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Virtual Home Staging in the Time of Coronavirus

Virtual Home Staging

I’ve been hearing about virtual home staging almost as long as I’ve been in the business as a home staging course instructor. That covers a lot of years, and as you might expect, the concept of virtual home staging has become more accepted, and the results have gotten much better.

It used to be you’d see these somewhat awkward looking photos of virtually staged rooms that, to me, were a little distracting. But that’s not the case anymore.

What is Virtual Home Staging?

Basically, virtual home staging is home staging done on the computer rather than in the actual room. When actual staging would be cost prohibitive, virtual home staging is a very good alternative.

Buyers are looking at homes online before they ever get into the car and drive around. It used to be that you didn’t want the listing to be a “drive by” — a home that lacks curb appeal and just doesn’t entice buyers to even stop and get out of the car.

Now, drive bys still happen but we also see the “click-by” phenomenon, for lack of better word. This means you have buyers looking at home after home online, they start clicking through photos and when they aren’t impressed with your home’s online photos then they probably won’t visit in person.

Lots of things can cause the buyers to keep on clicking and move on to other, more appealing homes. Sometimes it’s poor photo quality.

Sometimes it’s small, dark rooms, when they (like most buyers) are looking for something airy and open. Issues can also include dated decor, too much furniture and clutter to the point where it keeps buyers from being able to see the home itself, and signs of disrepair.

Other times, buyers click on by just because the home is vacant and the photos of empty rooms just don’t look enticing.

Ideally, a home would be staged “IRL” (in real life), but if that isn’t possible, virtual staging can help get buyers interested.

Vacant rooms just don’t look that good in person or in photos, but especially in photos.

Naked rooms are just, well, not that interesting.

They also reveal the home’s weaknesses without giving the rooms any of the benefits of being dressed up with color and coziness.

Yes, buyers will still see the home in all its vacant glory when they visit. But when they’re in the space, it’s easier to imagine what they could do with it.

Virtual home staging can turn plain, stark rooms into spaces where people actually want to be. It can show the home in its best light, and give buyers ideas about the possibilities.

When you compare the prices of virtual staging to actual home staging, you’re looking at maybe a quarter of the price or less.

Don’t discount the power of good photos.

I once sold a house in Portland, Oregon to a couple from Flagstaff, Arizona solely based on photos. (The listing photos as well as some additional photos that their agent took.)

-C.M.