Realtor Magazine addressed virtual staging from an ethical standpoint in its June 2010 issue. The title of the article is "Virtual Staging: Stay True to Disclosing."
Virtual Staging is a low-cost option in this tough economy provided the Realtor clearly discloses that the photos have been altered.
According to Bruce Aydt, Sr. VP and General Counsel of Prudential Alliance and a former chair of National Association of Realtor's Professional Standards Committee,
"The safest course when using any kind of visual alteration, including virtual staging, is to disclose in a clear and conspicuous way that the images have been altered or enhanced. That way viewers will understand that, when they physically arrive at and view the property, it will look different than what they see in the image."
Aydt says that the technology has been around and used for many years to alter photographs in one form or another. A scan of the full article can be found here:
My company Lake Wylie Home Staging has a full time digital designer on staff to assist with photo enhancement services. Although I feel virtual staging is not the best choice and can't compare with full service vacant home staging, virtual staging is a permitted option as long as it is disclosed, disclosed, disclosed.
Joan Inglis, Master Accredited Staging Professional, Realtor