The Magic…or Miss…of Virtual Staging

Living Spaces by Lyn works with many Realtors to stage homes that are about to go on the market. They want these homes to sell quickly and for top dollar.

Whether a home is occupied or empty, large or small, new or historic, staging makes a lot of sense. As a matter of fact, the National Association of Realtors believes that staging makes so much sense that they’ve actually broken their argument into 10 reasons to stage a listing.

10 Reasons Why You Should Stage Your Next Listing by Audra Slinkey

(Listen up, home owners! If your home is going on the market and your Realtor is not talking about staging, ask them, “Why not?”)

Staging takes two forms. Staging for occupied homes and staging for empty homes. That’s right. Staging makes just as good sense for an empty home, or even more, than staging an occupied home. Why? Because an empty home lacks warmth and a feeling of affection. Potential buyers need the imagination to envision how rooms could be furnished. How they could live in home that is sitting empty. Just as important, shapes and colors bring out the charms of a space. All of this is important to properly market the house.

I received an email recently with an ad from a company that provides “virtual staging.” They take pictures provided by a Realtor of empty rooms in a listing. Using a computer, they add furnishings into the picture, “staging” it.

Their argument for this is that “90% of home buyers begin their home search online and the photos are the first impression that potential clients will have of your listing.”

I agree with that. That’s why I always recommend that my clients use professional photographers for their listing pictures. But here is where “virtual staging” misses the entire point of staging.

Imagine that a prospective buyer sees these wonderful pictures online. They set up an appointment and come to the house. The Realtor opens the door. The client walks in. The room is empty. It echoes. Nothing in the home helps them imagine their family in that house. The favorable impression they got from the listing pictures evaporates like smoke.

Re-read why the National Association of Realtors recommends staging so highly. None of that applies to “virtual staging.”

Then give me a call. Let’s talk about making your listing the best it can be when it goes on the market.

“Not staging your home in the current housing market is like leaving money on the table.” – Audra Slinkey/ President of the Home Staging Resource