Sellers are using the technology to enhance listing photos. Real estate listing photos have always accentuated the positive, but computer-generated imagery of the sort Hollywood uses has now become so cheap and prolific that home sellers are taking out walls, removing ugly paneling and adding digital swimming pools.
Whether you love it or hate it, buyers need to be aware that this new technology is out there and it has become easier and easier to use. And, the photos have become so realistic, an untrained eye usually can’t tell the difference between a real and a doctored photo.
Using Photos To Shop
Photos are more important than ever when shopping for a home. Nearly every home search begins online and deals are often struck without in-person showings, particularly among investors. Photoshop technology allows sellers to green browned lawns, stage rooms with virtual furniture and even perform full-blown HGTV-style makeovers with clicks of a mouse.
We see this as a hazard to buyers. Can you imagine the disappointment when arriving at the property for the first time? Redfin Corp., the discount online real-estate broker, said that 20% of 1,463 recent home buyers it surveyed in May said they had made offers on houses they had never visited. In 2017, when the market was hotter, the number went up to 37%. See the Redfin article here.
We encourage all buyers to look for a disclosure in the ad and to get boots on the ground. If you aren’t able to go and see the listing yourself, ask a friend or at the very least, ask the realtor to do a video call where you walk through the property together while on the phone.
The technology isn’t all bad. It’s just bad when it is used to mislead a buyer. In the photo shown below, it was used to stage a vacant listing. It can also be used to reduce clutter. In these scenarios, it’s harmless because the items added or removed won’t come with the house and that is understood by buyers.
The ease and extent to which images can be altered has brokers and the organizations that police listings wondering where to draw the line on augmented images. Until they figure it out, be aware and shop smart.
About the Carroll Team
Chris Carroll and Ally Raber, a mother, daughter duo embody the true spirit of Tahoe. You may see them on the slopes or kicking around town. The recreational lifestyle is what brought Chris Carroll to Tahoe more than three decades ago. She loves the area and is a steadfast supporter of the community. Ally, a champion snowboarder was born and raised in Truckee, she too holds a deep appreciation for the community and the town’s rich history. When she isn’t selling houses, you may find her up on the slopes enjoying the snow.
Chris and Ally’s dedication and exceptional knowledge of Tahoe makes them excellent realtors. With great communication skills and professional follow-up methods, comfortable style, and an honest straightforward approach, they will have your transaction of buying or selling done in a smooth and stress-free manner.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, the Carroll Team is always available to provide excellent and dedicated service.
Article Source: Desember, Ryan. “Property Listings Get Virtual Fix-Ups.” The Wall Street Journal.