Real Estate ads – magic or deceptive?

ubu 4 June 2012 24

Hey rioters, have a look at these Allhomes photos for the following properties. Notice anything unusual? Such as the same “fire” photoshopping its way into each fireplace?

24 Dugan Street Deakin 2600 Lounge room photo

104 Mugga Way Red Hill 2603, Lounge room photo

6 Fitzroy Street Forrest 2603, Lounge to Family.

This one’s good: there’s nobody home and the “fire” is burning away in the empty house.

21 Barrallier Street, Griffith, Lounge room and Bedroom One. This is the best one, where the same “fire” is burning in both the lounge room AND the bedroom. I actually walked through this house once, and at least the fire place in the lounge room is in no condition to take a fire without risking buring the house down.

Surely this violates the laws about deceptive advertising?


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24 Responses to Real Estate ads – magic or deceptive?
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Russ Russ 11:26 pm 05 Jul 12

troll-sniffer said :

Hmmmm. I’m not convinced. I think it’s a genuine view.

Yup. I shoot buildings for cash-money (but not real estate) and this looks to me like a bit of over-egged HDR (which, admittedly, most HDR is for the moment). The two reflections in the mirror and shower screen are far too accurate for a fake. The crappy matting on the window frame, however, reveals the excessive manipulation and conveys a sense of fakery.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 9:46 pm 05 Jul 12

JimCharles said :

Look at this one…it’s a classic, this time from Ray White’s in Sydney. It’s so bad in so many places I don’t even know where to start ..but surely illegal?

http://images.domain.com.au/img/2012627/33/2009779959_4_FS.JPG?mod=120705-111115

Hmmmm. I’m not convinced. I think it’s a genuine view. The outside image has been photoshopped for exposure, which is normal practice, but I’m pretty sure that the views are what you would see. Because of the wide angle lens, the room appears longer than it would to the naked eye, and as a result the apparent angle of the direct and reflected views looks wrong.

I’m only relying on 48 years of private and commercial photography for this opinion so it probably won’t count in this forum…

RadioVK RadioVK 5:34 pm 05 Jul 12

Oh, wait! Now I get it.

No bog roll.

Barbaric…{;)]

RadioVK RadioVK 5:27 pm 05 Jul 12

JimCharles said :

Look at this one…it’s a classic, this time from Ray White’s in Sydney. It’s so bad in so many places I don’t even know where to start ..but surely illegal?

http://images.domain.com.au/img/2012627/33/2009779959_4_FS.JPG?mod=120705-111115

They have at least figured out that the image seen through the window reflected in the mirror should be different to the view seen directly through the window. I bet they used up their whole daily quota of clever to figure that one out, and ran out of mental steam whith which to finish the job.

Jungle Jim Jungle Jim 4:10 pm 05 Jul 12

JimCharles said :

Look at this one…it’s a classic, this time from Ray White’s in Sydney. It’s so bad in so many places I don’t even know where to start ..but surely illegal?

http://images.domain.com.au/img/2012627/33/2009779959_4_FS.JPG?mod=120705-111115

Magic window!!

JimCharles JimCharles 3:51 pm 05 Jul 12

Look at this one…it’s a classic, this time from Ray White’s in Sydney. It’s so bad in so many places I don’t even know where to start ..but surely illegal?

http://images.domain.com.au/img/2012627/33/2009779959_4_FS.JPG?mod=120705-111115

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:21 pm 14 Jun 12

FioBla said :

I’ve been out of the TV market for a while, but there seems to be a TV with an odd aspect ratio in one of the ads. Correct me if this is actually a purchasable size nowadays.

http://i.imgur.com/ctM0s.jpg

From 41 Kalgoorlie Crescent Fisher.

So long as you view the world through a wide angle lens, then yes.

FioBla FioBla 9:01 am 14 Jun 12

I’ve been out of the TV market for a while, but there seems to be a TV with an odd aspect ratio in one of the ads. Correct me if this is actually a purchasable size nowadays.

http://i.imgur.com/ctM0s.jpg

From 41 Kalgoorlie Crescent Fisher.

Madam Cholet Madam Cholet 8:30 am 14 Jun 12

21 Barralier Street certainly like their wood finishes – want to be careful having that open fire blazing away!

ubu ubu 7:27 am 14 Jun 12

greyswandir said :

Even if it did, don’t you have to inspect a property before you can buy it or sign a lease for it? If inspection reveals the true state of the fireplaces then this is nothing more than the real estate agency’s artistic licence. Perhaps they have a budding ‘digital artist’ in their marketing division.

Actually, no, there is no requirement you inspect any property before signing a contract. Though you’d be silly not to in most circumstances. (But do you fly to London to inspect a flat you’ll rent for a visit?)

