Jason Soles commenting in the last post poses a great question: "Does anybody (photographers or agents) have/use some sort of written code-of-ethics for these situations?" Since as a RE photographer you are working for the REALTORS® I think the NAR ethics should set the ethical guideline.
As a REALTORS® I knew that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) does in fact have a written code of Ethics so I Googled the phrase "Realtor code of ethics" and found the current version at: www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/printable2007Code . Standard of Practice 12-8 says in this code of ethics says REALTORS® have:
"The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on REALTORS®’ websites."
This is a high standard. How does this relate to the yahoo.com/realestate article referenced in yesterdays post? My interpretation is that the standard set by the NAR is higher than the what John O'Brien is claiming that you can get away with in court in most states.
So, REALTORS® need to "present a true picture in representations to the public" which to me means don't remove power lines, don't change the grass or any other material items in the photograph. But it's ethical to modify non-material things like remove refrigerator clutter, remove garbage cans or cars from the driveway, pump up the saturation or remove leaves from the sidewalk.