Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Q: We couldn’t believe the place we saw a few days ago during an open house.

You warned us but the photos on the internet looked so great that we just had to look.  It was not at all what was shown on the websites.  The pictures were so photo shopped!  I couldn’t believe it.  The house was musty, very dark, and the rooms were way smaller than they looked in the pictures.  There was a shot of a great view but it must have been shot with a drone camera because there was no view from the house.  What a crock!  That’s misrepresentation.  Why do real estate people do this?

A:  There’s a very fine line between enhancement and misrepresentation.  Listing brokers are trying to show the home at its best advantage to serve the needs of the seller.  But I agree that some folks do go way over the top. Our computer driven age has created the opportunity to do almost anything with an image.  I know that the Multiple Listing Service and the Board of Realtors struggle with these issues a great deal.  It’s just too easy to make something look better than it really is.  By the same token, however, some houses look a lot better in person than they do on the Internet.  I’ve often had buyers express surprise at how nice the setting is or how light and airy the rooms are compared to what they were expecting based on the photos online. There’s really no substitute for seeing a property for yourself.

Most buyers decide to buy based on the “feel” of a place.  For instance, how the light travels through the rooms or what the surroundings look like from the windows. Is there really a magnificent view or was it shot with a telephoto lens? Some people even decide based on the sounds of the neighborhood. They also care about how comfortable they feel inside the rooms and how they envision their own furniture fitting into the spaces. No photos or description online can come close to giving you that kind of information.