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Don’t do this to your real estate photos


Let’s state the obvious – we all want our homes to look great! Southern Maryland has many great properties with tall trees and rivers surrounding us. Some real estate agents are tempted to over improve their images using the magic of Photoshop. There are some things you should definitely not do to your real estate photos. We’ll first look at what you can do.


Improvements you can do with your images.


Add a new sky


Sometimes when taking the exterior images, you luck out and have a perfect blue sky with big white clouds, or better yet, you’re there near sunset and you have a nice pink sky appearing. If the photo was taken on an overcast day which looks blah, your real estate photographer will often do a “sky replacement” by dropping in a nicer looking sky. Here’s an example:


A blah photo with a grey sky:


And here’s one with a great blue sky:


Make the grass green


This is another situation where we’re not changing the characteristics of the house. At times, there is little rain around and the grass can start to go brown, or during winter time, the grass is not as it is in the spring and summer.


So, if we take the photo during a dry time, then the grass will not enhance the appeal of the property. To give it that extra burst of color is fine and shows what will come later. Here an example:


Before shot:

And here’s with a little burst of color:


As you can see, not a major change, but more a point of emphasizing the colors that are there rather than making dramatic changes.


Changes you do NOT do with your images.

Don’t remove power lines


Some agents want to remove power lines since it’s not part of the house – this is wrong. Powerlines are permanent features of the area, and cannot be removed from the photo legally.


In some areas, removal of power lines is not uncommon in real estate marketing. While it’s fine to try and present the home as well as possible, it’s never right to be deceptive in the marketing of property.


Don’t digitally remove anything permanent


If there is something permanent around or on the property, like something really ugly and awful, you can’t just Photoshop those things out. That’s wrong and likely you can get into trouble.


However, there is a difference between removing something and just not showing it in the photo.


Say you have a house with a water tower behind it. There is nothing wrong with not having a picture with the water tower in the background.


Here’s screenshot from a newspaper in Australia comparing the image in an ad and one from the street.



However, The Department of Fair Trading was still critical of the agency selling the home, but did not take any action against the agent. The house was eventually sold, down from its asking price by 20%.


So in summary, enhance features that do not change the characteristics of the property and do not alter or remove permanent items.

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