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Taking Part Of A Comment And Making A Story Out Of It.

    

No wonder there are misunderstandings, lawsuits over what was left out in stories.

Comments taken outmaine waterfront lake of context. Sentences that the reporter only took the half that was useful in crafting the story with the slant desired going in to the "reporting". I used to be a news director at a Bangor Maine radio station and we used lots of newsmakers making the comment, rather than a rip and read approach.

     It was so much better hearing Maine Governor Joe Brennan saying roadwork for the next year was being cut back 75% due to the budget constraints. To warn motorists to watch out for potholes that could swallow a car whole, then me reading his quote. But some sentences are long and winding and the edit to get the most colorful comment and the meat of the statement is human. Then paraphrase the rest of the wordage around that comment. The problem is interpretation, and edits by you the journalist. What you thought you heard, what you wanted to hear to match the story you were after. As a Maine REALTOR how we describe a property, the area it is in, and our own personal brand can be honest and true or a basic spin. If a property has three bathrooms but two don't work and would need extensive plumbing and carpentry to make functional, to repair the damage from say a freeze up, the headline of three bathrooms is not accurate. To have a bathroom in a place connotes that it works. It's like a car being advertised for sale. It is assumed there are four round, air filled tires. Not three flats in the mix. 

     Exagerations on the area the property is in or the old trick of "sin of omission", blowing smoke, using mirrors. If the waterfront lake cottage is on a lake, really a pond. And if that body of water is a foot deep and famous for only sunfish and a frog muck bottom, making claims on superb swimming are a down right lie. But the real estate buyer sees the expanse of water, low price and wants to naturally think swimming, kayaking and all that usually comes with waterfront property. Going beyond and making northern maine lakeclaims that are not true is one thing.

     The other extreme in fair and balanced reporting with a twist of advertising would not mean a headline of "Scuzzy Lakefront With Foot Deep Frog Mud Bottom Swimming Disaster". Instead, the couple buying the property are attracted to the low price within their budget. You tell them about the lake lack of depth, the bottom that is not sandy or gravel based. They know, understand and explain they are way way beyond the frollicking in the water and throwing each other in the air doing cannon balls like kids. They want low cost, water to look across with a loon or two and plenty of sunsets, sunrises for hot coffee and gazing. Just looking out over the lake is the goal. Being a neighbor to water that might be lacking many qualities. But they want to see it not get in or on it. And it is in their budget.

     Expectations of what the real estate buyer thinks he is buying and actually purchases. That is where the real estate hot water comes from with claims beyond the ability of the property to meet. Report the real estate facts, just the true actual facts to the buyer. The way you arrange them, the importance assigned to each is what a realtor worth his weight in salt assembles.

On real estate disclosures I have had a seller try to downplay the water in the basement. Literally saying "don't mention the two sub pumps run pretty much continuously."

But if there is a stream, water running thru a place most of the year, saying seepage just a few times a year is a lie, misinformation. Even if the price of the home is so low, you can not take the after the fact discovery by the buyer with a flip "what did you expect for the money?" attitude. You want a sale, but do you want a lawsuit? Do you enjoy litigation, court rooms, damage to reputation and waste of time and money they bring with them? Sorting thru the properties highs and lows, getting them out on the table and in to the light is the only way to roll in real estate.

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Comment balloon 3 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • January 02 2010 08:08AM
Taking Part Of A Comment And Making A Story Out Of It.
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