Realty Times, (which publishes the latest real estate, mortgage, and construction information) recently stated that virtual staging may become the norm in real estate marketing. They wrote, “. . .in the new world of physical distancing and COVID-19 related restrictions, virtual staging is bound to grow in popularity.”
Staging a home for sale in the North Shore is such an important and integral part of the process that most sellers don’t even ask what it means anymore. They understand the value in having a staged home that will appeal to potential buyers.
So what is virtual staging and how would it work? A good place to start with virtual staging is in a vacant home. In a newer construction home that I have listed in Glenview, I virtually staged all the first floor rooms, the master bedroom, the patio, and basement area. Any virtually staged rooms must be identified as such in the Multiple Listing Service.
The technique involves taking good high-quality professional photographs of the home. For the staging, nowadays there are several companies that offer virtual staging and after choosing one, I send the selected photos to them. I work with the technician to choose the furniture "style" based on the type of home (some choices are contemporary farmhouse, mid-century modern, and retro.) They work their wizardry and voila - the home is furnished with furniture, rugs, lamps, mirrors, paintings, and other accessories.
A few years ago, these completed staged photos could easily be picked out as fakes. Not so now - some are so well done that you can’t tell the difference. This has been a godsend for vacant homes that might feel large and airy but lack of sense of cohesiveness. Buyers don’t have to guess where their particular pieces of furniture might fit.
The benefits to virtual staging are that it’s faster, cheaper, and easier. And in this time of coronavirus concerns, it’s also non-invasive and safer. Along with masks, booties, and hand sanitizers, virtual staging is another tool to utilize when buyers or sellers are not comfortable with in-person showings.
Virtual staging doesn’t have to be limited to vacant homes. Clutter and pieces of furniture can be edited out and replaced. In fact, entire rooms can be emptied out and recreated from scratch.
Some sellers and buyers may not like this approach. Seeing photos online might cause buyers to be disappointed when seeing the house in person. But when the online presence is so vital to draw a buyer’s attention, and with the possibility that some buyers may not enter the home, I think it can only be a positive experience.
Regular (physical) staging of homes is not going away! It’s as important as ever and still will be used the majority of Winnetka North Shore homes for sale. But there will be those times when it’s good to have another idea in your back pocket.
Here are side-by-side photos of my Glenview IL listing - you decide.
While you’re here, please see All North Shore Homes for Sale
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Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate broker since 1998 working in the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston.
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