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Local realtors use drones to sell homes

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SAN DIEGO — Some local realtors are using drones to enhance listings and sell homes.

pic droneJeff Grant, president and principle broker for Sand and Sea Investments, recently listed a home in Crown Point for a client. He immediately got an offer, in large part, he believes, because of the pictures from the drone.

“I see the immediate value it adds to my listings,” said Grant.

He has been using the device for the past month to take aerial pictures and videos of his listings. The aerial perspective provides important information. From the street, prospective home buyers wouldn’t be able to see that the Crown Point home is just a block from the water.

“If you go up 20 feet up, you realize that the bay is right behind you and the ocean is on the other side, so it has added value,” said Grant of the pictures. “It has given our prospective buyers an understanding that if you say wanted to add a second story, that you would have a nice ocean view.”

Neighbors said they haven’t seen drones used for this purpose, and it’s intriguing.

“I think it`s pretty cool, and it’s good for the houses to try and show all the different views that they’ve got,” said Trent Oeltjen.

Oeltjen and his wife Alissa have lived in Crown Point for several years.

“Just make sure to alert the neighbors you’re going to be filming,” said Alissa.

ACLU Staff Attorney Gabriela Rivera said there is new ground to cover with regard to drones and privacy issues.

“Drone technology has increased at such a rate that privacy laws are not able to keep up with this technology, and the concern is that the existing privacy laws not strong enough to ensure constitutional protections,” said Rivera.

She said there are some concerns that come along with drones capturing pictures.

“We’re very concerned with how images gathered from drones might be shared with private individuals, with local law enforcement agencies, with other agencies and that’s why it’s imperative that there be some sort of privacy ground rules,” she said.

Grant said he hasn’t encountered any complaints, only excitement.

“It’s never been a concern,” Grant said. “I have yet to have anyone complain about it. The overwhelming response is just fascination.”

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