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Real Estate photographers and malpractice
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Oct 9, 2019 16:08:51   #
lamiaceae Loc: Los Angeles Area, CA
 
jbk224 wrote:
There are 24 posts here. 2 from the OP. The second says.."...exactly..." like comparing a picture of a burger to the actual burger. If this is his complaint...I am surprised. The OP is not a neophyte. I see him quite a bit on this site. Notwithstanding any of the valid comments so far; he knows better. This was a gratuitous post.


Not a neophyte at what, Photography or Real Estate (Law)? Why am I reading this thread?!

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Oct 9, 2019 16:46:45   #
pdsilen
 
I am a real estate photographer. Personally I have never doctored a photo to blot out defects to make the house look better than it already is. And I have been assigned to shoot properties that have considerable damage. I bring it up to the client. And I ask him how he's going to advertise the property. And in every case I've run into. I'm told that he's pitching it as an investment property. In your case the property you've looked as is being sold by an unscrupulous realtor. If you're thinking about legal action, you probably don't have a case. My advice to you is when you are house hunting, don't look at any properties that are listed by that realtor.

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Oct 9, 2019 16:48:53   #
RodeoMan Loc: St Joseph, Missouri
 
It is the same thing with online dating sites. In the photograph, the fellow looks like a young Robert Redford, but when she meets him in person, he looks like me.

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Oct 9, 2019 17:16:07   #
cjc2 Loc: Hellertown PA
 
MT Shooter wrote:
There simply is no truth in advertising, not in images anyway. Written physical descriptions are different. They cannot tell you a property has a pool and you find out the septic tank has caved in.


As a licensed Real Estate Agent, and a full time photographer who also does some Real Estate photography, I am bound by the laws of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission, the ETHICS required by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as well as my personal ethics. When I shoot a home, or apartment, yes, there is the intention of attracting potential buyers so I'm going to choose the best view of the room/home/yard, etc. I'm not going to participate in fraud and I'm not going to attempt to mis-represent the property. The fact that I am also a licensed agent adds a fuzzy feeling to my clients. It would be against the code of life to represent a caved in septic tank as a pool, as well as unethical and, probably, illegal. If the front wall of a home is missing a stone, I will try not to make it obvious, but I won's use any PP to eliminate it either. On the other hand, I'm not going to photograph every little defect as that's what the Property Disclosure is for. If I find something I know needs to be fixed, I will report it to my client. Best of luck.

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Oct 9, 2019 17:43:33   #
Silverrails
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Are the houses listed by a real estate company, or being sold by owner? What website were these photos on? What are the specifics of the "suck" compared to the photos? If the houses are listed by an agency, did you complain to the agent or company owner? Do you really think it's in a company's best interest to mis-represent their properties in the way you imply? Do you know there are codes of ethics (for companies that belong to the National Association of Realtors), along with state laws requiring disclosure of condition and other aspects? Offenses result in fines, loss of license and more.
Are the houses listed by a real estate company, or... (show quote)


👍👍👍👍👍

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Oct 9, 2019 18:36:34   #
Architect1776 Loc: Williamsport Pa
 
cjc2 wrote:
As a licensed Real Estate Agent, and a full time photographer who also does some Real Estate photography, I am bound by the laws of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission, the ETHICS required by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as well as my personal ethics. When I shoot a home, or apartment, yes, there is the intention of attracting potential buyers so I'm going to choose the best view of the room/home/yard, etc. I'm not going to participate in fraud and I'm not going to attempt to mis-represent the property. The fact that I am also a licensed agent adds a fuzzy feeling to my clients. It would be against the code of life to represent a caved in septic tank as a pool, as well as unethical and, probably, illegal. If the front wall of a home is missing a stone, I will try not to make it obvious, but I won's use any PP to eliminate it either. On the other hand, I'm not going to photograph every little defect as that's what the Property Disclosure is for. If I find something I know needs to be fixed, I will report it to my client. Best of luck.
As a licensed Real Estate Agent, and a full time p... (show quote)


The OP was complaining about furniture not being the exact same as that in the home. And silly stupid stuff like this.
There is no problem with staging as realtors do it all the time.
It is called decluttering making it less personal etc.

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Oct 9, 2019 19:27:22   #
FTn
 
The RE business is getting more and more competitive as people realize that they don't need an agent to sell a home. I sold two condos in a waterfront community in Connecticut on my own last year. I made it perfectly clear that I would not deal with any real estate agents on these sales. Unfortunately I'm now fighting with the lawyer who handled my side of the closing because he is charging me $1k for dealing with an agent who claims that she made my buyers aware of my property for sale. She did get the commission for selling my buyers previous home. I don't do RE work for several reasons. This is just one of them. The RE business is really cutthroat.

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Oct 9, 2019 19:32:33   #
Bill P
 
The agents don't want you out there, and will do whatever to stop it.

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Oct 9, 2019 19:55:56   #
Indiana Loc: Huntington, Indiana
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


I would ask the Realtor when they took the photo. They may have sold the property before and just used an old photo when the property was in much better condition. There are many ways to make a property look better than it really is, and it sounds like they used every trick in the book to do just that. Unless there is an obvious misrepresentation or omission, there probably isn't much you can do other than file a complaint with the local Board of Realtors, and/or the brokerage office representing the property for sale. Good luck and be persistent.

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Oct 9, 2019 20:15:12   #
Indiana Loc: Huntington, Indiana
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
I agree about subjective interpretation (our OP's "reality"), but the photographer is working for the owner or real estate agent. If it's an agent/company, it is their responsibility to ensure the listing information (including visual) is accurate prior to posting on their own website or multiple listing sites such as realtor.com.

