8 Shocking Real Estate Signs & Ads You Won’t Believe

In the world of real estate, humor does not traditionally come to mind. It can be quite a daunting task to make yourself stand out amongst all of the other agents in your area. It can also be very hectic, beating others to the punch in order to present your listings to potential buyers. This combination, at times, can result in the perfect storm of humor at the expense of real estate agents and companies.

The following will present the lighter, funnier side of the real estate arena. The side that shows that even the most by the book real estate agent can be just as comical as your favorite celebrity comedian. Even though the following were not meant to be (or so we believe) humorous in any way, they are certain to leave you chuckling as you review them.

From typos, to ironic signage to creative advertisements there is humor found in it all.

1. Adulterers Need NOT Apply

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via Daily Mail

A mother of two and former wife by the name of Elle Zober (37) decided to take a very candid approach to selling her former love nest with her husband. Her husband left her and her children for a 22-year-old woman after a decade of holy matrimony and she decided to leave her Portland, Oregon home with unadulterated honesty. She posted the sign above in her front yard and even added the line, “adulterers need not apply.”

2. Sales Can Be Contagious

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via Oddee

Standard Title Agency, Inc. clearly did not think their signage through before mass producing them and placing them in front of properties. Most would think that the company would have chosen the moniker of STA, but they opted for the more eye catching and contagious STD.

3. A Home with a Nontraditional Perk

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via Funny Website

It is ALWAYS important to proofread all copy well before it is sent to the presses. Evidently, Shirley Hunsperger did not get that memo. It can be assumed that she meant to gloat about the property’s large deck in the rear, but instead she will have swingers from miles around clamoring for a look at the property and its assets.

4. An Open Minded Policy is the Best Policy

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via Weirdopedia

It is always a plus to show that you are not a real estate agent or company that discriminates, BUT offering up young men under 25 takes things to a whole new level. It is certainly clear that the company was trying to make current homebuyers aware of the fact that they had nine homes for sales; but they simply missed their mark. I will say, this is one way to have yourself stand out in a sea that is more than crowded with salesmen.

5. Take Your (Pet) Children to Work Trend

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via BuzzFed

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via BuzzFed

It can be hard to make yourself stand out in the world of real estate, but employing your pet children puts a new twist on things. Both of these agents have decided that the best way to prove their prowess within the industry is to present their cats to the world. One has proclaimed that her cat thinks rather highly of her “mommy” while the other contends that he can deliver buyers with the “purrrfect” sale. Who knows? Maybe this tactic has been profitable for this dynamic kitty duo. Maybe….

6. Avoid Divorce by Increasing Debt

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via BuzzFed

Even though you and your spouse can no longer stand each other, a little extra room is all you need to fix the situation. Or, at least that is what real estate agent Chris Clarke believes. He seems to think that he can ix your marital woes by selling you a larger home that will increase your overall debt. Wait…isn’t that what most coupe fight about? Money?

7. Endorsed By Mom

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via BuzzFed

We all tend to be the favorite of our parents, but using your mother as your sole endorsement via your advertisements is taking things to a whole new level. Dave Foreman has done just this. Maybe he does not realize that it appears that no one else believes in his selling skills but his dear old mother dear. Maybe she carries a great deal of weight in the community in which he sells…or maybe he’s just an only son or only child.

8. Who Knew You Could “Click” Print

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via Point2

This would have made a great online ad and maybe it has as well. The problem is that the ad was NOT edited for publication on a printed medium. Maybe they have found a way to click for more information via a newspaper.

28 Horrible Real Estate Photos Prove Selling Houses Isn’t Easy

Is selling real estate easy? Think again. These pictures prove that it can be more difficult than it looks for some real estate agents. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but these photos tell a story that would make any home hard to sell.

As you scroll through the gallery, try and imagine the look on people’s faces as they toured the room. It might make you run to your camera and double check all the images you’ve snapped so you’re certain you haven’t made any similar mistakes.

