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Sydney-Based Real Estate Firm Under Fire For 'Photoshopped' Image

Posted by Jereco O. Paloma on Feb 16, 2016 09:11 AM EST
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 16: In this handout image provided by Sydney Tower Eye, the skyline and harbour of Sydney is seen from a viewing platform at the Sydney Tower Eye, on December 16, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is suffering from its coldest start to summer since 1960. (Photo : Eugene Tan/Hausmann Communications via Getty Images)

Photo editing technology has advanced rapidly and transforming an image now only take a few clicks. But technology has its own way of backfiring on people. Just take the case of a Sydney-based real estate firm that is currently trending online, in a bad way, after "photoshopping," or digitally-altering, an image that many consider deceptive.

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The company in question is Ray White Rockdale, which, according to a potential buyer identified by Australian Women's Weekly as Molly Smith, was deceptive and misleading. Molly, who went to see the property together with her husband at 31A Penshurst Avenue, Penshurst was shocked upon seeing a tall water tower looming behind the property.

The original post from Australian Women's Weekly illustrated the discrepancy by comparing the digitally-altered image used by the agency on their website with the actual image from Google Earth. The latter clearly shows the towering structure that obstructs the blue sky, which the curated version of the image boasts.

"We've been looking for a place for almost a year now and have encountered all manner of tactics that real estate agents and auctioneers use in order to manipulate people into spending exorbitant amounts of money on properties," Molly was quoted as saying by AWW.

However, Jackie Li of Ray White Rockdale came to the defense of the company saying they did not intend to mislead nor deceive their clients. Li said the property owner who refused to have the property photographed for a fee, was the one who provided the alleged photoshopped image. 

Meanwhile, Neville Sanders, Real Estate Institute of Australia president, in a separate report published by the, said the alleged deceptive practice on the part of the agent and the vendor is illegal in the NSW. In fact, if proven guilty, the party responsible for the deceptive act could face a fine of $22,000 for violating NSW's Fair Trading policy.

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