Today’s whinge – property photos

Today’s sermon is on auctioneers and the photographs they use to advertise properties on their websites. Is there an official course in taking misleading photographs which distort a small, pokey and drab house crammed onto tiny site into a rambling mansion with a sweeping driveway?
There should be a feature in the Sunday papers. Instead of “Property of the Week” try “Most Disappointing Viewing of the Week”. And it’s more egalitarian than you might think. (Almost) Regardless of your budget, there’s a hugely disappointing viewing experience tailormade just for you. and everyone else unfortunate enough to get excited about it.
As our house hunting continues I’ve learned to look at the houses ourselves initially, just cheekily drive by and have a gawk. It saves the time of visiting something entirely unsuitable. If only this was in any way discernible from the photos in ads. In true High-Fidelity fashion here’s my top 5 gripes with auctioneers photos.

  1. The photo makes the property look bigger and more private than it is.
  2. Obvious negative factors of the property are missing from the photograph. 2 examples that spring to mind are a tiny site and a busy road a few feet away. The neighbour’s burnt out car is not photographed for some reason 🙂
  3. Part of the property or site is run down but it is mysteriously unphotographed.
  4. The photos misrepresent the layout of the house.
  5. The photos make the decor look fresher and more contemporary than it is.

The amazing thing is that I’ve yet to see a set of auctioneers photographs which understate the attractiveness of a house. Maybe I’m missing the point. I’m starting to believe there must be people out there who fall so much in love with the photos they buy the crappy real(i)ty.