Mythbusting – how much do estate agents manipulate property photos?
I love helping people to sell their houses and I work hard to make sure properties are marketed in the right way to the right buyers. Part of this lies in the way I take photos of the properties and what I do with them once they’re taken.
Sometimes I work with professional photographers with the skills to represent properties both beautifully and truthfully. I also take many photos myself and put them straight up on Instagram – this is a great way of marketing our properties and there’s a freshness and immediacy about it that buyers respond really well to.
Some estate agents and property photographers do manipulate images, but there are guidelines to follow, as well as the all-important Consumer Protection Regulations 2008. Here’s an overview:
What changes are estate agents allowed to make to property photos?
As a general rule, it is acceptable for estate agents to change photographs as long as they don’t end up misrepresenting a property. For example, you can expect to see a blue sky on many property photos – blue sky carries a wonderful feel-good factor and puts buyers in a positive frame of mind. And even in London, there’s a chance that there’ll be blue sky over the house at least some of the time.
Property photographers are also known to remove temporary blights from pictures, like a van parked outside your neighbour’s house, or overflowing bins. Sure, they were there on the day the photograph was taken, but they’re not permanent features of the street.
What are estate agents not allowed to do to property photographs?
Estate agents and photographers are not allowed to misrepresent the property. Yes, they can make the sky bluer, but if very little sunlight reaches your sitting room, it is illegal to alter the picture to make your sitting room look light and airy.
Similarly, while a rusty van might be photoshopped out, the industrial estate visible through the window must be left in. The difference is that the van can be removed but the industrial estate can’t. You’ve got to wonder what someone removed from the photo at the top of this blog!
How can you prepare your house to be photographed?
Photographers find it easier to represent your property as spacious, light and airy if it already is! Many people paint their home white or cream when it’s time to sell it – pale colours make rooms look more spacious, as well as reflecting natural light.
Renting a storage unit for a month or so is also a good idea – hide your clutter away and estate agents won’t be tempted to edit it out.
Accurate photography helps buyers and sellers both. Buyers usually have to form an impression of the property based on photographs, and don’t want to arrive for a viewing and discover the property has been misrepresented. An accurately represented property is also more likely to result in a buyer putting in an offer, so there’s the potential for a great outcome for the seller too.
Sell property in East London
I’ve got over twenty years’ experience of marketing properties in East London. To find out how I can help you sell yours today, give me a call on 020 3633 4440.
Many thanks to terriblerealestatephotos.com for the photo!