Home Staging and Online Photoshopping Trickery – Can You Really Make Up the Difference?
Not long ago, I was talking to a real estate professional who was trying to recover after the 2008 economic collapse. He was working to rebuild his business, and he also had a series of local home and land style industry magazines, you’ve probably seen them around in your own community. You know the ones, they often leave them around town with pictures of homes for sale. As we got to talking, he mentioned to me that someone should do an article on how often real estate photos are Photoshopped, or slightly modified to make the home look better than it actually is.
In many regards this is quite unfortunate, because it is a form of misrepresentation in advertising, and it tends to give a bad name to the entire sector. Now then, I understand from talking with people on the Active Rain online social networking for real estate professionals, that now more and more Multi Listing Services online photoshop will not allow altered photos, because it is unfair to the other realtors and buyers. This doesn’t mean that some folks in this sector will not put doctored or manipulated photographs on their websites or in their brochures or advertisements however.
My acquaintance mentioned to me that it is really tough when you are showing a home to someone and the house looks different than the picture. Indeed, I can just imagine that the first impression from a homebuyer is a complete let down, and then they feel tricked, as they enter the house to look at it. Even if the home has been home staged, and special care has been done for interior designing, at that point I imagine the homebuyer feels a sense of mistrust, one which the realtor cannot overcome.
What’s worse is that some higher-end buyers do purchase real estate investments, especially vacation homes, without actually going to look at the property. In that case one could say that the Photohopping strategy could be considered downright fraudulent. Of course, I’ve also talked to home staging professionals who note that often the interior of the home is shot with special lenses and at certain angles to make the rooms look bigger than they actually are.
If you haven’t seen this before, go check out some of the motorhome pictures on various websites, or the pictures for new corporate Jets. They do the same thing, as they take the picture from a certain angle with a special lens to make it look bigger on the inside than it actually is.