Virtual Staging: Yay or Nay?

As a realtor I understand that one of the most important ways to get buyers into my listings is to provide attractive photos of the inside and the outside of the property. I always employ the use of a great stager to prepare my occupied homes to be market ready. But what if the house is vacant? Some agents are turning to virtual staging to help buyers visualize how the house will look with beautiful furnishings carefully inserted into the interiors of their listings. These are drawings or photos of furniture and accessories artfully placed into the rooms of the house.

The quality of virtual staging has greatly improved in the past year. These days, it is difficult to tell the difference between virtual staging and real furnishings. In fact, some virtual staging companies use real furnishing models in their designs to lend credibility.

But do I think this is a good idea? Nope. I think sellers should spring for true home staging with actual furnishings. Countless times I have shown buyers a property that looked beautiful online but when we arrived was a tired shell of a home. Buyers are disappointed and, on some level, feel cheated that the house does not resemble the way it was portrayed in the photos. It leaves a negative impression insuring that the buyers are rarely are interested in the home.

So, my advice is to factor into the home price the $3000 cost of staging and make that property a showplace. The return is there on your money spent. The home will sell faster and for more money. Blow people away with actual furnishings placed by a professional stager/designer and you will be happy that you did.