May 27, 2018

When Retouching Listing Photos Goes Too Far

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When Retouching Listing Photos Goes Too Far

An Australian real estate agent made headlines after recently posting photos of a home in Sydney under a blue sky backdrop and that was notably missing the giant water tower that hovers over the property.

The photos raised questions over how much is too much when retouching photos of properties for sale.

Read more: 6 Ways to Get Your Listing Ready for Photos

Con Economos, the principal agent of Ray White in Rockdale, New South Wales, told the Daily Mail Australia that the photo in question had not been altered. He said the photo was just “taken at an angle.” But some questioned how such an angle could be achieved, given the large size of the water tower directly behind it. The agency has been ordered to remove the photos by the Office of NSW Fair Trading after potential home buyers who saw the property complained that the photos were misleading, according to the Daily Mail’s report.

Omitting a major landmark or significant photoshopping is going too far, says Matt Liss, a Chicago real estate broker at Mark Allen Realty. That said, real estate professionals want to make sure photographs of a home do capture it from the best angles.

“You don’t want to show that you’re right next door to a gas station,” Liss told®. A photo might stop at the edge of the home in that case.® also notes that the absence of photos can help in these cases too. You don’t have to photograph the eyesores of a home. If the traits are significant enough, you could include notes attached to the listings.

“I don’t want to make anyone angry for driving out to a home without knowing what is around it,” says Dee Evans, a real estate professional at Ebby Halliday REALTORS® in Dallas. “That’s setting everybody up for a loss. … Try to present the house in the best way … without ever photoshopping anything.”

Source: “Sure, You Can Retouch Your Listing Photos – But How Much Is Too Much?”® (Feb. 17, 2016) and “‘It’s Not Photoshopped, It’s Just the Angle,’” (Feb. 15, 2016)