Virtual Staging

I feel that the “virtual staging” subject comes back every year and tends to be a “hot subject” in the industry. And since real estate season is about to peak, even more so. I see ads all over the place attempting to sell you virtual staging software.

In my opinion there are two types of virtual staging:
The first type of virtual staging is basically a “virtual” consultation because the home stager I won’t actually go into a client’s home but I give staging advice by email based on the images of the property they provided. It is an ideal situation but for some wors and it gives homeowners professional home staging advice.

The other type of virtual staging is the one where no home stager goes to the home and no real furniture goes in the house. Sometimes the floors are refinished, carpet ripped off and hardwood installed, and the walls are repainted too!
How does it work? Photos of the property are sent to “virtual” stagers who choose furnishings and accessories that are rendered into the photos so that buyers see the picture of an attractive room when browsing online, on a brochure, etc

I can see how this type of software could be useful to show what you’re going to do in a home when working on an interior re-design project, but for home staging I think it kind of beats its purpose.
Potential buyers are going to be quite disappointed and confused when they arrive at the house and see that the house looks nothing like the photos they viewed online.

Using virtual staging to give an idea to potential buyers how they could arrange the place might work if you place photos of the “staged” place in the house and explain what they represent and their purpose. Everything else is misrepresentation if you ask me, and it may backfire.

My job as your professional home stager is to make the buyer fall in love with your home, and while having great pictures online it’s very important, it is not everything – it is just the first step. Once the buyer walks in and doesn’t recognize the place the disappointment will settle in, and an unhappy buyer is not a buyer that will likely make an offer. Home staging is a 6th sense: in order for buyer to have an emotional connection and an actual feel of the space the ol’ traditional staging is what a home really needs.