Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate)

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Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation
Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC - Port Coquitlam, BC
Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team

My old broker used to say if you are asking yourself this question then it probably crosses the line.

Sep 07, 2016 03:36 AM
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

In this business Fred Griffin there seems to be no limits or boundaries ... 

Sep 03, 2016 03:39 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

LOL!  Once you get busted for it, that's the point it's gone too far.

Sep 04, 2016 04:46 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

It seems to me it is a line that EVERYONE can see except the one who crosses it.

Sep 04, 2016 01:47 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Fred Griffin The potential buyer will always know when the facts are distorted. Unfortunately, it is time wasted to find out. Until it comes up in front of a Judge, people will get away with it.

I think the photo is more humorous than misleading.

Sep 04, 2016 12:26 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

In today's litigous society, choose wisely! Everyone has an opinion and many lawyers are looking for work!

Sep 04, 2016 12:09 AM
Jessie Cochran
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Panama City Realty Group

Huh, you mean real estate agents are not required to be honest an ethical? I had no idea *insert sarcasm here*

Sep 03, 2016 11:09 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I'm not sure why a "staged" home would be viewed as puffery, as a home with the owner's things wouldn't.  The stuff in the home, whether staged or vacant or containing owners' stuff, isn't what is being sold.  Buyers should realize that.  They are buying real estate and not the stuff inside.  The graphic is cute but we all know it's a hard boiled egg.  I do think that pictures showong real estate . . . which is what we are licensed to sell, can be done to get feet through the door.  My pet peeve, in my local market, is advertsing the home (for example) as a 2,300 sq. ft. home, and then in the listing sheet it's 750 sq. ft. of UNFINISHED BASEMENT, which isn't living space.  And checking on taxes, the property has 1,550 of living space.  That's misleading.   Some basements are like garages . . . they can not be lived in and shouldn't be included as the living space.  Buyers see it and think they are buying a 2,300 sq. ft. home.  They are not.  They are buying a 1,550 sq. ft. home with unlivable 750 sq. ft. of basement.  The other issue with unlivable space is that it skews the $/sq. ft. sold stats.  If a buyer buys a 2,300 sq. ft. home for $459,000 that's @$200/sq. ft.  If a buyer buys a 1,550 sq. ft. home for $459,000 that's @$296/sq. ft.  That's more misleading, and sets inaccurate market value.  Blow the real estate balloon with too much hot air . . . BOOM goes the market.  And Portland is a big blow hard, IMHO when it comes to this crap.  But that's just me, what do I know?

IF the basement can be FINISHED (some can not due to head room, inability to include windows, etc.) THEN add that sq. ft. to the living space.  Otherwise, don't include it, just as we don't include the garage space as livable.

Sep 03, 2016 05:44 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Is this real? Nothing would surprise me anymore, really at all.

Sep 03, 2016 04:50 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Tough to draw the line on that one. I showed a Photoshopped home that looked great in the MLS but once we saw it we know it was a tear down. I think it would be difficult to prove it in a hearing at the board, but agents like that will work themselves out of the business quickly.

Sep 03, 2016 04:37 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Well in real estate the best term is puffery. I don't know how to describe 'the line' that has to get drawn. Then there is the disclaimer that is in 2pixel size at the bottom of the ad or TV.

Sep 03, 2016 04:22 AM
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

When things like power lines and the junky neighbors are removed from photos and stating borderline untruths like a little paint will make this new. NOT!

Sep 03, 2016 03:33 AM
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I once was showing a house and when I got to it, I realized that it had been abandoned for years and obviously the pictures were several years old. That was very misleading but I'm not sure if it was misrepresentation.

Sep 03, 2016 03:23 AM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Some agents are in love with their ultra wide angle lens and their photoshop program. It causes resentment when the buyers actually walk through the house.

Sep 04, 2017 07:19 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We would steer clear of practices like that.  We have fired clients who have suggested puffing descriptions and charging for square footage that should not be charged for.  In the long run, somewhere along the line a law suit will rear its ugly head...A

Sep 12, 2016 01:18 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I might crank the color or lighten or darken a photo. Otherwise, I just take/use photos that came straight out of the camera. Better to make sure I take good angles, the best view, etc. from the property itself. Hate it when people take photos that you KNOW were not taken on the property.

Sep 09, 2016 11:23 AM
Jason Nenadov
expert advice and services to buyers and sellers

embellish too much and you lose credibility in my book.  

Sep 08, 2016 08:18 AM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Great photo. I have never really run across this problem.

Sep 07, 2016 10:51 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Really good question. Several years ago we represented a house located next to a storage facility. The professional photographer hired focused on the front of the home and augmented the colors and made the home look as good as possible. You could see the storage facility, but it was dulled and not in color. In my opinion, this was factual - you could see the location, but the emphasis was the nice home. We sold the house with no misrepresentation. Success!

Sep 07, 2016 01:02 AM
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

It is hard to really define what is real and what is memorex.  I might be dating my self with that comment but everyone has to go to bed with themselves and wake up the next morning.  If you can live with that person, more power to you.  

Sep 06, 2016 10:33 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Cute photo.  It seems truthiness has no boundaries.  

Sep 06, 2016 02:26 AM
Mike Bjork
CMG Financial - Redondo Beach, CA

Love your pic, Fred!  Made me laugh!  I've come to accept that there will always be those whom will cross the line, or tip toe extremely close to it.  They will always find ways around to try and generate leads.  I think a number of people figure it out themseleves that most of these ads are a bit misleading and avoid them.