1. Strategic Art

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Terrible Agent Photos

Everything looks great, except for one thing. Could it be the color of the walls or the skew lampshade? Yep, it’s definitely the lampshade. It couldn’t possibly be the painting of old aunt Margaret during her modeling days.

 

2. Floral Tranquility

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Terrible Agent Photos

Here we have the perfect contrast between space and nature. Who cares if you can get to the bed when there is so much floral tranquility around you? You can’t put a price on that.

3. Deepak Chopra’s Favorite

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Terrible Agent Photos

The room is part of a new self-help program called “love yourself even when you’re alone”. Initially the walls had mirrors as well, but the schizophrenics complained that it was simply too much.

4. The Family Home

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Terrible Agent Photos

There’s a nice little pet cemetery in the backyard, the human bodies are kept in the basement and the deck is great for barbeques. The shadow? That’s just Harold, the serial killer who lives next door. Don’t worry, you won’t see him until it’s too late.

5. A Modern Design

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Terrible Agent Photos

If you feel like breaking away from the constrictions of typical suburban life, and gravity, this home is perfect for you. Please take note that gravity boots are not included in the deal.

6. A Working Progress

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Terrible Agent Photos

If you’re worried about the steady decline towards the bathtub, don’t. It starts to feel quite normal once you’ve used the toilet.

7. Sleeping with the Fishes

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Terrible Agent Photos

It’s not obvious at first, but once you move in you’ll learn how to swim in your sleep. In fact, you’ll become a fishermen in less than a week, guaranteed.

8. Creative Family

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Terrible Agent Photos

This is how cheap and large families get things done. They take turns sleeping in the chairs, because the bed is for guests. We need more of this type of creativity don’t you think?

9. Garden and Laundry Service

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Terrible Agent Photos

This particular house comes with a twenty-four-hour gardening and laundry service. Although he never comes out of the closet and you have to feed him three times a week. This part of the deal is non-negotiable.

10. The Think Chamber

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Terrible Agent Photos

One of the biggest conspiracies were thinking chambers. The only people who knew what they looked like were government officials, but after the secret was leaked so-to-speak, husbands recreated them to get away from their wives. It never provided any great ideas, but the company was good.

11. Great Atmosphere

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Terrible Agent Photos

You want a house with great atmosphere? Well, here it is. The televisions change channel through the power of thought and the mirrors will provide visuals of unusual company.

12. Something to Hide

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Terrible Agent Photos

Just to be clear from the start – we didn’t strategically place the cute face of our dog in front of the big hole in the wall. We should also inform you that a tour of the house is only possible after the purchase is finalized.

13. Less is More

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Terrible Agent Photos

Sure, we could’ve decorated the room with designer chairs and classy curtains, but the selling point just wasn’t there. Instead, we give you the opportunity to really sit and think about what YOU want to do with it.

14. Combined Comfort

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Terrible Agent Photos

Who wants to walk all the way from the living room to the bathroom and then to the kitchen? This way you can lounge around, feed the dog and take care of business without working up a sweat.

15. Peeping Thomas

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Terrible Agent Photos

Don’t worry, Thomas and his tank-engine friends won’t stare if you move really slowly. Just don’t make any sudden movements while you sleep.

16. Cute Accessory

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Terrible Agent Photos

The heating doesn’t work, but the kid can pull the most amazing faces. But his best trick is when he starts barking at strangers. It’s like having a pet that never sheds. If you buy now he’ll still be cute for at least another three years.

17. Safety First

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Terrible Agent Photos

You can never be to sure that a storm won’t strike in the kitchen. It’s also possible that the roof has been leaking for years and this seemed like the cheapest way of fixing it, but we prefer using the first excuse.

18. Ready for Anything

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Terrible Agent Photos

It’s a great house, but the neighborhood is a little sketchy. There’s a bazooka in the cupboard just in case.

19. The Happy Housewife

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Terrible Agent Photos

A room that is specifically designed to keep the busy housewife happy while she does the washing and cleans the garden. Or, in most cases, the man-cave your wife will let you have if you’re really good.

