A Gold Coast real estate agent has hit back at people accusing him of a “grubby” and "widespread" practice when listing properties for sale.
A home in Southport was posted online late last year, boasting three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The Kumbari Avenue house was later sold for $808,000 in December but a mistake in the advertised photos, still on realestate.com.au, has infuriated social media observers.
“[The] real estate company accidentally uploaded both unedited and edited photos of the lawn,” someone posted on Reddit.
On the website, among 27 images are two identical shots of the back lawn. Except in the second image the grass has been edited to appear a nice and healthy green.
“Isn’t that false advertising?” one person asked.
“They’re not selling anything but their shame,” another commented. “Give me unedited photos, I want to see what I’m up against,” came another response.
‘The practice is widespread’
But other social media users were quick to argue the move was nothing new.
“Find a house for sale that does not have ‘touched up’ photos for the listing,” one person wrote. “Not defending the practice, just pointing out that it is so widespread you will struggle to find an instance of it not happening.”
In June last year, a Melbourne real estate listing went viral for its “unrealistic edits”. In an image posted of a tree, a series of identical leaves appears to have been Photoshopped onto the branches.
While some on Reddit have taken the practice as a joke, likening it to promoting a fast food chain with a perfectly constructed burger, others fired back on the key difference.
“This isn’t a $15 Maccas chew and spew meal,” one person wrote on the Gold Coast property post. “This is a [nearly] million-dollar home people will be buying and probably living in. The circumstances are different here and it’s a grubby practice either way honestly.”
Agent says basing a property decision on grass colour is ‘sad’
LJ Hooker principal Alex McCormack told Yahoo News Australia on Monday afternoon that he was unaware the unedited photo had been uploaded, but played down its significance.
“It's a very common thing that real estate photos come through with what looks better,” he said. “It's still the same size yard and the same everything except the grass is greener, and I would say that every agent I know on the Gold Coast does it.”
In responding to suggestions that it was false advertising, Mr McCormack was quick to hit back.
“Well if they're buying a house based on the colour of the grass, then I feel sad for people,” he said. “If they’re basing their biggest investment, or their biggest purchase that they'll probably ever do, on the colour of a photo of grass, then we're all in trouble.”
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