Virtual Staging

When you are selling a vacant house or condo you have a dilemma – whether or not to market the house as is (empty) or pay to rent furniture to stage the house. Now Virtual Staging adds a third option. Here are the pluses and minuses to each choice:

Market the property vacant: This is obviously the easiest choice since there’s nothing you need to do if your house or condo is already empty. I’ve sold many empty places so it does work. The issue comes in is that some buyers have trouble envisioning what the place will look like when it is furnished. Furniture helps to define the space. Although it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, an empty room actually looks smaller than a room with furniture.

Stage the property: This is a good option but can be expensive. Since the property is empty, you’ll need to rent furniture. Of course, the longer the house is on the market, the more expensive this will be. Expect to spend between $1,000 – $3,000 depending on the size of your house and the number of rooms you choose to stage.

Virtual staging: Virtual staging can be a great middle option. I’ve recently begun marketing 2 empty homes for sale in Medford. In both houses, instead of having the sellers go to the time and expense of renting furniture, I decided to virtually stage a few of the rooms. Take a look at the empty and virtually staged photos below:

Now with the photos that I use to market the house in MLS, on the house’s individual website and on large real estate sites like Zillow and Trulia, I can show prospective buyers what the rooms will look like furnished. Notice how adding in some artwork on the walls or a plant makes the rooms feel so much warmer. When you virtually stage a property, you need to disclose that the photos have been altered so you’ll see that each staged photo says it has been virtually staged in the lower left corner.

I believe that virtual staging can be a big help when selling an empty house or condo without adding additional fees to the seller or taking up more of their time. I’m curious to know your reaction to the photos!