Virtual staging for real estate is a relatively new concept for most real estate agents. The tools and technology have been around awhile, but the use of the tools is a new concept for many agents. So what exactly is virtual staging?
To put it in simply, virtual staging is adding furniture, art, decorations, etc., the same way a stager would do it physically in a home, but instead adding these features virtually as 3D graphics to a photo of an empty room, or a room with less than desirable furnishings. The photo is staged to show prospective buyers the potential of the room or space, where they might not be able to visualize it on their own.
Virtual staging for real estate is not intended to replace or minimize the need for actual physical staging. The two are very different and don't generally compete with each other. The seller and/or agent who has the budget ($2000-$4000, varies by location and furnishings) to physically stage a home will surely benefit from showing the home in a professionally staged manner. Rather, it is the seller or agent who does not have the budget, time or ability for other reasons to stage a home, that will benefit from having this tool in their marketing tool kit as the cost for virtual staging will typically run between $200-$400, depending on the number of rooms to be staged and the service provider.
So then we ask the question of one of our many clients recently who had a listing that was growing stale on the market, "Did the virtual staging help you sell the house?" His answer shed some light on the topic here, “The sellers loved the virtual staging photos and I think they were a factor in selling the home as it sold within a week of adding the photos. As agents, we sometimes have to let buyers see the potential of a listing, and not everyone has the vision to see beyond a vacant room. Thank you RealEZPhotoFix for providing a great service that makes a difference!” - Les Belliveau, International President Premier, Award Winning Realtor, Coldwell Banker.
We didn't want to stop here however, we also wanted to find out what the local and state MLS had to say about virtual staging for real estate. The answer we received was not a surprise. Basically it comes down to disclose, disclose, disclose! Nobody wants to feel mislead, and real estate agents certainly do not want to be finding themselves on the wrong end of a complaint or MLS violation. It is our recommendation to clients to always disclose properly that an image is virtually staged. You can do this by including both the before and after photos or by adding text under or near the photo with a disclosure. We also do not recommend altering the physical characteristics of a room, or removing physical features such as walls, power lines, telephone poles, just to name a few.
With that said, virtual staging at a fraction of the cost of physical staging in the right circumstance and with disclosure can be a great benefit to the seller and the agent to help sell the house easier and faster by helping the prospective buyer see the vision and potential of the home.
That's our opinion, we would love to hear yours...
And if you want to try it yourself, we hope you will visit RealEZPhotoFix.com where we have skilled technicians ready to turn your vacant rooms or spaces into elegant buyer magnets!
Here is a short video introduction...