CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
Pocono and Lehigh Valley Real Estate Blog

Is Virtual Staging Deceiving?

August 12, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

For those who are unfamiliar with virtual staging, virtual staging is where you take a photo of an empty room and then digitally enhance the photos with artwork, furnishings, and other finishing touches to make the space seem more inviting. Virtual staging allows buyers to see the potential of the home, while the home owner or agent save money on staging costs.

A recent article from The San Francisco Chronicle (“Virtual Staging Sparks Sales of Vacant Homes” by Judy Richter) took a look at the growing trend of real estate professionals using virtual staging to move listings.

While virtual staging seems like a win-win, some question whether the altered photos may deceive buyers.

There are several benefits to this marketing tactic that make some in the real estate business attracted to virtual staging, particularly the huge cost savings of staging on the Web rather than paying for actual physical staging.
Some real estate agents say they have saved thousands of dollars in staging costs by opting for virtual over physical staging.  Those who have used virtual staging report an increase in buyer traffic after virtual staging photos are posted than if they just posted photos on the Web of the vacant rooms in the house.

But are these altered photos accurate renderings of the space? Or are they misrepresenting the property by sprucing them up digitally?

Realtor, Kirk Lebowe of PreVue Properties in Los Angeles County, said he doesn’t disclose that the home was virtually staged. He sees it as a way to give the buyers decorating ideas. After all, he said, “You’re not selling (the home) with the furniture.”

Are agents who use virtual staging opening themselves up to potential liability issues?

Do you think virtual staging is deceiving, or is the Agent providing buyers with “free” decorating ideas?


7 Responses to “Is Virtual Staging Deceiving?”
  1. Francine says:

    I don’t think virtual staging is deceiving…if anything it really shows the potential of an empty room. Walking into a house full of empty rooms can be overwhelming, but when you see what a decorator might do, it helps to make the house seem more like a home.

  2. Amanda says:

    I’ll be a new home buyer next year and I never heard of ‘Virtual Staging’, it sounds like a great idea. I can understand how some may find ‘Virtual Staging’ as deceiving, but in all fairness Agents are just going to be providing recommendations. When the time comes for me, I’ll definitely look into ‘Virtual Staging’. Thanks!!

  3. Heather says:

    I agree with you… I don’t think virtual staging is an issue. My husband and I are looking to buy our first home, too. I would rather look at a home that is set up to show it’s potential then looking at an empty home and not seeing anything and leaving. I don’t see that as deceiving, but as a great sales point.

  4. Thanks for your comment. I also think that virtual home staging has it place in the market. It is a benefit for both buyer and seller. On other note, are you aware of the buyer tax credit for 2009. If you are thinking about buying next year, perhaps you may want to look now and take advantage, the time is running out . Nov. 30, 2009 is the deadline for the settlement.

  5. Im sure virtual staging has its cons but deceiving is not one of them. I believe it depends on how you use it. it’s better to mention in the listing that the home is virtually staged just so the buyer won’t feel deceived or misled on visiting the house.

  6. Floormost says:

    Amazing, thanks for sharing a great blog.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville