Thousands of pictures of Australian homes, living rooms and bathrooms are being sent overseas every day where they are retouched before being posted to the nation’s top real estate websites.
The lucrative international market is booming and most Australians are none the wiser.
You do not want to misrepresent the property but it is not your fault it is an overcast day.
Asia has emerged the centre as Australian photographers are outsourcing work to Asian countries and saving time and money.
In the Philippines the grass, it seems, is always greener. Sri Lanka is also a digital alteration hub, so is India.
Mark Robinson from Kwik Clicks Photographics said he edits most of his photos himself but he gets emails every day from companies offering straightening, object removal and decluttering services.
He said, “You send over a photo that’s got full of furniture and not very attractive and they will send you back a blank room”.
“If you have got a crack in a wall they’ll leave the crack in the wall but if your lounge is old, it might get changed.”
Foreign workers are doing everything which will change the looks of homes. They are doing everything from making suburban Australian skies bluer to furnishing empty homes, adding fire to fire places and even dust removal.
Antonia Mercorella from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland said retouching could be a fine line.
She said, “What we don’t want to see is agents digitally altering photographs in a way that could conceal certain characteristics of that property or perhaps make it look better than it really is”.
The REIQ concedes retouching is common place in the industry but removing power lines, structures and other undesirable features could be against consumer law.