Some industries have "guides" to help you through.
Unfortunately, when it comes to real estate, your guide may well lead you up the garden path so it's vital to do your own comparing on such an important purchase.
One of the things I hate about real estate agents is their use of wide-angle lenses.
In the brochure, a balcony looks like you could land a plane on it. But when you rock up for the inspection, you find it's barely big enough to stand on.
Next time you check an online property listing, look carefully at things that should be square (like paintings, chairs and tiles) or circular (like clocks and light fittings).
If you see them stretching out like an Escher drawing, you know you're seeing more than what's actually there.
I don't know how realtors get away with this.
Other ploys to watch out for are:
- Hosing down old concrete to make it look new.
- Covering dead gardens with chip bark.
- Nailing brush screens to crappy fences.
- Photoshopping powerlines out and blue skies in.
You can't penetrate any of these subterfuges unless you go see for yourself.
So, when comparing dwellings, don't rely on your friendly 'guide' to do your thinking for you.
By all means start with an online search, but then hit the ground in person.
It's well worth the effort, as the consequences of a lazy purchase could haunt you for life.
Are you all silent?
Have you been fooled by an "unreal" estate agent?
Are there other deceptions you can think of?
By sharing your experiences, we'll all be better off when taking the plunge on property.