Victorians have compared the photos of a Melbourne real-estate listing to the pictures of a renowned children’s book, after noticing some airbrush flaws which makes the ad appear cartoonish.
The two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit situated in the western suburb of Melton, is currently listed for sale on both realestate.com.au and Domain for between $399,000 and $440,000.
Real estate agents describe the property as the “perfect” home for a first-time buyer, investor or down-sizer, which is conveniently located near shopping and educational facilities.
The property boasts a decent sized kitchen, comfortable lounge, a laundry, a “secured low maintenance courtyard” and an undercover carport.
“Properties offering these appealing characteristics are now highly sought after – inspect to avoid disappointment,” the advertisement reads.
“Please don‘t miss out on the opportunity that could change your life.”
While the property itself appears clean and ready to be moved into, eagle-eyed viewers have pointed out some discrepancies in photos of the block’s front and backyard.
The first image, which displays one side of the property and a bit of the front garden, appears to be edited to include plants in grey pots, and airbrushing along the drive way.
From this image you also see cream-coloured flooring under the carport, however when looking at another picture, this carport appears to be a light grey.
There also appears to be some unusual cropping around plants that fall along the driveway, while in the backyard some of the pavement appears to be more airbrushed then other parts.
Due to the supposed editing, the ad has gained some attention on social media as Victorians try to come to terms with the choice of photos used.
“I know from time to time, real estate listings will airbrush a photo, but what (the) fresh hell is this?” Strategic Urban Planner at Glen Eira City Council Declan Martin tweeted, referring to the listing.
Journalist for The Daily Aus Tom Crowley compared the photos to the front cover of Australian children’s author Jeannie Baker’s book Window.
A third comment read: “There used to be rules around how much image editing agencies were allowed to do. Adding a blue sky layer was pretty much it. That photo is next level.”
News.com.au attended the property to see what it really looks in-person, with the driveway appearing a lighter colour then what is presented in the listing photos and the carport flooring a totally different colour to the rest of the pavement.
Meanwhile, there are no plants in the garden on the side of the house, rather a small tree that has no leaves on it.
News.com.au is not suggesting these plants were never there – perhaps the pot plants have since been removed from the garden, however this has not been confirmed.
Paul Gal, retouching manager at real estate marketer Campaigntrack, who has nothing to do with the photographs in the listing, told news.com.au earlier this year that while photos for listing can be edited, more drastic changes must include a disclaimer – usually the words: “Artist’s impression”.
“We are allowed to make a home look as good as it would look on its best day,” he said.
“So, if the lawn is in a bad way now but a month ago it was green we can touch it up, but if it’s a dirt patch we won’t, unless it’s going to be returfed.”
The black and yellow safety coverings on powerlines similarly could be edited out, but the powerlines themselves must stay.
Other changes, like removing a cemented-in washing line or flooring that’s ready to be stripped back, could be made on a case-by-case basis, Mr Gal said.
Neighbours’ homes, he added, should never be styled, but washing can be digitally removed from their clotheslines and their yards tidied up.
According to Consumer Affairs Victoria, real estate agents should not use photographs that give the wrong impression of a property.
This rule includes photos that are “digitally or otherwise enhanced to hide undesirable features or promote other features”.
“Representations must be accurate and complete. Silence, or not providing all relevant facts, can be misleading in certain circumstances,” the Consumer Affairs Victoria website states.
News.com.au has contacted the agent advertising the listing for comment.
– With Chloe Whelan