Sep 06, 2016 01:32 AM
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

I'm with Wayne Martin on this careful!

Sep 05, 2016 10:04 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist


Sep 05, 2016 09:41 PM
Scott Thompson
Columbia Mortgage Plus - Blue Springs, MO
Commerical Finance - Blue Springs, MO

+1 on the pic. 

But yeah, property lines/structural issue's and such  .. it is a buyer beware world.

People will tell big, fat lies if they think they can get away with it.

Stick with selling the sizzle and you will never go wrong.  Nothing wrong with telling your client you see them giddy with joy living here etc.


Make it a Great Day.

Sep 05, 2016 02:27 AM
Melissa Jackson
Citiwide Alliance Realty - Weatherford, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Well Fred Griffin, your photo gives me a different prospective on your question. 

At one time I wanted a particular size of home with certain amenities.  Using the MLS I found it!  Made an appointment - drove over - WOW! I was disappointed.  I understand using descriptive words and photo shop for pictures, even staging.  But some agents go too far.  


Sep 04, 2016 01:26 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I love your picture. I do what I can to best represent any property. 

Sep 04, 2016 10:15 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good question, Fred.  Technically this ad may be correct, but it certainly is misleading.

Sep 03, 2016 11:58 PM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
WestUSA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Oh, that's a good one Fred. There is a fine line, but I'm not sure where it is. Perhaps on a case by case situation. Let say it's a gray area. But in some other cases, there is no doubt - like an outright lie, an incorrect fact, or a obvious break of the rules. Other commenters offered good examples of them.

Subjectivity and interpretations keep me in business - I always make fun of those when with clients.

Sep 03, 2016 11:48 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

I use photoshop only to remove kitchen counter appliances, etc. Not defects in the home.

Sep 03, 2016 11:42 PM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

It is intersting isn't it Fred Griffin - is it any wonder many perceive real estate agents on par with used car sales people!

Sep 03, 2016 11:19 PM
Susan Laxson CRS
HomeSmart Professionals - La Quinta, CA
Local Knowledge & Global Network

Love the picture and I agree that the NAR has pretty clear guidelines on what is considered acceptable. I am sure most of us have viewed a home that didn't look anything like the pictures.  I recently viewed a home that wasn't even the correct front view of the house - turned out it was a picture of the neighbor's home. Big mistake!

Sep 03, 2016 11:14 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Kathleen Daniels nailed this one!

Sep 03, 2016 10:38 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

that is a funny picture! I think the NAR guidelines are pretty clear on this 

Sep 03, 2016 10:14 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Distortion of the facts is not appropriate.

Sep 03, 2016 09:47 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


Sep 03, 2016 08:50 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Interesting, but I think the biggest misrepresentation I see is what sellers leave off of their seller disclosure paperwork.

Sep 03, 2016 03:04 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Fred Griffin - now the question is 'How Far'. And I have seen many misrepresentations leading to my buyer getting upset over that.

So far, never filed a complaint - so it is difficult for me to say, how much is too much.

Maybe, one day, a simple act of 'misleading' and I'll.....blast?

Sep 03, 2016 02:01 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Are we talking about Boneless Eggs or Real Estate here Fred?

Personally, I like my eggs without bone and without shell fragments.

Great pic!

Sep 03, 2016 12:59 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

That is pretty lame...

Sep 03, 2016 12:56 PM
Carol Wilson
Your $imple Home - Toronto, ON

Humour is funny because the lie is obvious.  It does not disrespect.

Deceit is not funny, because the lie is hidden.  There are many shades of grey because there are many degrees of hidden.  Deception is always disrespectful, and some is egregiously disrespectful.

For me it is not a question of how far we should go to deceive, but how willing are we to disrespect ourselves and the other person by our deceit? Disrespect is never healthy.

In practice, I'm not opposed to taking out some of the power lines.  They seem more obvious in the photo than in real life because you walk up to the building and leave the power lines behind.  I've seen such a before and after situation, and wished they had left some lines in, for the honesty of the site...but it wasn't my decision.

Sep 03, 2016 11:18 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I love it.  I think it depends on who s putting out the info

Sep 03, 2016 10:58 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Fred - When the truth is purposely obscured to provide a false understanding, the line has been crossed.

Sep 03, 2016 07:43 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

The truth surfaces sooner or later, so it's best not to embellish too much lest you lose your credibility forever and it's not worth it.

Sep 03, 2016 05:33 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

First off, I love the photo!  That's funny!  

As for marketing, I prefer to attack the negatives with a positive objection as I KNOW what the trigger points will be.  For example, I see many agents post photos of homes that are on a horrible hill, not showing the hill and when you arrive to show it, the buyers don't want a steep driveway.  

I would market it totally differently - showing the hill and sharing, "known in the neighborhood as the 'house on the hill' you'll never exprience flooding in this home..."  

Buyers are going to express OBJECTIONS when they see the homes with the fluff.  Half of the agents don't know how to (or don't care to) overcome objections so, I'd rather be the one to overcome any negatives right out of the gate!  Forget the fluff!

Sep 03, 2016 05:28 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Go to the edge and then pull those regins in. Everyone knows this boundary

Sep 03, 2016 05:06 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

I think photo shopping is a bit much.  The pictures should reflect the property.  What use is it to lure a buyer to a home and they see it is NOT as pictured?  It isn't like you will pull the wool over  a buyer's eyes once they see the property.  As a agent I would not appreciate wasting my time taking clients to a  home that was materially different than the pictures.

Sep 03, 2016 04:57 AM