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Listing Photos An Invasion of Privacy?

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Dear Phyllis,

After searching for a home for almost a year, we finally got one! The loan approval process stressed us out. It seemed each day our lender wanted another piece of information. Having the inspection and the all of the repair items worked out was another obstacle but its done. Our real estate agent was referred by a co-worker and he was great. The seller’s agent seemed to be nice as well.

So no real issues until after the completed deal. I don’t want the photos of my home all over the internet.  And even though we asked the other agent, he refuses to remove the listing photos them from the internet. I feel it’s an invasion of our privacy. Do you know how we can get them removed? Or who we can appeal to?

Feeling exposed

Dear Feeling,

Congratulations on your new home! Prior to becoming a real estate agent, I worked in the mortgage banking industry. I understand how stressful the loan approval process is. The paperwork is unending. Most loans are sold to investors and that is why the lenders are so particular, they don’t want a loan returned.

Listing Photos An Invasion of Privacy

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) rules require that each listing has at least one photograph. As a real estate agent, I get business from a variety of sources, primarily: 1) repeat business and referrals from past clients 2) internet 3) potential sellers who seek me out because I have sold a home in their neighborhood.

Let’s assume that a neighbor of the home you purchased was looking for a Realtor and searched online to research the agent that had your home listed for sale. This neighbor clicks on the listing and finds only one photograph. They then look at other listings and sales with multiple listing photos. In their research they decide on a different Realtor to hire, one who uses many professional photographs when representing a listing. They assume one who does a better job marketing his listings.

Are the listing photos an invasion of privacy?  The photos are from before you and your furnishings moved in. The listing agent of the home you purchased likely paid a professional photographer at least $400.00 to obtain the photos. Now that the home sold, it is understandable that the Realtor would like to obtain more business from that listing. If you truly believe this to be an invasion of privacy I suggest that on any future home purchases, have your real estate agent put the request in writing when you make the offer to purchase. And have all parties sign this request.

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