave folks wondering if there’s something undesirable you’re trying to downplay.

PRO TIP: I often suggest that sellers invest a few hundred dollars in landscaping, paint or driveway sealant to freshen up their property and give it a bit of a makeover. Curb appeal helps to sell homes faster and for more money because of the positive effect it has on buyers.

Dear David,

We’ve been trying to view a rental property for a couple of weeks, but can’t seem to get in. Our appointment was cancelled by the listing agent at last minute. We’ve tried on weekends with no luck. The agent says their tenant isn’t cooperating. – TOO MUCH DRAMA

DEAR DRAMA: When you’re a listing agent, working with tenants can be tricky. From the tenant’s perspective, random appointments to view their home are disruptive and understandably frustrating.

It’s rare to find a tenant who is willing to go through the trouble that a seller would to ensure the property shows at its best. Those planning to move out shortly tend to be more obliging, but if a tenant understands they’ll likely be displaced by an incoming owner, they may be less motivated to co-operate for showings. Before showing a tenanted unit, I always advise clients to look at the bones of the property and if necessary, disregard the unmade bed and dishes in the sink.

PRO TIP: When listing a rental property, I like to speak to the tenants and understand their lifestyle, so we can proceed with as little disruption as possible. Although the Residential Tenancies Act allows a listed property to be shown from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, we can set specific times that accommodate a tenant’s family or shift work, to increase the likelihood of showings being allowed through. #AskDavid #Advice