There probably have been dozens of articles on virtual staging already written...BUT... I thought I would share our experience into that mix.We have been using virtual furniture, combined with professional photography and photo floor plans, and have had tremendously positive response from our sellers and prospective buyers.
In our area, real staging with rental furniture costs around $3000 for a living room, master bedroom and a dining room. That is for the cheap stuff for 60 days. Many property situations cannot handle that additional financial transactional expense.
The vacant property on the link below had been on the market for almost a year when we got it. It was with much trepidation that we took the listing since it had to be priced at the top of the neighborhood to avoid a loss to the sellers.
We got it sold in a few months and the traffic was infinitely better than it had been before the virtual furniture was used in the marketing materials...according to the seller. Once you are in the link below you can hover your cursor over the floor plans and see the staging. In the upper right corner you can go to a click box to another level.
In addition to the floor plan, all the individual photos we use in the MLS and brochures also have the virtual staging in them. As you will see, I did not stage most of the secondary bedrooms...the cost was getting up there already and I felt that I had done what was needed to present the house well and get people to come see it.
None of this furniture is real:
One of our major jobs as listing agents, is to get prospective buyers to come and tour the house. An empty house does not photograph well and it is hard for buyers to visualize how their furniture would fit in the house without pictures as a guide.
This listing on the link below, was huge with an in law suite behind the garage on the entry level. It had a very unusual floorplan for our area. The virtual furniture really helped and the client was delighted...again...none of this furniture is real.
I pick the style of furniture for each room from the available catalog and our photography company places it.
Turn around time is generally 24-48 hours after I send in my order. Cost varies by # of furniture settings we buy. It generally costs between $70-$80 per angle. For example, a 3 angled view of a room could be $210 with a one angle shot being $75. That is on top of the cost of the professional photography and the creation of the photo floor plan with measurements... so it isn't a small expense, but we are convinced that it pays for itself.
There are thousands of agents in our market area, so we always operate in an environment where home sellers have a gazillion choices when choosing a listing agent. Our business model is to always offer full service, utilizing the latest technology, full color brochures, email flyers or whatever it takes to go the extra mile to showcase the seller's home to its best advantage and increase buyer traffic.
Many listings in our area have stopped providing full color brochures and just gone to providing a printout of the listing from the MLS in the property. We will not do that. We feel that it is short sighted when it comes to a quality presentation and seller client satisfaction.
We understand. It takes time and costs money to do all the extra stuff, but as you know, real estate agents are often viewed as a commodity in the eyes of the general public and we have decided to do our best to separate ourselves from the masses. Virtual staging with photo floor plans is part of that tool box. We like it.