Vietnam Vet's topic is lacking in several ways - the property could be for sale by owner and posted online with his/her own photos! Normally, I just roll my eyes and ignore topics like this, but I have close friends and many acquaintances in the industry - all of whom are hardworking and honest - so I felt the need to add some facts (real facts, not the fake ones) to the thread
I agree about subjective interpretation (our OP's ... (show quote)


Linda: Your representation of Realtors is not exactly accurate. I spent 45 years in the profession with the last 35 as a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser working independently for banks, S&L, VA, FHA, attorneys, courts, and everyone in-between. I dealt with Realtors daily, some were good and most were not. I rarely found a property representation that was accurate, complete, and in compliance with reporting requirements. Even though I was an appraiser, I was required to be a Realtor and hold a brokers license in addition to my appraisers license. Misrepresentation is common and blatant with Realtors and I gave a ton of examples that would prove my point. Realtors are interested in one thing and one thing only...the commission check...and they will do whatever it takes to get it. I don't mean to be overbearing on this issue, but I understand the reality of the business.

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Oct 9, 2019 20:45:17   #
Scruples Loc: Brooklyn, New York
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


This is an unusual area to discuss. Malpractice means you have done something wrong intentionally. Misfeasance implies that you did something wrong unintentionally. And nonfeasance means you did nothing but could have changed circumstances to improve them. While I'm not an attorney I don't think that a photographer can be litigated for representing an object incorrectly. As for houses that "suck" that is a matter of opinion. No one should expect to live in a mansion and pay far less than the going rate. The reverse is also true.

The phrase "Caveat Emptor" applies here. Let the buyer beware.

When I was looking to buy a home (I own one in Brooklyn and one by Lake Wallenpaupack) I was very clear what I wanted and needed with the realtor. A couple of houses later, the real estate agent started showing my wife and I what we asked for. Then we made a bid on the house we liked. When the bid was accepted, we called a private engineer to survey the house. When the report was finished and handed to us I read it completely. I knew what was a problem and what will be a problem. I never used the report as a bargaining chip. The owner was given a copy of the report. If the owner chose to correct the problem they did so (Radon Remediation) at their own cost.
Photographs of a potential object for sale may not provide an accurate representation of the object. There is a simple reason why. A house is three dimensional, a photograph is two dimensional.
You must see the final item for sale and not go by the photograph.

Now for a photograph lesion in optics.
When you photograph something larger the the focal length of the lens there will be distortion based upon the lens. When the camera is tilted out of the level plane, the lens and its first element is skewed and not parallel with the object. This distortion is known as parallax. When I photograph small objects or buildings, I use a 24mm Tilt-Shift lens. This lens does as it says and will bend the light path. It is especially useful in architectural photographs. The object being photographed does not look as if it is falling backwards. This is known as parallax or keystoning. The mechanism is a little difficult to get used to and the lens itself is significantly more expensive than a comparable lens with the same focal length. If you decide on this route I suggest you rent one and do some test shots to get familiar with it.
Some Mirrorless cameras have Keystone Compensation imbedded in the onboard memory but I'm not sure which ones. (I'm still stumbling out if the 20th Century and into digital cameras.

Some final points. Don't use a fisheye lens as it will distort. Some photographers may photograph while standing on a tall ladder. This already sounds dangerous and can be a huge problem in the long haul.

As a hobbyist photographer, if some one wants to litigate for photographic malpractice let them. I think the judge would be laughing to hysterically to render a judgement against the photographer.

Just do your best to photograph an object. That is all we can expect of ourselves.

Happy Shooting!

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Oct 9, 2019 20:45:28   #
Vietnam Vet
 
Architect1776 wrote:
The OP was complaining about furniture not being the exact same as that in the home. And silly stupid stuff like this.
There is no problem with staging as realtors do it all the time.
It is called decluttering making it less personal etc.


You should obviously read the OPs post before commenting on it.

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Oct 9, 2019 21:06:54   #
Scruples Loc: Brooklyn, New York
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
You should obviously read the OPs post before commenting on it.


Less personal photographs of Real Estate I'm in slight disagreement. Certain items will accentuate that a house is homey. Also these items create depth and can be used to gauge the objects in the scene. Try using books, vases, shoes even cameras. You can use pillows on a bed, television turned on and plates on a table. They show a house is not sterile but in use.

By the way, on a side note.
Thank you for your service.

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Oct 9, 2019 21:15:49   #
Scruples Loc: Brooklyn, New York
 
cjc2 wrote:
As a licensed Real Estate Agent, and a full time photographer who also does some Real Estate photography, I am bound by the laws of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission, the ETHICS required by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as well as my personal ethics. When I shoot a home, or apartment, yes, there is the intention of attracting potential buyers so I'm going to choose the best view of the room/home/yard, etc. I'm not going to participate in fraud and I'm not going to attempt to mis-represent the property. The fact that I am also a licensed agent adds a fuzzy feeling to my clients. It would be against the code of life to represent a caved in septic tank as a pool, as well as unethical and, probably, illegal. If the front wall of a home is missing a stone, I will try not to make it obvious, but I won's use any PP to eliminate it either. On the other hand, I'm not going to photograph every little defect as that's what the Property Disclosure is for. If I find something I know needs to be fixed, I will report it to my client. Best of luck.
As a licensed Real Estate Agent, and a full time p... (show quote)


This sounds like you are very high gauge of ethics. That tells me you ave integrity and character. Clients invariably seek out these types because they known they can trust them. In addition, these ethical real estate agents get a great deal of recommendations rather than transient clientele.

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Oct 9, 2019 21:34:27   #
AirWalter Loc: Tipp City, Ohio
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


These people usually use lens that make rooms look much larger and roomier than they really are. Be aware of that.

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