Virtual Staging: Before and After Pictures

Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

Sometimes, staging a property is just not an option.  I recently listed a $65,000 condo and the executor of the estate did not want to expend the funds to have the property professionally staged. The rooms in this unit are huge and without furniture and accessories, it is difficult to imagine the scale.

I read somewhere about virtual staging and approached the seller about utilizing this concept.  With her approval, we had the condo virtually staged.  Here are the before pictures I sent to the virtual staging company followed by the virtually staged photos.

Dining Room - Before Virtual Staging Dining Room - After Virtual Staging

Living Room - Before Virtual StagingLiving Room - After Virtual Staging

Master Bedroom - Before Virtual StagingMaster Bedroom - After Virtual Staging

Guest Bedroom - Before Virtual StagingGuest Bedroom - After Virtual Staging

The price?  This 4-photo set was only $280.  The cost to rent furniture for 3 months would have far, far exceeded this.  Both the seller and I thought this was an exceedingly worthwhile investment since most searches for real estate begin on the Internet where you get one opportunity to make a good first impression. 

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, CPRES, CRS
Addison Resident/Addison Specialist                                                      Subscribe Button
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate.
United Real Estate

2011 Recipient of Addison Magazine's Readers Choice
Award for Best Residential Real Estate Agent.     

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Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures

Lorrie, wow never heard of this and the pictures look great.  This could be a great idea for us to use in our presentations, thanks.

Nov 24, 2009 01:20 AM #1
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

I have to admit, it's pretty impressive. I've had difficulty getting my head around this, but I guess if staging isn't otherwise an option, it's better than nothing. Having also spent tons of time editing photos at my computer, I can appreciate how time intensive this would be, too!

Nov 24, 2009 01:22 AM #2
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

Wow...I have heard of photoshopping a photo but this takes the prize


Nov 24, 2009 01:22 AM #3
Cynthia White
RE/MAX Solutions ( Brevard County) - Palm Bay, FL

The condo looks great! what a great idea.

Thanks for giving out information about this product.

Nov 24, 2009 01:23 AM #4
Lisa VonBargen
Photography7522 - Estes Park, CO
Estes Park Real Estate Photographer

Cool! Gotta love Photoshop...

Nov 24, 2009 01:26 AM #5
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Lorrie, Love the before and after photos.  What a great idea.  Thanks for sharing with us.

Nov 24, 2009 02:32 AM #6
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I was looking into virtual staging a few months ago. Never went forward with it. I wish I did it on my own house instead of having the staging people invade the space.  Now I know why the curtains were up in your previous post about this condo.

Nov 24, 2009 06:21 AM #7

I also looked at virtual staging and chose I think their photos look more realistic... There's something about the photos that you posted that just look off. The lighting isnt right on them. When I worked with Virtual Staging Solutions they were great. I couldn't even tell that they were virtually staged.

This is a great new technology though. Everyone that has looked the property I had virtually staged was very interested and excited about it.

Nov 24, 2009 11:31 AM #8
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Lorrie,

I think the virtual staging looks pretty good, speaking as a virtual stager myself.

The furnishings are on trend, so are the colors, and the scale is excellent. Additionally, the lighting seems fairly natural, which is not an easy thing to do.

I love to see quality work in the budding virtual staging industry. This work looks like they have some actual staging experience.Kudos to you for being so progressive, and to your virtual stager who did a really impressive job!

So, who are these masked virtual stagers, anyway?


Nov 24, 2009 04:08 PM #9
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Michelle:  I did a lot of Internet searching and only found 2 companies that do virtual staging.  I even looked here on ActiveRain. You are a well-kept secret and need publicity!

Nov 25, 2009 12:27 AM #10
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

Being an objective buyer, It looks busy to me and a little cluttered, and all the colors are not working with the art.  I think the furniture is not that bad, it's the curtains, accessories and wall art that's throwing it off for me.

When it is shown, the buyer will see an empty room with dirty carpet and walls, not real furniture. How do you overcome that?

The concept is cool, I think it's great if you were building a home.

Nov 25, 2009 03:15 PM #11
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Cindy:  My job is to get buyers to walk through the front door.  I think they're more likely to want to see the condo from the virtually staged photos as compared to pictures of the empty rooms.  The curtains were not virtually staged - they're really there in the condo and yes, it was difficult for the virtual stager to find art and accessories to coordinate with them.  I'll definitely be using virtual staging again.

Nov 26, 2009 05:49 AM #12

Lorrie,  Thanks so much for using our virtual staging services with my company Virtually Staging Properties.  I helped with the work on your after pictures and so glad you like.  I have been an active member on activerain for a handful of years since still have my realtor license.  My husband Jay and I enjoy staging vacant homes and the realtors asked us how they could do staging on the cheap and still have attractive looking pictures online for vacant homes - hence we came up with virtual staging.  We appreciate your support and spreading the word to realtors nationwide!


Nov 29, 2009 09:09 AM #13
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Krisztina:  When I searched AR for Virtual Stagers, you did not come up.  Try tagging "virtual staging" in your posts.

Nov 29, 2009 11:42 PM #14
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Hi Lorrie I'm glad to see you found someone who did what you were looking for.  I would say in this price point of property and budgets aren't there, this can work. Were the photo renderings of the spaces provided for you to use in each room? 

Homes in price points higher than this condo I still believe need the actual furniture placed in the properties as once a buyer walks into it, the same problem occurs for buyers as with any vacant, no vision, point of reference and scale aren't addressed in an empty space. 

While I agree that the first place most buyers look for anything starts on the internet and a quality photo of the merchandise needs to be presented well, buyers want to see the product as presented when purchasing it and most home buyers are physically leaving their homes to preview a property that strikes their fancy.  I just wouldn't want the buyers to feel disappointed in expecting what they see online not to be what they get in person.  I believe full disclosure on virtual stagings needs to be clearly identified to prospective buyers.

Thanks for sharing! I'm featuring it!

Nov 30, 2009 12:19 AM #15
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Karen: Photo renderings from the staging company are an option.  I have disclosed everywhere possible that the photos were virtually staged.  To me this isn't much different than a property that is occupied and photographed when first listed, then the sellers move out and take everything with them, leaving an empty home for the duration of the listing. No one ever makes a big deal over that scenario.

Dec 01, 2009 12:54 AM #17
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

I agree with you Lorrie it's similar to an occupied propety that is photographed and then moves out. These pieces shown do look a bit "rendered" and virtual the effect is still the same.  This still creates the same issue as with any vacant - photographed with furniture first and moved out or without furniture in the photo to begin with - in the majority of cases a prospective buyer needs to see real furniture in a vacant house in order to envision themselves there.  Vacants are generally the hardest to sell no matter what they look like online.

Dec 03, 2009 02:27 PM #18
melody salazar
Salazar Staging & Custom Interiors - New Braunfels, TX


As a real life stager, not virtual, I don't know much about this new type of service.  My question is this - if you can put in things, furniture/accessories, etc., why can't you take out things that aren't necessarily helping the presentation of the room?  In this case, the outdated floral curtains are much too busy for the room.  They overpower and distract, adding to a cluttered feel.  Why wouldn't these be replaced with some other more flattering treatments?

As I said, I don't have any information on this process, so am hoping this isn't a silly question!


Dec 08, 2009 12:40 AM #19
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Mel:  No such thing as a silly question.  The virtual stagers do not electronically "cure" or "fix" problems with the property.  They don't change the color of the walls, intentionally remove stains or damage, etc.  That's why they did not change the curtains.

Dec 09, 2009 08:06 AM #20
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