Puffing is the act of falsely inflating the value of a property through deceptive statements, such as exaggeration and misleading claims. It is used to increase the perceived worth or desirability of a house or business premises and therefore increase its sale price or rental returns, for example: “This spacious 4-bedroom home has an open-plan kitchen with plenty of bench space, perfect for entertaining guests.”
What is puffing real estate?
Puffing means exaggerating the quality or size of something in order to make it appear more impressive. It’s common in the housing market, when potential buyers are shown houses that are better kept than most houses on sale (puffed up), to make them think they will be getting an even better deal. Puffing is legal but unethical. If you check out what people say about their houses online, you’ll see that many seem to have failed at pimping their homes.
Some other examples:
“Quaint 1 Bedroom with absolutely stunning views of the Boston skyline. Floor to ceiling windows in living room makes for spectacular sunsets!”
“Impeccable 3 floor Townhome with complete Bay Views, this home is well laid-out and minutes away from Downtown Lawrenceville, biking trails and just mere steps to the Allegheny Riverfront Park! Master Bedroom Suite on Top Floor.”
A house near Lawrenceville
If you’re looking for a house near Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, it’s probably not because you want to spend your time biking or hanging out by the river. You might be surprised what sells though, “3 bedroom 2 bath ranch style starter/downsize w/garage in quiet neighborhood”. You can get an honest offer for you house by partnering with a reputable cash home buyer today
Puffing can also refer to exaggerating accomplishments or skills when applying for a job, or bragging about yourself to your family and friends. Remember that it’s always best to check facts before believing everything you read!
- “Our recently renovated home is not only stylish and fresh, but also full of light.”
- “Quaint 1 Bedroom with absolutely stunning views of the Boston skyline. Floor to ceiling windows in living room makes for spectacular sunsets!”
- “Impeccable 3 floor Townhome with complete Bay Views, this home is well laid-out and minutes away from Downtown Lawrenceville, biking trails and just mere steps to the Allegheny Riverfront Park! Master Bedroom Suite on Top Floor.” “3 bedroom 2 bath ranchs.
Top floor 2-bedroom apartment with amazing views
Such statements may be true, but they can also be blatantly exaggerated, such as stating that the property’s “location inspires those who enter”. As everyone knows that no one can literally be motivated by where they live, this is clearly a false statement.
In some jurisdictions, particularly those with common law legal systems, puffing may be a criminal offense as it can mislead buyers into paying inflated prices for properties or businesses that they would not otherwise pay had the truth been told. In short, if a seller lies about the condition of their property to increase its value and this results in you losing money, you can take action against them.
“The 3-bedroom home features 2 bathrooms.” Honesty would be disclosing which rooms have access to a bathroom (i.e., 1st and 2nd floor). There are also specific legal consequences for puffing violations in some jurisdictions. For example, New South Wales has enacted anti-puffing laws through their Fair Trading Act 1987. These laws prohibit false or misleading statements about real estate properties. Penalties can result in fines up to $1 million AUD or imprisonment for up to 5 years. Other jurisdictions may encourage consumers to file civil lawsuits against agents who violate their puffing laws.
In the United States, real estate agents must have a state license to sell properties. It is common for states to have specific rules against false advertising and/or puffing as part of licensing requirements for real estate agents.
Florida’s Real Estate Law highlights false or misleading statements as “grounds for imposing disciplinary action” on licensees. The Florida Real Estate Commission has further clarified that violations can result in fines, probation, suspension or even revocation of licensure. Other states also encourage consumers to file civil lawsuits against agents who violate their puffing laws. As part of this service it provides free pre-sale property valuations, if you have a property that you would like valued then please contact us today.
Whitman Breed Abbott are registered members of The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) And The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Instructions when purchasing a property
Please note that when purchasing a property with any agency you will also secure your property insurance and rent guarantee. Whitman Breed Abbott are proud to have over 10 years’ experience in buying and selling homes, whether you’re looking to buy your first home or sell your existing property.
The members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) which means all of their sales people are legally required to disclose their status as estate agents when marketing properties for sale. All their staff are fully trained and up-to-date with the latest legislative changes. Whitman Breed Abbott; Solicitors and Estate Agents, providing a wealth of experience in buying and selling property.
Is puffery a word used in law?
While puffery is considered legitimate advertising, it turns deceptive when it goes too far. However, the line separating puffery and misleading advertising can occasionally be hazy. We know this because of marketing instances that make deceptive promises.