Is Virtual Staging Deceiving?

Real Estate Agent with BurkeLord Real Estate Powered By Keller Williams Metropolitan

If you have read some of my past blogs, then you know that I am a true believer in Home Staging. Staging, I have found, really does work and is a must in this market. I recently came across this article about vitual staging and wanted to share it. I personally don't feel that this is true staging and I can see why it would be deceiving. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

A recent article from The San Francisco Chronicle ("Virtual Staging Sparks Sales of Vacant Homes" by Judy Richter) took a look at the growing trend of real estate professionals using virtual staging to move listings.

Virtual staging is where you take an empty room and then digitally enhance it with furniture to make the space more inviting. For example, a stager may digitally add some artwork, chairs, tables, and other items to liven up a vacant space, allowing buyers to see the potential of the home. The enhanced photos may then be used on the sales practitioner's flyers, Web site, MLS and in advertisements for the listing.

But some are beginning to question whether the altered photos may deceive buyers.

Virtual staging can work in driving more buyer traffic. Many practitioners report an increase in buyer traffic after virtual staging photos are posted than if they just posted photos on the Web of the vacant rooms in the house.

Some in the business are attracted to virtual staging, particularly now, because of the huge cost savings of staging on the Web rather than paying for actual physical staging. For example, some real estate practitioners say they have saved thousands of dollars in staging costs by opting for virtual over physical staging.

But are these altered photos accurate renderings of the space? Or are they misrepresenting the property by sprucing them up digitally?

Real estate practitioner Kirk Lebowe, owner-broker of PreVue Properties in Los Angeles County, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he views virtual staging as a great way give buyers decorating ideas. Plus, he said, it's not like you're selling the home with the furniture.

What do you think? Do you think virtual staging is deceiving?

Comments (5)

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

Bill, wow that is really cool!!  I have not used this but it looks pretty darn good once they add the furniture.  Not sure if that is or should be a problem as all they are doing is adding furniture not changing the room at all otherwise.

Dec 07, 2010 12:40 AM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Bill: Nice psot. I have looked into virtual staging myself as I haev a vacant house.. BUT, the 'furniture' the company offered was tacky and was not representative of the house I was listing... If it had been nicer, I might have considered it...  I don't think it mis-proportioned the property at all (if that is a word).... but if you are going to spend the moeny doing it, then I want the cream of the crop!  Best, Gay

Dec 07, 2010 12:40 AM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Bill - I think it is somewhat deceiving, as I'm not sure where in the MLS description there would be disclaimer stating the home is virtually staged - it feels more like a bait and switch, as once the buyers see the house it will not be representative of what they saw online.  Isn't it kind of like using your high school graduation picture on your business card 20 years after the fact? 

Dec 07, 2010 12:47 AM
Jon Budish
Resident Realty - Fort Collins, CO

I don't find it any more deceiving than actual staging. When the Buyer chooses to buy the home, the furniture will be gone either way. It's no more deceiving than taking quality pictures with the homeowner's furniture, and the homeowner's vacate before it's sold.

Dec 07, 2010 12:57 AM
Krisztina Bell
Virtually Staging Properties - Atlanta, GA
Virtually Staging Properties

Thanks for discussing the differences between home staging and virtual staging but keep in mind that virtual staging is not a way to replace traditional home staging services but a more economical marketing tool for agents and sellers to be able to show buyers the potential of a home, digitally.  Virtual staging should not entail altering the photos of the home as far as changing wall colors, moving walls and adding fixtures. As an agent, professional home stager and Pioneer of virtual staging, my company believes in virtual staging that abides by the Realtor code of ethics of a true representation of the property. This service is merely used to give buyers a better understanding of how to layout a room and make vacant photos of a home online more attractive and recognizable. And yes making sure each photo displays that the home has been virtually staged so buyers are aware is very important and my company has a strict policy on that! I am just glad to see that our #virtual #staging service has made a name for itself in the real estate world and is here to stay! Before you take a stab or buy a CAD decorating software program contact as we are professional home stagers of vacant properties of over 10 years through our sister company in Atlanta and pioneers of our patent-pending virtual staging service that sells vacant homes faster anywhere in the world! KRISZTINA BELL, GA Real Estate Agent, Professional Home Stager, Pioneer of Virtual Staging & Real Estate Marketing Consultant

Apr 07, 2015 01:34 AM