After a bit of digging, I found these guidelines for photos in real estate ads, written by the REIA in conjunction with the ACCC: http://www.reia.com.au/userfiles/REIA_Guidelines_PhotographicRepresentations.pdf

While there is a lot of wiggle room in the guidelines, the proposition that internet photos are irrelevant to deception in advertising is clearly false, as recognised by the Institute and the ACCC.

At least one of “blazing: fireplaces in the one property I did look at appeared non-functional on inspection. I think that might fall squarely in the “forbidden zone” of the guidelines, and outside “artistic” license, don’t you? The other ones are, as another commented, just silly and makes the agent look too clever by half.

I probably don’t want to ask if real estate agents can be considered “artists” !

cantdance cantdance 9:40 pm 10 Jun 12

I think the fire in the empty house needs to make it’s way to http://lovelylisting.icanhascheezburger.com/

Gungahlin_Bob Gungahlin_Bob 8:51 pm 06 Jun 12

Wow, way to much time on your hands!!!! LOL

But nice catch…..definitely some photoshopping going on….you can seen in two of the photos, clearly the same logs, just one is reversed (logs pointing opposite)

When I sold my house, I was impressed with pictures they took, almost wanted to take off the market…;-)

Was surprised when they said that the photographer would be there at 5.30pm (during Winter)….I thought the photos would be useless (twilight)…..but they take the photos at that time, with the lights on, providing some strong contrasts, and eliminating shadows from the sunlight. Then post processing they add in the bright sky, and clouds……looked good, but opened my eyes to what they do….

Regards

Bob

thatsnotme thatsnotme 4:34 pm 05 Jun 12

Erg0 said :

A panorama would be another, more accurate, option. Don’t know if you could put it up on Allhomes, though.

Panoramic images don’t work well in enclosed areas. Issues with perspective make it difficult to get a decent panorama stitched cleanly and looking accurate.

The whole inserted fireplace is only the tip of the iceberg too. There are some agents (not sure if any operate in Canberra or not) who will arrange for your home to be completely digitally furnished in your photos. So an empty house is photographed, and everything is added afterwards – furniture, plants, pictures on the wall, rugs on the floor…the whole lot. It looks pretty realistic too.

djk djk 4:19 pm 05 Jun 12

It is obviously so you know it is a fireplace, people are clearly too stupid to work out what it is and what you do with it otherwise.

Erg0 Erg0 4:00 pm 05 Jun 12

A panorama would be another, more accurate, option. Don’t know if you could put it up on Allhomes, though.

Craig79 Craig79 3:48 pm 05 Jun 12

As a photographer I would agree that photos taken with a 14mm or wider lens would greatly increase the appearance of space or size. However the aim of the photographer is usually not to do this. In most cases they are trying to show the room as a whole instead of just one corner. It is because of this that the Canon 16 – 35mm L lens is a popular choice amongst real estate photographers.

The 16 – 35mm will show you the majority of most rooms where as a narrower choice of lens would result in loosing half the room. Any wide lens has unavoidable barrel distortion generally seen as a widening of the image as you get closer to the edge of a photo. This can make benches or rooms look disproportionate. The 16 – 35mm lens currently provides the best balance of wide angle and low distortion. If there was a way to show as much of the room as a wider lens without the distortion I believe that most photographers would be using it.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 6:01 pm 04 Jun 12

The one in the empty house is hilarious. IMO mostly that sort of thing is amusingly silly but I do think it should be discouraged. Of course most people will take real estate photos with a grain of salt and base their decisions on personal inspection, but I feel sorry for interstate buyers for example who might be trying to organise a short list of inspections during a tight time frame and find themselves wasting valuable time because of an overly enhanced ad.
The best one I’ve seen was a new house in Gungahlin opposite a park with a view of medium density housing photoshopped into a front window. I went back and forth between the various images and plans and google maps and ACTPLA, and confirmed there should have been a nice view out the window, but obviously the agent had a different idea of what’s a nice view. Thought I saw the exact same view from another house later too.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 5:18 pm 04 Jun 12

It is in the same class as photoshopping the grass green (very popular during the drought) and making the sky a bit bluer. Wide angle lenses are also used to give that sense of ‘space’.

I also think there should be a worst real estate photo competition….whith the over priced agents that were happy to charge a fortune to arrange them named and shamed.

M0les M0les 4:17 pm 04 Jun 12

I consider this funny, but not overly sneaky (You’re not buying the fire, after all).

GBT GBT 11:17 am 04 Jun 12

It’s not deceptive advertising as they are not selling you the fire. If they’re photoshopping the fireplace then you’ve got a problem. it’s no different to people renting furniture to sell their houses. As long as they’re not selling it furnished it’s fine. If the ad states “fire incldued” then they’re breaking the law.

Compare it to people putting up their best photo on an internet dating site. The point is to drawn you in to come and see the real thing and then in both cases, you can decide if you want to ‘shack up.’

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