20. Choices

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Terrible Agent Photos

This house is more than just bricks and cement. It symbolizes the choices you have in life, although each door leads to the same place. Oh well, that’s life. At least it feels like a choice and the price is relatively cheap.

21. Passionate about Gardening

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Terrible Agent Photos

It started off as a habit, but turned into a passion when the owners realized it was a good way to get rid of visiting relatives. This just goes to show, gardening is very therapeutic.

22. Stay Clear of Dessert

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Terrible Agent Photos

The moment you see three toilet rolls at your immediate disposal, that’s when you start to question the owners cooking capabilities.

23. Monkey Business

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Terrible Agent Photos

When it comes to dealing on a price for this house, get ready for some monkey business. The last two offers ended up on the wall, because they didn’t speak the same language.

24. Need to Know Basis

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Terrible Agent Photos

All you need to know is that the house is there and available. What it looks like can be discussed as you sign the documents.

25. Natural Confusion

A new kind of bidet?
Terrible Agent Photos

When you constantly find yourself torn between what to do first, fear no more. This is the answer you’ve been looking for.

26. Rise Above the Rest

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Terrible Agent Photos

Even though taking close-up pictures made much more sense, you wouldn’t have seen the true uniqueness of the house. Now you simply can’t miss all its special elements.

27. Creepy Company

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Terrible Agent Photos

In this special bathroom you’ll never have to feel alone. Danny will hold your hand while you shower and he’s always ready for a good picture if you need one. This feature really makes up for the tiny space, doesn’t it?

28. The Cult Clubhouse

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Terrible Agent Photos

If you don’t feel like a member of some strange cult after one day, you’ll probably feel the urge to start one.

Using Expired Listings as Sales Leads

If you’re a listing agent, the most critical part of your business is obtaining new listings. You can try to find potential sellers by contacting old clients or making cold calls. But one of the best methods for getting new listings is by contacting owners who you know are ready to sell and want to list with a real estate agent.

One way to find those owners is by reviewing expired listings. Although these owners usually intend to relist their property, they often don’t want to relist with the agent who failed to sell the property the first time around. You can reach out to offer them an alternative.

Listings Expire All Month Long

Most listings expire near the beginning or end of the month, but listings expire every day of the month. You should make searching for expired listings a daily habit, not something you do only at the start or end of the month. You can check the daily MLS hot sheet for expired listings, or search in MLS using “expired” as a parameter.

Some MLS systems tell you the date a listing is scheduled to expire. You can make note of listings that will expire soon and be ready to contact the owner once that date arrives. It’s unethical to reach out before the expiration date, so don’t be too quick.

Make an Expired Listing Your Listing

Once the listing expires, the selling work begins. Your first step in selling the property is to sell yourself to the owners.

Don’t just start calling all the owners, though. You want to take on the listings that have a high probability of selling quickly. Start by reviewing the listings that didn’t sell and see if your experience gives you any insight.

Do whatever market analysis and other research you need to learn about the property’s value. You’ll be able to use that information in your conversations with the owner.

Of course, you have to find out how to reach the owner. You can use Internet searches and other means to find the right phone number. If you can’t track down a phone number, you may need to contact the owner by knocking on their door.

Prepare a script for your conversation. You will need to convince them why they should trust you to sell their property.

You can discuss:

  • Marketing Techniques
  • Online Exposure
  • Better Photographs
  • Staging (real or virtual)
  • Realistic Pricing

Even though you are trying to convince the owner to list with you, you should also evaluate how you will work with the owner if they do. Is the owner realistic? Are they really motivated to sell, or will they put roadblocks in the process?

Streamline the Process

Since you will be working expired listings routinely, put a process in place to minimize the effort it takes. There will be days when hundreds of properties have just become available. You need to filter them and be strategic about where you invest your time.

Be prepared with a plan for you and your assistants to work through the list quickly. Being one of the first to reach out to the owner is key to converting them as clients. Have a prepared packet of materials to send to the owner or take on your visit. Try to make the packet stand out so it doesn’t just end up in the garbage.

