No Porn Please When You Sell Your Own Home.

No Porn Please When You Sell Your Own Home.

Its ok, I’m not going all weird on you or about to assault your senses – hopefully I have your attention though.

But a memory from a few years back got me laughing – as it did then (after the mystery was solved).

The reason the memory was activated was that a current member wanted to argue the toss about displaying their personal contact details on their listing.

As per usual, I explained that REA and Domain don’t allow it – not just Agent in a Box, but the entire real estate industry: traditional and private house sales.

This client thought they would push the envelope a little further and asked, “Is it in your terms and conditions?”

You bet.

So, to ensure the client was fully informed I sent him the actual T & C reference…

1.3 (j) states: All enquiries relating to properties listed on the website are filtered through AGENT IN A BOX and passed on to members. No direct contact details (e.g. phone numbers or email addresses) are permitted in any public content provided on the site by members.

Client satisfied – happy days.

However, 1.3 (k) prompted my laughter: Pornography, images or information of an illegal nature will not be tolerated.

Now, it’s a valid condition, because, sadly, the internet is awash with images that can challenge sensitivities and beliefs; and thankfully we are yet to encounter anything that would invoke this condition.

But it took me back to a moment that had me shaking my head, laughing at the same time and requiring me to draw on all my observational skills learned as an undercover/surveillance cop in a past life.

Quite a few years back I was selling a little old Queenslander which had been owned by the same family for many years.  Mum had passed away or was ailing in a nursing home and the family required the home to be sold.

One of the sons and his mate were residing at the home, and whilst its presentation may not have passed muster on Selling Homes Australia, it was priced in line with how it looked.

As money was tight for the family, I did everything I could to keep the marketing costs down, so I took the photos – as I had invested in a pretty good camera, and I was a dab hand at taking attractive shots for promoting homes.

The family got the home looking as best they could, and I took about a dozen or so happy snaps internally and externally.

The listing hit the big websites and a few enquiries started rolling in pretty quickly.

Then this; sent from one of the big sites:

“I have no option but to call into question your professionalism. Displaying pornography on your listings is a poor reflection on your business and is not doing any favours for your clients. I request that you remove the offensive image before I take further action.”

Holy shit!  What have I done?  What did I miss? Was there a porno on the TV at the time I photographed the loungeroom…what the???!!!

This Fun-Sheriff thought they had really caught me with my pants down.

Before even replying to this ‘offended’ buyer, I checked all the photos that were displayed online and all those I had downloaded to my computer on the camera.  Could I have been so unobservant?

I looked over every photo, and had my diligent PA do the same.  We could not see anything.

As my professionalism was being called into question, I swallowed my pride and instead of replying to the ‘buyer’ with, “WTF are you talking about?” I responded with, “We have scoured the images of this property and cannot find the ‘pornography’ you are alluding to. Could you be more specific?”

Fair quickly came the reply, “The bedroom shot. Above the dresser.”

Only one of the bedrooms, I recalled, had a dresser – the boarder’s room.

So, I donned my CSI cap and pulled up the shot and scoured it – enlarging, shifting the image…

And there it was, partially obscured by a lamp on the dresser – a shot of a scantily clad young lady, about A4 size, stuck on the wall.

Are you f*****g kidding me? Was this person looking at buying the place or one of the last Fred Nile devotees?

They must have studied the photo like a Where’s Wally puzzle for quite a while before making the horrendous discovery.

My reply, “Ok, I have found the ‘offending’ image after a full investigation. Your powers of observation are very sharp.  We’ll remove the image and re-photograph the room. Now, all that taken into consideration – when would you like to view the property?”

Response: “Thank you for that – I am just looking.”

Head shake, deep breath, brief maniacal laughter…move on. Thanks for your earth-shattering discovery.

I had a conversation with the family, and the offending ‘pornography’ was removed after I fielded quite a few, “Are you serious?”s, and another ‘clean’ shot was taken.

Yes, I did sell the property without any further offence to the anti-porn movement.

Let this be a warning.

If you intend to leave any of your intimate couple ‘Star’ shots hanging on the walls, or that photo of you in your budgie smugglers on the ‘1989 Contiki Greek Odyssey’ on the fridge – we will find it (or someone else will) and take appropriate action…after we’ve had a good chuckle.

 

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