Google Earth Photographs are Not Surveys

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc 10307

I have a property for sale. Google Pictures online shows a shop on the property.  Every day, I get calls wanting to know how big the shop is and questions about the features of said shop.  The property had a shop that has been removed and was not listed in the listing or on any of the MLS information. The shop is not on the plat that is part of the MLS supplements.

Google Earth Pictures are great at times and misleading in others.  The picture of my office is over 20 years old; the car in the picture was traded about six cars ago and would not be included in anything to do with my office.

I think agents should advise their buyers about Google Earth Pictures being somewhat misleading and that it should not be used to make decisions to buy or not.  The only way to be sure something is there on closing day is to include it in the contract and ensure it was on the property when you write the contract.  Buildings can be moved, sometimes just as easily as driving away a car.

Posted by


Gwen Fowler-Brown

Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc
317 South Highway 11
West Union SC 29696
Serving Oconee County, from the banks of the Chattooga River to the shores of Jocassee, Hartwell & Keowee Lakes.


Contact me about property in Oconee County, Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster, Long Creek, Salem, Mountain Rest, Richland, Sunset and Six Mile, SC.  2nd homes are our expertise. 

The best number to reach me at is 1-800-248-8950.

View our listings at

Gwen Fowler Real Estate, reasons for going to work each dayBlue Ridge MountainsOC Spot Monday Holstein



Comments (6)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Excellent point, Gwen.

Oct 19, 2023 07:32 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518

Thanks for the comment, have a great day!

Oct 19, 2023 09:56 AM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

An important point to consider and disclaimer in the future. 

Oct 19, 2023 07:36 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518

You would think it was common sense.  The potential buyers want something that is not there.  Had one today to tell me to put it back and he would come look and see if he liked the house. ?  LOL

Oct 19, 2023 09:55 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Gwen,

Great advice to impart to agents about advising their buyers about Google Earth Pictures being somewhat misleading and that it should not be used to make decisions to buy or not. 

Oct 19, 2023 12:03 PM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518

Dorie, buyers are looking at these and deciding whether to drive down to see the property.  When I hear what they found on Google Earth pictures, I cringe.

Oct 20, 2023 04:51 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Gwen it drives me crazy I do a lot of land sales and people want me to tell them how big the flat pad is?:)))) I smile and tell them get a surveyor, Endre

Oct 19, 2023 09:37 PM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518

Endre, Get the expert; I am just a facilitator, getting things to close, I have no expertise. I hire surveyors, engineers, attorneys, termite inspectors etc.  Thanks for the comment.  

Oct 20, 2023 04:50 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Google earth can be great to see what the neighboring properties might look like, but you're absolutely correct that the views are often incorrect.

Oct 20, 2023 04:59 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518

And buildings get removed on a daily basis when someone is fixing up a property to sell it.

Oct 20, 2023 09:50 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518 - Wish I had the POWER to sprinkle the Fairy Dust and get this blog post of your FEATURED! Because this platform was designed for the Real Estate Industry, every agent and Lender needs to know!



Oct 21, 2023 09:53 AM