You need to be persistent, as well. A single letter or phone call won’t be enough to convince someone to switch their listing to you. Follow up with the owners after they’ve had a chance to review your materials.

At the same time, be sure you adhere to Do Not Call requirements. Being over-eager can cost you your reputation, not just a single potential client.

On the other hand, if you convert a client and sell their property, you can be sure they’ll tell people what a great real estate agent you are. This is another reason to add expired listings to your leads: effectively selling expired listings is a great way to market yourself.

Building Your Elevator Speech

You know it’s true: as much as you’d like to think that your work hours are limited to the time spent in the office, as a real estate agent, you’re always on. Whether you’re sitting in the packed bleachers watching your son dribble down the basketball court or standing in a stagnant line at the airport, the truth is, every person you come across is a prospect. Any new acquaintance could generate important leads. The potential is exhilarating.

How do you go from potential to profit? How do you make that all-important connection between you and a total stranger, catapulting yourself in their minds from the ranks of anonymity into a knowledgeable friend, ready and willing to help them realize their real estate dreams?

Introducing the Elevator Speech

A 20-second spiel that introduces yourself as concisely as possible, an elevator speech is a well-prepared yet extemporaneous-sounding tool that allows you to communicate the essence of what you offer. It allows you to make a fly-by pitch with any new acquaintance while still engaging in two-way conversation.

Ideally, an elevator speech should only last the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator. Although you might feel uncomfortable about actually engaging a crammed group of people on a silent elevator ride, having a well-rehearsed elevator speech works just as well, if not better, off of quiet elevators.

So, how do you formulate this speedy introduction? Once you’ve gotten past the, “Hi, my name is Joe and I work for XYZ Real Estate as a…” where do you go from there? Here are some tips for an elevator speech that will generate leads without putting anyone to sleep. After all, the world has enough elevator music.

Determine your Niche

Since an elevator speech is only a few seconds, every word counts. Aim to use clear, powerful words. For example, instead of saying, “I work for XYZ Real Estate as an agent,” you could say, “I specialize in helping empty-nesters get their homes sold quickly and find new dream homes.”

Consider yourself a specialist; you are in some way. Pinpoint your biggest successes. From these situations, pick out a few words to describe your role in the transactions, and use them to craft your spiel.

If you truly can’t determine your personal niche, study your company’s literature and website and try to encapsulate their mission. Make it yours.

For instance, “At XYZ, we specialize in foreclosures, new homes, and land in the Tri-County area.” Even though you may be reluctant to restrict your admitted area of expertise, pretending that you know everything there is to know about real estate is silly. Establishing an area of specialization shows that you have achieved a measure of success, whether for yourself as an agent or as a member of your company. Do your best, therefore, to be as specific as possible when describing your position.

Use Everyday Language

Flowery or articulate language is great on paper; in person, it can sound pretentious. Instead of saying, “I endeavor to facilitate superior town home listing services,” you could say, “I focus mainly on the town home market.” Who wants to talk to someone who sounds like they’ve got a thesaurus hidden in their back pocket?

Along the same lines, forget all the lingo. As best as you can, design your elevator speech as though it will be delivered to people who know absolutely nothing about real estate.

Terms like “market conditions,” “FSBO,” “Short Sale,” and “HOA” can fly right over people’s heads. You’ll know this is happening when the person gets a glassy stare in his eyes and begins to smile and nod vaguely. Don’t lose a future lead by sounding too smart.

Formulate Your Pitch as a Question

This is one of the best ways of keeping a person’s interest. It also alerts you to the level of familiarity the person has with the real estate business.

“You know how hard it can be to take that step toward getting into your dream home? Well, as a real estate agent, I specialize in making it happen, especially for those looking to build.”

It’s also very important to end your speech with a question. “So, that’s what I do. How about you? Are you from around here?” By asking an open-ended question like that, you give people plenty of room to formulate their own intelligent response, even if they have no elevator speech of their own to pitch back to you. This demonstrates your willingness to listen, which is, incidentally, the very best tool you possess as a real estate agent.

