February 16th, 2016
Today there was a story flying around the net that a front exterior shot used by a listing agent in South Sydney, Australia was misleading. The photo on the top right was used to list the home but the photo on the bottom right is from Google Street View of the listing address. Hmm, do you think there’s something misleading here?
Both the listing agent and the Australian site that started the story claims there was no digital trickery going on, that the photo was just taken from an angle so you couldn’t see the large water tank behind the home. News.com.au also claims that their research shows that the photo was not photoshopped.
The fact is, it doesn’t make much difference whether the photo was photoshopped or not, this is an outrageous deception! The listing agent is foolish for using such a photo because anyone on the planet can look at the property on Google Street view if they know the address (31A Penshurst Ave, Penshurst NSW 2222, Australia).
A huge number of photography sites reported this story and readers from literally all over the world told me about this story, more than any real estate photography story ever! I think the reason so many people were talking about it is that it’s so outrageous.
I frankly think that any listing agent that pulls a stunt like this deserves to lose their real estate license.
Update Feb 19: I got several questions about where the limits are and what the ethics are for photo modification. Over the years, we’ve talked about this subject many times here on the PFRE blog and I’ve distilled the community’s thinking on this subject on the Ethics page.