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Virtual Furniture / Visual Staging Is it beneficial in Southern Maryland?

Sarah Latham, owner of Latham Cusack Property Services in Australia, was quoted in a blog post at Residential Property Manager call “Turning to the virtual word for real life success”. Virtual furniture:

“… has proven excellent results in us being able to achieve maximum interest levels and numbers attending our open for inspections, with the subsequent leasing of that property quickly, at the highest rental return possible.”

Are you familiar with it this service sometimes called Virtual Furniture, Virtual Staging or Visual Staging? It’s a service offered by select real estate photographers where they use specialized software to add furniture to empty rooms.

By adding virtual furniture, it enhances a home with interior styling where a property management company can attempt to get the best fee for their rentals.Also found in the Daily Mail article, “The latest real estate trick to lure buyers”:

“Sellers are saving ‘thousands’ of dollars by paying photography companies like High Shots to add virtual furniture to their photos instead of hiring the real thing, and this is also pushing the value of properties up.”

So what do the buyers think? When they arrive at a property that was virtually staged, are they disappointed or turned off by the fact the property is now empty? A real estate agent Graham Green says it hasn’t been a problem for him, and he has staged a lot of property:

‘At the end of the day the better looking it is the more people who will fall in love with it’.

One virtual furniture service provider said in a recent article, “Virtual reality technology transforms real estate”.

“We say it is for illustration only; if people come through and say, ‘where’s the furniture?’, be honest and tell them it is digitally staged.”

Most buyers understand, provided the actual features of the home are not changed. I think this is similar to doing a sky replacement on an otherwise overcast day or greening up the grass in winter. Does it change the features of the property? I don’t think so.

Think of it this way. You photograph the home while the owners still live there, with furniture. The photos are posted on the MLS. For whatever reason, they move out leaving an empty home.

Digitally adding a dining table in a room that is actually empty when the photographer took the photo is fine; however repairing a large hole in the wall is not. Removing power lines from exterior photos is also not right. There you are altering the features and facts of the property.

Here is a sample room:

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