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Real Estate ads – magic or deceptive?

By 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.

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?

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
Real Estate ads – magic or deceptive?
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:

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 9:40 pm 10 Jun 12

I think the fire in the empty house needs to make it’s way to

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….



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 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 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 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 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 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 4:17 pm 04 Jun 12

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

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.’

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:55 am 04 Jun 12

Believing everything you see in ANY advertising makes you a patsy. This is no different. Do you own due diligence and check the place out if you want to buy it.

XO_VSOP 9:53 am 04 Jun 12

Just Dicky Luton trying to be innovative however failing miserably, well picked up

Mav 9:25 am 04 Jun 12

Why stop at fireplaces, just look at the deceptive measures taken in the photography of most home advertising. Look at the distorted images making rooms look bigger and kitchen benches etc look longer.

A savvy buyer learns to see the obvious and what to expect when they go to inspect a home. I am not saying I agree with the misleading images as for a new buyer who has not done the rounds it can make them schedule viewings of homes that they would not otherwise have looked at. However this is what the agents are paid to do and that is get people through the door at open homes.

greyswandir 9:15 am 04 Jun 12

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.

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