I recently submitted a post to another group outside Active Rain in relation to the development of the home staging sub-industry of virtual staging.
Virtual staging is the Clayton's Home Staging, the home staging when you don't stage a home. It allows a home owner to have very specific photos taken of their home and then they can select from a range of furnishings and accessories which are then stylishly and digitally applied to the shots to use in marketing.
Don't get me wrong, I love what technology can offer us to make projects faster, more efficient and create better results for my clients. I think this technology is amazing and offers a great alternative to the client who may think that staging their vacant home this way is quick, simple and affordable.
Unfortunately though, this service is actually a disservice to home buyers.
Why? Well I am glad you asked (even if you didn't!).
Home buying is an emotional practice, we all know that. So you can imagine how a buyer FEELS when they look online and see the home of their dreams, gleaming with wondering fittings and furniture and ring the listing agent for an inspection. They turn up excited to see this warm glowing home that could be their next place of residence (that until now has been served up to them in hi-res photographic mastery) only to open the door to find a vacant, echoing and empty property.
What a kick in the ribs. There is nothing worse that creating an impression in a consumer's mind only to have it completely dashed in reality. That is a quick way to lose a sale and disappoint a prospective buyer.
The fact of the matter is a staged property provides the warmth that a buyer looks for. Even a badly laid out room is better than an empty one for the buyer to determine the scale and space in the home.
So while technology is a wonderful thing, it cannot replace some things that we humans need and want. Physically staging a property is the only true way to engage a buyer both in marketing and while inspecting the home.