Once you’ve polished your elevator speech, practice, practice, practice! Let it become such a part of you that you could present it uniquely to anyone you should meet.

Why I Won’t Lower My Commission, Even for You

You’re sitting across from a prospect, just about to pop the question. You take a deep breath as he looks over the paperwork. Silently, you curl your toes under the desk as you do everything in your power to appear calm and collected; the client must not know how much this listing means to your family.

As if in slow motion, just before the words, “Are you ready to sign,” can form themselves in a nonchalant manner and burst from your lips, it happens. Mr. Quibble stabs at the contract, placing the tip of his fountain pen on your listed rate of commission. “Now, let me ask you this,” he blusters authoritatively. “Are you willing to come down from your rate of commission to make this deal?”

Pause the tape. This one question is the deal-breaker. Answer it correctly, and you win; not only at this particular contract table, but also at the entire real estate game. Answer it wrong, and you can kiss your dreams of success as a real estate agent goodbye.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What is the correct answer? It is, and almost ALWAYS shall be, “No, that’s a flat rate. Do you have any other questions?”

Trouble is, in this case, you are dealing with Mr. Al Dicker N. Quibble, the cheapest, most argumentative haggler ever to darken the doors of a business establishment. It’s not just you; Mr. Quibble likes to find a deal where ever he goes. Wal-mart clerks groan when they see him approaching, anxious to prove why he deserves a discount on fountain pens. Car salesmen dissolve into tears over their vanished commission checks after he leaves the car lot grinning triumphantly. Now he’s staring you down, sizing you up, and searching for the tiniest crack in your resolve. Can you stick to your guns? You can. You must; not only for your own sake, but also for Mr. Quibble.

If he asks, “Why?” Here are six good reasons.

Reason #1: “Because I am a professional, not a street market vendor.”

 

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Do professionals allow clients to haggle over the costs of their services? Don’t try it with your attorney or physician. As a professional real estate agent, you should be working to build expertise and quality service. If you are, then you shouldn’t allow your business to be treated like a used car lot. Commission negotiation should be a non-issue.

Reason #2: “Because if I do, selling your home will become less of a priority.”

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It’s just human nature: if you have two listings, one of them discounted and one at full commission, when your mortgage and car payments come due, it’s only natural you’ll show the home that’s listed at full commission.

Reason #3: “Because success for both of us hinges on my staying upbeat.”

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In the real estate game, enthusiasm and confidence are indispensable. There’s nothing as discouraging as losing big on an important deal, especially when it has the potential to set a precedent. If you ever open the door to cutting commission, it will be twice as hard to stand firm the next time you go up against a tough customer.

Consider it practice for negotiating the best deal for Mr. Quibble from the buyer. If you can’t even negotiate your own rate, how can the client expect you to swing him a deal at the negotiating table?

 

Reason #4: “Because I don’t have time to evaluate my rates on a case-by-case basis.”

Young businesswoman (real estate agent) presenting detached modern houses

Once you begin allowing certain clients lower commission rates, each prospective client becomes a potential recipient of your “generosity” should you be so persuaded. Even if you only lower your rates for friends and “hard luck” cases, the bottom line is that now you must decide which clients deserve a lower rate.

What happens when your annoying cousin thinks you’ll lower her cost like you did for her brother, but instead you choose to charge full commission? The added stress over strained relationships due to your perceived partiality is not worth it.

 

Reason #5: “Because you need me to set the pace.”

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When you give in to a client’s request to come off your set commission, you are putting him in the driver’s seat. Now, he’s much less likely to yield to your caution about overpricing his house. That translates into longer time sitting on the market.

 

Reason #6: “Because I’m not THAT desperate.”

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If you regularly work at lead generation, you won’t be at the mercy of “Mr. Quibble” types. So what if Mr. Quibble doesn’t sign? Do you really think a cut-rate commission could be worth trying to placate his every whim?

Spend your time generating quality leads. Don’t stress over your commission. Use your energy developing your expertise, and let the quibbles and chips fall where they may.