How Honest is Real Estate Advertising?

As things stand today, the hope of accurate and honest advertising for real estate remains a distant dream. If awards would be handed out to the most misleading ones, it would surely be a tight contest every time. Taken at face value, today’s ads proclaiming houses for sale do sound enticing.

But take a closer look at what may really be offered here. The generic terms used to describe most properties are loose and ambiguous and mean absolutely nothing. They are standard tools of the trade for almost all advertising agencies that deal with real estate portfolios on a regular basis.

For example, what makes a location ‘prestigious’? Perhaps, only common consensus and an actual cross-section study of the local population can answer this. As it is commonly understood, a prestigious location implies the presence of celebrities, big business conglomerates or highly prominent commercial establishments. Are these in evidence of luxurious neighborhoods? This is a highly subjective term. What is luxurious to one person is nothing but standard fare for another. For a representative of the so-called ‘middle class’, a fake marble floor would indeed spell luxury; but try selling it to someone who already owns a penthouse apartment in some ritzy locale.

In cities that feature homebuyers from an immense range of income groups, what qualifies a property as ‘reasonably priced’? Furthermore, how can an amateur property buyer judge whether or not a property will continue being a bargain in the long run? Let us consider ourselves fortunate that many property brochures are honest enough to clarify some of their claims to fame. However, this level of honesty does not apply in all cases.

When one comes across alluring promises in an advertisement, one is tempted to believe that complete freedom from the inconveniences is at last to be had. Unfortunately, the laws governing accuracy and honesty in this market field are full of loopholes and ‘fine print’ provisos. Once you understand that almost nothing is at it seems in the deceptive world of property advertising, you will become wary of taking any promise made about an advertised flat for granted.

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